Washing machines: Washing machine repairs tool Deal with strange sounds in your machine

There's nothing more disconcerting when doing your laundry than hearing a strange knocking, bumping or scratching sound. Strange sounds emanating from your washing machine can have many causes - watch our video to get to the bottom of the problem.

Video: what to do if your washing machine makes strange sounds

Our video below shows what to do if your machine is making strange sounds. For more advice on troubleshooting your washing machine, use our washing machine repair tool.


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Video transcript

If your washing machine is making an unusual noise like knocking or scratching, we'll show you what that's likely to be and how to deal with it. If your washing machine is just excessively loud, then click the link below, for our video on how to deal with loud washing machines. First things first, unplug your washing machine before doing any sort of maintenance.

One of the common causes of strange sounds in your washing machine is due to objects getting into the drum that shouldn't be there. Our research has shown us that the main culprits are coins and bra wire. To test the effects of items in the drum, we had our labs put pound coins in to five different washing machines.

Our research showed us that most of the items will, in fact, stay in the drum or catch in the door seal. Items that say in these areas, can do damage over time, but the big risk is that they will fall below the seal, between the drum and the outer plastic tub. Items that get here can protentially write off your washing machine.

Solid items that do make their way between the drum and the tub can make an excessively loud noise during a wash cycle. But when rotating the drum by hand You may not hear any thing at all. If you do suspect that you have a item between an item between the drum and tub. Stop the machine and call an engineer.

If a broad wire has ended up in your wash. And if you're very lucky it might catch in one of the holes inside the drum. So if you hear a scratching sound, have a look inside the drum, and see if you can fish it out.

Finally, any metal items that get caught in the seal or the drum, and remain undetected can rust over time and pass on that stain to your clothing. Some of our items made it down here, to the lint filter. If you suspect something is caught in the filter, you need to check it. Firstly, remove the plastic cover.

Before undoing your lint filter, make sure you have a shallow container in place to catch the water, or if you haven't got one to hand, lay down a towel. If your machine has a drain hose, pull it out from its housing, and remove the cap. Once this is drained, there shouldn't be much water left in the lint filter.

If your machine doesn't have a drain hose, lay a towel out and slowly undo the lint filter. Once you've got your filter, remove any any item from within it, and remove any items that have also caught in the housing. If you notice your filter is a bit moldy and grimy, now would be a great time to give it a quick wash.

Once the filter and it's housing has been cleared of debris, just screw the filter back in. If your washing machine is making any peculiar or strange noises, then turn it off by stopping the washing program. You can find out how to do this by checking your instruction manual. If your washing machine is noisy and is unlike anything seen in this video, then go to which.co.uk where you can use our washing machine repairs tool.

But if you do need someone to come out and fix your machine. You can find a rated and recommended engineer in your area, by logging on to which local.

If your washing machine is just excessively loud rather than suffering from loose items in the drum, check out our other video on loud washing machines.

Step by step: investigating strange sounds in your washing machine

1Turn off your machine

Before doing any sort of maintenance on your washing machine, you should turn off and fully unplug it. If your machine is mid cycle when it starts to play up, follow advice in your washing machine's instruction manual for stopping and draining it.

2Check the rubber door seal and drum

Items that get into the drum can cause both strange sounds and a number of problems. Research and feedback from Which? members has shown the most common culprits are coins and bra wire.

Having experimented by putting pound coins into a variety of washing machines, we found you typically have about fifteen minutes to hear them rattling around and pinging off the door before the sound of the wash drowns them out. Bra wire makes more of a scratching sound.

Most of our test coins remained in the drum or caught in the rubber seal - so these are the first places to check.

3Check the lint filter

Some items loose in the machine can work their way down to the lint filter. Follow the instructions in your instruction manual to check the filter, or view the above video.

4If you've still not found the culprit

The big danger is that items will slip between the rubber seal and the metal drum and fall into the surrounding plastic tub. Items that do not get washed down into the filter can be flung about violently by the drum's rotation, especially during the spin cycle. Pound coins have been known to be flung with such force by the drum that it has penetrated the outer plastic tub, potentially flooding your kitchen and writing off your machine.

If an item does get stuck in this area, it's likely to make a very loud noise when the machine's running, especially during the spin. If you suspect an item has caught here, stop the machine and call a repairer. The cost of removing the drum assembly for many washing machines is very high, and combined with the call out cost, it may work out cheaper to buy a new washing machine.

Find a local washing machine repairer

If your machine is not fixed by following the steps above, try our washing machine repair tool for more help. If the problem is more serious and needs professional attention, Which? members can find recommended washing machine repairers in their area using Which? Local.

Reliable washing machines

Our Best Buy washing machines page reveals the washing machine brands that are less likely to let you down. We only recommend top-scoring washing machines as Best Buys if they get a rating of three stars or better in our annual washing machine reliability survey.

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