How to repair a washing machine

Man looking into a washing machine to repair it.
(Image credit: Getty)

Knowing how to repair a washer will help you get the most out of your machine. Because it’s not cleaning your clothes as well as it used to, or it’s making a noise that doesn't sound right, your washing machine may still have years of use left. 

A washing machine works hard, so the occasional breakdown or change in performance is to be expected. The machine may struggle to drain, begin to vibrate, or may not start altogether. Either way, these are common problems that can be solved by the average Joe. (We’d always recommend you consult a specialist if your washing machine is faulty or you’re having other issues). 

Even if you’ve invested in one of the best washing machines, it’s not surprising your machine may slow down over time. So before you call your handyman, here are a few ways you can repair a washer machine on your own:  

How to repair a washing machine: Common problems

We’ve spoken to Tom Akers, Product Training at Miele, for his tips on how to repair a washer machine. 

1. Loud noises

“A loud noise could be due to an unbalanced load inside the machine (bath mats and heavy items are usually the culprits),” says Tom. They can bang against the side of the drum as it spins. If the load is extremely unbalanced, the drum may also not spin at all – if this happens, Tom suggests “adding a couple of dry towels can help balance the load.” 

2. Your machine won’t drain

The first thing to check here is the drain filter on the machine, which is usually located behind a little hatch at the bottom. Here’s how to drain your machine: 

1. Find a tray

Grab a tray and place it below the filter.

2. Start to unscrew the filter

A washing machine can hold a lot of water, so unscrew the filter slowly to catch the water with your tray. 

3. Empty the tray

Once the tray is full, empty the tray and repeat until the flow of water has slowed enough to fully unscrew and remove the filter. 

4. Check for blockages

There may be an object, such as a button or coin, that has blocked the filter. If there is, remove it and replace the filter. 

3. Your washing machine vibrates  

A vibration could be something as simple as the machine itself not being balanced. To correct this, Tom advises “to check the feet of the machine and adjust it to make sure it is properly level – a spirit level can be used.” 

What the expert says...

Is your front load washer on a solid floor? Tom states, “If the machine is placed on a suspended floor, this can also cause vibrations. The only resolution here would be to move the machine onto a solid floor or strengthen the floor underneath.” 

A vibrating washing machine can be extremely loud and irritating, so you'll want to get it sorted quickly. It can also cause damage to your floor or other appliances around it. Luckily, learning how to level a washing machine at home is relatively easy to fix yourself, so you can avoid paying a professional unless the issue seems more serious. 

4. Your washer won't start

As simple as it sounds, the first thing to check if your washer won’t start is the plug socket. Make sure your washing machine is switched on. Otherwise, plug your machine into another available socket. If the machine still isn't starting, then you can eliminate the issue with the socket. 

Next, Tom suggests checking the fuse in the plug if you can. “If this does not resolve the issue, then it’s time to call a service technician to check the machine.”

Louise Oliphant
Ecommerce Writer

Louise is a contributing writer at Top Ten Reviews. With experience in home eCommerce, Louise worked in PR and communications before joining Future in April 2022. She now writes across Real Homes, Ideal Homes, Livingetc, Homes and Gardens, and Gardeningetc. 

Bringing bags of bedding expertise from her time working for luxury bedding and homeware brands, Louise specializes in sleep content, so you can wind down well. From buying guides and reviews to features and news, Louise is your go-to for getting a great night's sleep. Aside from helping readers get essential shut-eye, Top Ten Reviews’ also allows Louise to write content on vacuums, cleaning and other household need-to-knows. Tidy room, tidy mind, right? Oh, and she certainly won’t snooze on sales, deals, and discounts, or great designer dupes - there’s nothing better than a top-brand bargain in her eyes.  

When she’s not shopping for or trying out the latest home buy, Louise will be at one of the galleries around London. With a BA in Contemporary Art, Louise loves viewing exhibitions and getting inspired for her next artwork. Otherwise, you’ll find Louise decorating the bare space of her newly-rented East London flat, if not in her bed - which is no surprise given how comfy it must be.

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