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16 December 2020

How to fix a loud washing machine

If you think your washing machine is excessively loud, follow these easy steps to quieten it down. Our video explains all.
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Matt Stevens

Washing machines can vary in spin speed from less than 1,000rpm to more than 1,600rpm, and higher speeds can make them more noisy and prone to becoming unbalanced.

Video: how to fix a load washing machine

Here, we take you thought the steps to try and fix any unbalance issues.

Turn off your machine

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

Check the feet

The feet of the washing machine should be in firm contact with the floor. To adjust the feet you'll need to undo the locking nuts first, then unscrew the feet.

The washing machine should be completely level so use a spirit level and keep adjusting the feet until you're satisfied. When finished, you must remember to screw the locking nuts back into place, firmly against the machine's housing, before doing your next wash.

Avoid unbalanced loads

Washing a 'heavy' garment, such as a cotton towel by itself, or only with light garments may cause problems. The towel will absorb water and gain weight; if this then sticks to the side of the drum, it will create an unbalanced load.

Some modern washing machines can detect this and will attempt to re-balance the load or choose not to enter the spin cycle. If your washing machine does enter the spin with an unbalanced load, it could shake around in a noisy and violent fashion - possibly doing damage to itself or cutting out halfway through the spin cycle.

You can avoid unbalanced loads by washing heavy items, such as towels or dressing gowns, together to try and balance out the load in the drum.

Quiet washing machines

When we test washing machines we assess how loud they are, so if you're thinking about getting a new machine that's less noisy, you can use our washing machine reviews to find a quiet model.

You might also want to look for a model with a lower spin speed as it's likely to be quieter, although make sure you check our rating for this. A higher spin speed should mean your clothes are dryer when the wash is finished, but we have found washing machines with a 1,200rpm do a better job than some models with a 1,600rpm spin. 

Check the drum bearings

If the above steps don't help, your machine may be suffering from a bearing failure. A bearing failure is a relatively common fault and one that will most likely require a professional repairer.

Turn the drum while it's empty to check if the drum bearings have gone. If you feel a resistance, the machine's bearings may need replacing. Another giveaway symptom is that the metal drum may have dropped down slightly and will no longer be in line with the rubber seal around the door opening.

Find a local washing machine repairer

If the problem is serious, you'll want professional attention. Which? Trusted Traders are tradesmen and women who have been assessed and checked by Which? trading standards professionals. 

You can also take a look at our guide to domestic appliance repairs to find out the average costs for a range of jobs, as quoted by Which? Trusted Traders from their years of experience. 

If you're considering buying a new washing machine instead of repairing your current one, we have found Best Buy washing machines for less than £350.

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Reliable washing machines

Our guide to the

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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