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Monthly Archives: June 2011

  • Saving Money and Time With Washing Machine Spin Cycles

    Have you ever looked at your washing machine's spin cycle settings and wondered what the real difference between all the different settings is?  What would happen if you decided to use the Ultra Extreme Super Spin option instead of just High?  We wondered the same thing and here is what it all means to you.

    Everyone knows that using a higher speed spin cycle will leave your clothes dryer and reduce the time and energy needed to completely dry them.  But how much dryer?  And is there any danger to using super high spin cycles?  To answer these questions we tested out a number of leading front-loading washing machines using a standard mixed load of towels, t-shirts, jeans and socks just like what you probably throw in your washing machine at home.  We ran the washers on a normal cycle but adjusted the final spin cycle speed.  We weighed each item before and after washing on each cycle to determine how much water was left after the spin cycle.  Here is what we found.

    Higher speed spin cycles remove more water.  On average each setting removed 18% more water comparatively to the setting below it.  That means that while loads run on super high spin cycles weren't completely dry, they were significantly dryer than loads run on a high cycle.  Even more impressively they had nearly 38% less water left in the clothes than if we had let the washer use the standard "normal" spin speed.

    High speed spin cycles save money.  With nearly 20% less water for each higher speed that you choose, that can decrease the amount of time that your dryer needs to run by about the same percentage.  The U.S. Government reports that the standard clothes dryer is the second largest user of energy in most homes so any opportunity to cut it's usage by 40% represents a serious opportunity for people to save some money on energy bills.

    High speed spin cycles can damage clothes. There is a reason why when you choose the delicate setting it usually uses a lower spin speed.  Modern front-loading washers can spin at speeds between 1100-1200 RPM which is fast enough to stretch and tear delicate fabrics.  Use high speed cycles with caution.  In our tests with towels, t-shirts, jeans, socks and other relatively durable clothing we noticed no damage to the fabrics.

    High speed spin cycles can increase vibration. Most consumers don't plan washing machine loads with a perfect mix of small, medium and large items. A perfect mix allows the washer to automatically counter-balance vibration during spin cycles.  More often we choose to wash a whole load of towels, sheets or area rugs at once contributing to washer vibration.  Setting a front-loading washing machine to super high speed spin with one of these loads can create some pretty significant noise.  Consider installing an anti-vibration pad like our Silent Feet to prevent this vibration from damaging your home and your hearing while still allowing you to take full advantage of the cost savings of high speed spin cycles.

    In conclusion, using a higher speed spin cycle on your washing machine can save you hundreds of dollars in energy costs over the life of your appliance.  It will also save you lots of time that would have otherwise been spent waiting for loads of clothes to dry in the dryer.  But caution must be used when washing delicate loads as high speed spin cycles can damage delicate fabrics like sheer, pattern and ultra soft types.  On everything else, save yourself the time and money by taking an extra second to press the Ultra Super Hurricane Spin Cycle button at the start of each load of laundry.

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