What Is RPM in Washing Machine? (14 Things to know)

RPM simply means revolutions per minute, it’s used as a measure to know how fast the machine is being operated.

So, RPM in a washing machine means the number of times the drum rotates. For Example, if a washing machine is set to 1200 RPM, it simply means that the drum rotates 1200 times in one minute.

Having said that, RPM plays a crucial role in both cleaning and drying. The higher the rotational speed, the better is the drying capacity.

While choosing any type of washer, you must take a look at the operational RPM and other factors such as efficiency and water usage.

Furthermore, RPM in washing machines can be a very broad topic, here are 13 things you must know when it comes to RPM in washing machines.

What RPM is best for Washing machines?

The ideal RPM for a Washing machine depends on two factors.

  • Type of Washer being used: The RPM in a Front-Load washer will defer when compared to a Top-Loader as they have different operating RPMs.
  • Type of Fabric being washed: Lighter items need low RPM, whereas heavier and thick items require High Operating RPM.

A preferred range for light fabric and delicate clothes is anywhere between 400 to 600 RPM. Whereas, the spinning speed for heavy and thick fabric should be higher, ranging anywhere between 800 to 1200 RPM depending on your washer type.

Refer to the table below to get an idea of the ideal operating RPM.

Fabric TypeFront Load Washing MachineTop Load Washing Machine
Delicate Clothes400 – 600 RPM300 – 400 RPM
Wool Items700 – 900 RPM400 – 500 RPM
Synthetic Items800 – 1000 RPM500 – 600 RPM
Jeans & Thick Items900 – 1200 RPM600 – 1000 RPM

Importance of RPM in selecting a washing machine

The RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) of a washing machine is an important factor to consider when selecting a washing machine because:

  • Higher RPMs result in better water extraction from clothes during the spin cycle, reducing drying time and energy consumption.
  • Faster spin speeds can help remove more dirt, stains, and detergent residues, leading to cleaner and fresher laundry.
  • Higher RPMs are beneficial for larger or bulkier loads as they improve the efficiency of water removal, preventing excessive moisture and potential mildew growth.
  • The ability to adjust the spin speed allows customization based on fabric types and garment care requirements, preventing damage to delicate or sensitive items.
  • Opting for a washing machine with a higher RPM range provides flexibility for different laundry needs, ensuring optimal performance for a wide range of fabrics and load sizes.

Is High RPM Good for Washing Machine?

It’s always good to have a washer with high spin capacity, as high RPM washers are not only capable of cleaning heavy items like jeans and blankets effectively but they are also very good at drying clothes. The Higher the RPM, the better will be the drying capacity.

READ: How to use portable washing machine effectively?

Which rpm is good for a front load washing machine?

Front-Loading washing machines have higher spin speeds ranging anywhere between 1000 to 1600 RPM. Some front-loaders have as high as 2000 RPMs, but most front-loading home machines are around 1400 RPM.

Anything above 1000 RPM for Front-Loaders is considered good.

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Which rpm is good for a top load washing machine?

Top Loading Washing Machines have a lower RPM as compared to Front-Loaders. Most top-loaders with agitators range anywhere from 650 to 1400 RPM.

Anything above 850 RPM for Top Loaders is considered good.

Brands like Whirlpool do make top loaders that have a higher RPM of around 1400 RPM.

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Is a higher spin speed better?

Higher Spin speed helps to not only dry the clothes faster, but it’s also capable of washing heavy and thick items such as jeans and blankets effortlessly.

Higher RPM helps to extract a larger volume of water quickly, thereby reducing the time required to dry the clothes.

READ: 11 things you should know about High-Efficiency Laundry Detergents

Does High Spin Speed Damage Clothes?

Higher Spin speed generally does not damage the clothes. However, high-speed spin for delicate items made up of Wool OR Silk is not recommended as there are high chances of wear and tear in long run.

Furthermore, mixing heavy items like towels and blankets with delicate items is not the ideal combo as the outcome won’t be that great, since heavy items require higher RPM.

