How Long Is A Spin Cycle On A Washing Machine?

During the spin cycle, your washing machine rotates at high speeds to remove excess water from your clothing before you switch it over to the dryer. The length of this cycle depends on the speed of your washing machine’s rotations per minute and the size of your load of laundry.

how long is a spin cycle on a washing machine

In this article, we’ll tell you how long the average spin cycle takes. We’ll also look at a few of the most common reasons your spin cycle is taking longer than it should and whether or not it’s okay to stop your washing machine in the middle of the cycle.

What Is The Average Spin Cycle In A Washing Machine?

The spin cycle on most washing machines is about 3 minutes long. This time can vary from machine to machine, with the shortest time being 2 minutes and the longest being 12 minutes. 

Most of the time, spin cycles go hand in hand with a regular laundry cycle, but they can also be a great way to get things dry faster.

For example, if you have sopping wet towels that don’t need washing, you can throw them into your Whirlpool washer and set it on “spin only” to remove some excess liquid and reduce drying time. Not every washer has this feature, but it’s certainly a nice option.

Why Does The Spin Cycle Take So Long?

There are many reasons why your spin cycle might take a long time. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of an extended spin cycle.

washing machine on spin cycle

1. Too Much Detergent

If you use too much detergent or a detergent that’s incompatible with your machine, the rinse and spin cycles will be longer than expected.

The time increases in this situation because your washer will repeatedly rinse and spin your laundry to remove all the detergent from your clothing before you transfer it to the dry.

To mitigate this problem, always use the recommended amount of detergent for the size of your load, and make sure you use a detergent that’s made for high-efficiency washers if you have one.

2. Unbalanced Loads

If you have an unbalanced load of laundry, your washer will try to balance it. When unevenness is detected during the spin cycle, the drum will slow down and tumble a few times to try to correct it.

Then it will speed up again to see if the problem is fixed. If the washing machine can’t balance the load, it will repeat this process again and again, extending the length of the spin cycle or possibly not letting the cycle end.

3. Large or Heavy Loads

Your washing machine will choose the length of the spin cycle based on the cleaning cycle you select. If your load is larger than average, but you still choose a regular cycle, the relatively short spin cycle won’t get your clothes dry.

Many washers have a sensor that can detect how much water is still in the machine and will continue to spin and drain until it has reached a predetermined level.

If your load is exceptionally bulky, the spin cycle time will extend to ensure most of the liquid is out of your laundry when it ends.

4. Slow Draining

If the water doesn’t drain from your washing machine properly, it will cause the spin cycle to last a long time. In some cases, slow draining can even keep your machine from moving out of the spin cycle at all.

To eliminate this issue, make sure that your drain filter isn’t dirty or obstructed and that your drain hose has been installed correctly and isn’t kinked.

5. Timer Malfunction

If your spin cycle just doesn’t end, the timer on your washing machine may have malfunctioned. In this case, the cycle extension could have occurred at any time during your washing; it just happened to get stuck during the spin cycle.

If this is the case, you can check your user’s manual to try to reset your machine. If resetting doesn’t work, it’s time to call in the experts to fix your washer.

Is It Safe To End The Spin Cycle On A Washing Machine Early?

If your spin cycle is taking far longer than it should, it’s perfectly safe to end it early. The drawback to ending your spin cycle is that your clothes might still be sopping wet, and you’ll need to wring them out by hand before placing them in the dryer. 

Related: Troubleshooting a machine stuck on a wash cycle.


The spin cycle on your washing machine removes excess water from your laundry before you put it in the dryer. On average, this cycle should be about 3 minutes, but the cycle length for your specific washer and the wash cycle you choose can vary from 2 minutes to 12 minutes due to varying rates of rotations per minute (RPMs).

Some of the most common reasons your spin cycle might take longer than expected include an unbalanced wash load, using too much or the wrong kind of detergent, and slow draining from your machine.

Shauna Stone