How to deal with strange sounds from your washing machine

How to deal with strange sounds from your washing machine

by Adrian Porter

If your washing machine has started making a worrying sound, this is the video for you.

If your washing machine is making a knocking or scratching sound, stop using it straight away and watch our video.

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

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.


Turn off your machine

Before doing any sort of maintenance on your washing machine, you should turn it 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.


Check 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.


Check 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.


If 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 got 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.

Want to know which washing machines is best for you? Take a look at all of our washing machines reviews.

Professional washing machine repairs

If the problem is serious, you'll want professional attention. Which? Trusted Traders are tradesmen and tradeswomen that have been assessed and checked by Which? trading standards professionals. Alternatively, you can also find recommended, nearby washing machine repairers 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.