READ: Laundry Detergents: 15 Important things everyone should know

What is the highest rpm in a washing machine?

The highest Speed for Front-Loaders can be as high as 2000 RPM, whereas for top-loaders it can be up to 1400 RPM. Having said that, most home Front-Loaders are anywhere between 1000 – 1400 RPM, and RPM for Top-Loaders is anywhere between 650 – 1000 RPM depending on the size and capacity.

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Is 1200 RPM good for Washing Clothes?

Yes, 1200 RPM is good for Washing clothes. It is considered as a high speed for both Front-Loaders as well as Top-Loaders.

1200 RPM should be sufficient to wash heavy and thick items like jeans, bed sheets, towels, and blankets.

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What does 1400 OR 1600 mean on a washer?

1400 OR 1600 simply means the speed at which the drum rotates in a minute. The higher the speed is, the better will be the washing and drying capacity of your washer.

So, the label 1400 OR 1600 is actually the RPM (Revolution Per Minute) capacity of your washer.

READ: 14 Things you shouldn’t wash in a portable washing machine

Which is the best 1400 OR 1600 spin washing machine?

In most cases, 1400 RPM washers should suffice as they can wash Jeans, Blankets, towels, and other heavy items easily. Having said that, you may want to opt for a 1600 RPM washer if your laundry size is huge and mostly contains thick and heavy items.

Higher spin speed does not always mean it’s good, there are chances that you may never use the highest settings as most thick and heavy items are easily taken care of at 1200 RPM.

Which washing machine has the best spin?

Front-Load washers have a higher RPM as compared to Top-Load washers. It not only cleans the clothes with less water but it’s also easy on the fabric, thereby causing less wear and tear even at higher speeds. Furthermore, it has a shorter washing cycle as compared to top-loaders, which also means faster cleaning by using less water.

READ: How to choose best portable washing machine?

How to Increase the speed of your washing machine?

To Optimize the speed of your Washer, try following the best practices outlined below:

  • Always ensure you don’t mix heavy and thick items with delicate fabric as they require different settings.
  • Don’t overload the washer with laundry, if your washer is designed to work with 15 lbs. Laundry, try to stick with 11 lbs. or 12 lbs. laundry so that it can spin at its best.
  • Make use of High-Efficiency Detergents.
  • Ensure you use Soft Water instead of Hard Water wherever possible.

Lastly, always make sure to clean the washer at least once a week so that the residue that remains after a wash does not build up over a period of time.

READ: How to Clean Portable Washing Machine?

Why does the washing machine take 3 hours?

It’s unusual for your washer to take 3 hours to complete the cycles. There are high chances that your washer is not working as expected and needs your attention.

Start by looking at the load sensor OR Control Panel and see if the buttons are functioning as expected. If the buttons are working as expected, see if the water inlet valve functions properly. If the water inlet valve and the sensors are working, check if the drum is rotating properly or not, there are chances that either the drum OR bearing may be faulty.

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Final Thoughts

It’s always a good idea to have a washer with High RPM capabilities, as it gives the luxury of washing blankets, Jeans, and heavy fabrics. Furthermore, it also helps to dry the clothes faster.

If you want to use a front-load washer, try to get the one that has the operational RPM of over 1000 RPM, and for top-loaders, it should be more than OR equal to 800 RPM. If you have any queries related to Portable washers, do visit our Portable Washing Machine FAQ section where we try to answer everything related to washing machines.

Hemant Sarkar is a seasoned techie with a diploma in computer science and an impressive track record of over 15 years in dealing with speakers, kitchen appliances, and various home appliance-related issues. He is widely recognized for his exceptional expertise in repairing dryers and washing machines from all major brands. In addition to his appliance repair prowess, Hemant maintains engaging blogs on topics related to music and speakers. For any inquiries or assistance regarding appliances or tech-related matters, you can reach out to him at: hemant (at) theportablelaundry.com.