How to deal with strange sounds from your washing machine

Washing machines

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.

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There's nothing more disconcerting when doing your laundry than hearing a strange knocking, bumping or scratching sound. Unusual sounds emanating from your washing machine can have many causes – watch our video and follow the steps below 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 £1 coins into a variety of washing machines, we found you typically have about 15 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 £1 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 don't get washed down into the filter can be flung about violently by the drum's rotation, especially during the spin cycle. 

Our test £1 coins have been known to be flung with such force by the drum that it's penetrated the outer plastic tub, which can potentially flood your kitchen and write 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 - we've found Best Buys for less than £350.

Our expert washing machine reviews ensure that you buy a great machine that will remove tough stains, rinse detergent away and spin your clothes so they're not left sopping wet.

Professional washing machine repairs

If you do want professional attention, Which? Trusted Traders are tradesmen and women who have been assessed and checked by Which? trading standards professionals. Alternatively, you can also find local recommended washing machine repairers using Which? Local.

Reliable washing machines

Our guide to the most reliable washing machine brands reveals the washing machine brands that are less likely to let you down - there's more than a 20% difference between the top and bottom rated brand. 

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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