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What are Spin Dryers?

By Bethany Keene
Updated May 16, 2024
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A spin dryer is an energy-efficient dryer that centrifuges the water out of clothes. These dryers are generally much smaller than a regular clothes dryer and don't use heat to dry clothes — they use centrifugal force instead. Using a spin dryer can be a convenient and easy way to save energy and time.

Most spin dryers plug into a standard outlet. When turned on, the dryer will spin at approximately 3200 revolutions per minute (RPMs) for two to three minutes. In this time, the amount of water removed from the clothes is generally equivalent to running a conventional dryer for 25-35 minutes.

The clothes are generally not dry when they come out of spin dryers; they usually only need to be tossed into a conventional heat or tumble dryer for a few more minutes. Another option is to hang the clothes up to finish drying. Either way, this will cut down on the amount of electricity or natural gas used to dry clothes.

In addition to being more energy efficient, spin dryers are often much gentler on clothes than conventional dryers. Some say you can actually prolong the life of your clothing by using a spin dryer. Some manufacturers assert that spin dryers also remove detergent and soap left over in your clothes after being washed. They are also much smaller and fairly mobile, generally around two feet (61 cm) tall, meaning you could store the spin dryer in a closet when not in use. This makes a spin dryer might a good choice for a small apartment where space is at a minimum.

You can also save money with a spin dryer. They are generally much less expensive to purchase than a conventional dryer, costing anywhere from $60 US Dollars (USD) to $200 USD, though some are more expensive. Obviously, they are also much less expensive to run as you are only using electricity for two to three minutes and you are cutting down on the time the clothes spend in the conventional dryer.

Spin dryers can be packed more tightly with clothing than a traditional dryer because there is no need for air to circulate around the clothes. This could potentially save more time as you could wash and dry larger loads of clothes at once. Some owners complain that spin dryers are very loud and can become unbalanced if you do not load the clothes carefully, but as they are usually only running for a few minutes, it is not too bothersome for some.

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Discussion Comments
By orangey03 — On Jul 23, 2011

I love my portable spin dryer. I only use it for 3 minutes, and during that time, it uses just 400 watts of power. It can hold nearly 14 pounds of wet laundry, and the dryer itself only weighs 22 pounds.

This dryer is lower and wider than most models. Because of this, it is more stable, and I don’t have to stop the dryer and re-balance the load.

It removes any detergent that might be left behind, and the manual also says that it gets rid of mineral deposits. The best part is that it shaves 30 minutes off of my drying time. I think that my clothes last longer because of it.

By Oceana — On Jul 22, 2011

I had no idea such a thing existed! It does seem like a good idea. However, I doubt that I really need one.

I have a high-efficiency washer. It can wash large loads, and when it spins, it spins harder than any washer I have ever seen. Often, when I open the door and pick up the clothes to throw them in my high-efficiency dryer, I find that they are already partially dry.

I’m sure that a spin dryer would cut down drying time even more, but I just can’t bring myself to purchase one when my washer does such a good job of wringing the water out. For someone with a regular old washer, a spin dryer would be an excellent idea.

By popcorn — On Jul 21, 2011

Do you think that a spin dryer would be a good purchase if you are trying to cut down electricity costs? Also, do you think the savings are worth having to hang your clothes up afterwards?

Right now I have an old clunky hot air dryer that is on its last legs and I am worried it is going to fail at any moment. On top of that I am sure it is sucking a ton of electricity because it came out long before the energy efficient appliances started to roll out en masse. I really want a new hot air dryer but it just isn't in the budget at the moment.

Do you think I should wait a few months until I have saved enough for a new drier, or should I just pick up a cheap spin dryer to tide me over?

By letshearit — On Jul 21, 2011

Spin dryers are very common in many parts of the world, and in places like Asia it is very uncommon to find hot air dryers like we have in North America.

When I first moved to South Korea I was surprised to only see a washing machine in my apartment, because I was so used to having a fully outfitted laundry room. Interestingly the washing machine actually had a built in spin drying feature. Instead of being a stand alone feature the washing machine simply had a setting that would spin the clothes for a few minutes and get a ton of moisture out of them. After the clothes were spun I would just hang them to finish drying.

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