The disturbing story emerged from Perpignan, on the southern coast of France, on Wednesday after the man confessed to putting the baby into the washing machine because he wanted to "rock it", as one might in a cradle.
He did not switch on the machine, but "manually turned it" while the door was open, reported L'Express newspaper.
The case was brought to the attention of authorities after the mother brought the child into hospital, claiming the infant's bruises were from a fall.
Doctors suspected foul play and contacted police.
The man was charged for aggravated violence on a child as well as domestic violence.
The mother, who was also taken into custody, admitted that her partner had put the baby in the machine and that she hadn't done anything to stop him.
She added that she had been terrified after the partner threatened to kill her. She has been charged with failing to prevent a crime.
The man denies all accusations, saying he just wanted to "rock the baby".
The baby girl was taken into social care.