Can A Washing Machine Spin Without Water? (Explained)

By - Ron Singh

Updated -

The first thing one would think is how possible it is for a washing machine not to be able to wash without water. Would that be termed as washing? 

As the water factor is imminent, the topic doesn’t concentrate on washing but on spinning.

Please continue to read as we discuss answers to the mystery of, can wash machines spin without water and other related questions. 

Yes, wash machines can very much spin without water. Spinning the drum is one of the criteria to test its functionality when being tested. When getting a new wash machine in a store or manufacturing company, some features, such as the spinning, can be easily checked since it’s not a messy process that will require water. 

In this detailed guide, we cover possible spin cycle questions providing you with the input you will need to fix some issues without needing a technician’s help. 

Can a Washing Machine Spin Without Water?

Can Wash Machines Spin Without Water

Yes! It is usual for a washing machine to spin without water because of the Automatic Sensing Functioning of the machine.

Akin to the assigned program, the spin system automatically senses the spin and wash time, laundry load, water level, and rinse cycle for a specific time of washing. 

When you turn on the washing machine and select the program, the drum begins to spin without water. 

The spinning drum enables the washing machine to detect the amount of laundry.  Subsequently, the spinning drum supplies the allows water into the machine after cycling. 

Does a spin cycle use water?

No. The spin cycle doesn’t necessarily require water to spin clothes—the spin cycle water from the laundry when it reaches the wash cycle.

To dry out clothes, the higher the RPM (Revolution Per Minute), the more dry the clothes will be. 

Spinning the clothes will reduce the extra time drying the clothes outside in the sun or tumble drying the clothes.

However, the drying time solely depends on the fabric of the clothes. For softer fabrics like silk, the spin cycle Contrasts with thicker fabrics like denim.

However, some washing machines set the standard speed RPM for a selected washing load of 1200 RPM to 1400 RPM. Different fabrics have different RPM speeds.

The table below clearly distinguishes the fabrics from the speed cycle.

Silk400 RPM
Linen600 RPM
Denim900 RPM
Wool1200 RPM
Cotton1400 RPM

Besides the high drying time of the High RPM, anti-rumple on the washing machines slows the spin drum every second.

Also, the effect of the anti-crease on the high RPM prevents ‘Set-in’ crumples from being on your clothes. 

Can you spin an empty washing machine?

Yes, you can spin an empty washing machine. Spinning an empty washing machine is recommended for maintaining the machine. 

Running the machine empty keeps it clean, known as the clean cycle or maintenance wash. 

The most recommended way to maintain the machine effectively is by running a hot cycle of 104 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter if possible. 

The hotter the water, the more significant the regulation of bacteria-free and less detergent accumulation in the drainage. 

What Causes the Washing Machine Not to Spin?

Sometimes, there could be a lot of problems with the washing machine, and one of those problems is the machine not spinning. Many reasons could cause the washing machine not to spin during a wash cycle or after.

Find the causes below and the fixes to apply when these problems occur. 

#1. Unplugged Wash Machine 

While it may not be the most severe cause of the washer not spinning, it is a likely cause. Anything can cause the machine to be unplugged—the power outlet. 

Check the breaker’s circuit panel for a power outage if the machine is plugged in but isn’t spinning. Drainage 

#2. System Blockage

Unsuspecting items can lodge themselves in the hoses that attach the washer to the drain pump, clogging the drain. 

Eventually, the clogged item restricts drainage, preventing the washing machine from spinning.  

The drain pump of a few other washers, commonly found behind the bottom of the washer, is accessible and would need to be separated.

To fix this drainage problem, refer to the wash machine’s manual instructions, as the fixes depend solely on the model. 

Also, you can clear out the hose by removing the claps holding the hose and kinks in place and attaching it back after.   

#3. Worn-Out Belt or Coupler 

When a washing machine has worked for an extended period, parts of the machine begin to wear out. One of the parts that could affect the spin cycles is the belt or coupler. 

When the belt tears, the drive belt of the washing machine loses grip and slips off. The water out causes the drum not to spin but allows it to drain and fill with water. 

To be sure the drive belt prevents the spin, take off the washer back. Spin the drum manually to know if the belt has a grip on the pulley. 

If there are weird motor noises, the belt is weary and torn and needs to be changed. Ensure to buy the exact drive belt model of the washing machine.

#4. Overloading or Uneven Loads

If the spin drum in the washing machine can still refills and drains water but doesn’t spin, you may have overstuffed the machine clothes, restricting the spin drum’s movement.

Overstuffing is a problem most wash machine owners are guilty of. Overloading your washing machine with an excessive amount of clothes required can damage the machine. 

The damage to the spin drums results in too much pressure from the laundry on the drums.

The sensors detecting balance in the washing machines halt the drums from spinning if the load in the machine is more than required. 

To prevent the damage, adjust the load or only put in the required laundry load, wait for a minute or two, then try again. 

#5. Worn Out Motor Brush

After the completion of a wash and drain cycle and the spin cycle fails, it could be a worn-out carbon brush. 

To fix this issue, you’ll need to check out this video on replacing carbon motor brushes. Ensure that you unplug the washing machine before replacing or repairing it.

To fix most of these problems generally, you’d have to have gone through the maintenance manual to know which fixes you can execute. 

Also, for complex issues, you should consult a wash machine expert.

To fully be aware of the causes and fix a washing machine not spinning can help you deduce repair methods and also reduce the cost of consulting a repairer for less complicated issues. 


#1. What is the “Rinse + Spin” Setting?

The Rinse + Spin is a 2-way process that clothes go through. The first is the rinse cycle with any soap, and after, the spin cycle removes water from the clothes.  

#2. What Spins in a Washing Machine?

The different factors on a machine that spins are the drum, impeller, and agitator.


In summary, a washing machine spins without water when:

  • Testing out its functionality at the time of purchase.
  • Cleaning out the washing machine.
  • Drying out wet clothes.

Depending on the washing machine you purchase, the spin cycles of the washer have similar processes. 

The spin cycle’s function is crucial and would require constant maintenance for better use.

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