Troubleshooting a Washing Machine Spin Cycle That's Not Working


Load size can cause spin problems. A too-large load can overwhelm the capabilities of the drum and motor. The sheer weight of the load with its included water can bring everything to a halt. A too-small load, excess suds or a tangled load can cause the spin cycle to fail too. A failed spin cycle will be evident by very wet laundry at the end of the wash. Problems with spin cycles can be troubleshot.

Things You'll Need

  • HE detergent
  • Fabric softener
  • Reduce the size of the load if the spin fails and the load is obviously large. The load must not fill the drum to the extent it is over the rim. Reduce the size of the load and try again.

  • Look for tangled items in the load mixed with large items. For example, a tangled pair of jeans with a comforter cover, wrapped around the center agitator, can be enough to shut the machine down. Remove the items and try again.

  • Verify that your machine isn’t an HE (High Efficiency) machine if you’re not using HE detergent. HE machines can often be identified by an HE logo and they are invariably front-loaders. They need special low-sudsing detergent, and not using HE detergent in an HE machine can cause the spin to fail. You can try a tablespoon of fabric detergent mixed with a pint of water to reduce suds.

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  • Photo Credit Laundry Soap image by Tabitha Little from
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