Is 1200 rpm good for a washing machine?

My washing machine runs at 1200 rpm max and it cleans my laundry just fine… or maybe I’ll ask my neighbors if my clothes really look clean after laundering.

Running a washing machine at 1200 rpm is ideal for washing all fabric types. The speed causes clothes to tumble thoroughly, removing dirt. During the spinning process, the centrifugal force generated at this speed help to remove the optimum amount of water from already washed clothes, reducing their drying in a dryer, without extra stress to cloth fabrics.

Welcome to GrayLineParis Some links on this page are affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I greatly appreciate your support!

A shorter spinning time will reduce the amount of water removed from your fabrics. On the other hand, a higher drying time dring time will get more water out at extra cost to your fabrics.

What is RPM and how does it work?

Is 1200 rpm good for a washing machine

RPM stands for Rotation Per Minute. This is the number of times a washer’s drum rotates in one minute.

It is a common misconception that the higher your rpm, the cleaner your clothes

But that is just what it is: a misconception.

Running a washing machine at a higher increases the centrifugal force and dries your clothes faster, but it does not clean it better

During a drum’s spin clothes tumble, scrubing against each, the drum’s wall and an agitator (for top loaders). 

This collision causes dirt particles, already seperated by detergent’s surfactants, to be further displaced and separated from cloth fabrics. This separated dirt particles are then flushed along with the soap water, when the water drains.

During the spinning stage, however, the spin increases. In most machines, the drum’s spin increases to 1200 or 1400 rotations per minute. In other washers, it can go as fast as 1600 – 1800.

This fast spin causes the clothes to cling to the drum’s wall, attaching themself like magnet, leaving the water in the fabrics to move around freely. This causes a separation of water particles from cloth fabrics.

  1. With the centrifugal force keeping the clothes attached to the drum’s walls
  2. Water particles being left to move about freely, and
  3. Drain pump working to pump displaced water out of drum

Clothes are left with less and less water until they are dry enough for placing into the dryer.

Centrifugal Force

the apparent force that is felt by an object moving in a curved path that acts outwardly away from the center of rotation


Why 1200 is an ideal rpm number

Is 1200 rpm good for a washing machine

High spining can of a drum can only generated a finited or fixed amount of centrifugal force.

A fixed amount of centrifugal force can only displace a fixed amount of water particles.

To remove more water particles, you much increase the centrifugal for.

To increase the centrifugal force you must increase the rotation.

Higher rotation speed wears down cloth fabrics, especially lighter, delicate fabrics.

1200 rpm reduces water particles and is gentle to most fabrics, making it a sweet spot for spining.

Note that faster spin does not clean clothes better, 

  1. it is detergent and soap action on wet fabrics
  2. agitation action (for top loaders), and
  3. friction resulting from clothes scubbing each other and drum’s walls 

that cleans your clothes.

So if you can 

  1. get your clothes clean
  2. Reduces their time in dryer because of washer’s spin
  3. and preserve cloth fabrics

you would have achieved goal for laundering your clothes.

This is what the 1200 rpm offers.

What is a good rpm for washing machine?

1200 and 1400 rpm gets the job done with less damage to your fabrics, so these are good rpm for your washing machine.

Higher rpm do not damage your machine so they are still fine. But they can cause rips and tears in lighter fabrics.

1600 and 1800 rpm, though, can be used for heavier materials, such as denim, to reduce their drying time in a dryer.

What rpm should you use?

Is 1200 rpm good for a washing machine

Most washer spins at 1200-1400 rpm. Even those with higher rpms only keep the higher rates as optional spin values.

Except you have specific need for faster spin rates, only make use of your washer’s default rpm.


Higher RPMs are not bad, they have their use.

But unless you have a need for them, stick to the basics.

Running your machine on 1200 rpm is good for your fabrics.

We don’t have to be dogmatic, 1200 rpm is not the only good rpm for a washer.

But it sure is a good setting for your washing machine.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *