If you want to stop your washing machine walking, we're here to help. It might seem like your machine has a mind of its own, but there are a few normal reasons why it might be vibrating so much. Sit back and relax as we go over some simple fixes.

How to spot when it’s moving too much

It's normal for your machine to shake during laundry cycles. But not to the point where it moves out from under the worktop or away from its usual spot.

If you notice it moving across the room – like in a horror film – you should act quickly. Fixing the issue as soon as possible will reduce damage to the appliance and floor.

Five ways to stop your washing machine from moving

Here are some things you can try.

And if you’re looking for general tips to keep it running smoothly – good news. We have a guide on extending the life of your washing machine.

Make sure it’s level

Use a spirit level to check the machine isn’t wonky (you can pick one up from a hardware store). If it confirms the appliance isn't level on the floor, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the machine at the plug and remove any laundry from the drum
  2. Get someone to help you tilt the appliance back to reach the adjustable feet (Your machine will be heavy, so take care!)
  3. If your machine has locking nuts, loosen them before adjusting the feet by hand
  4. Turn the feet clockwise to increase the height and anti-clockwise to make them shorter
  5. Use the spirit level again to see if the machine is now flat

Balance the load

If you’re washing something like a towel or duvet, remember to add other large items to the load. A single bulky item will soak up so much water that it’ll become too heavy to move around the drum. It’ll stay on one side, creating an imbalance.

Check the transit bolts have been removed

If your machine is new, it might still be fitted with transit bolts. These protect the machine during delivery. If they’re not removed, they can damage different parts and cause the appliance to vibrate more than usual.

You’ll find the bolts at the back. To remove them, use a spanner to turn them anti-clockwise. If your machine comes with plastic caps, put these in the holes where the transit bolts came from.

Unblock the pump filter

A blocked drain pump filter could also explain the noise. Check it for loose items like socks or coins, which could have snuck their way into the wash.

To unblock the pump filter:

  1. Turn off the washing machine at the plug
  2. Put towels on the floor and lay a shallow bowl below the filter (usually located at the front in the bottom right corner of the appliance)
  3. Remove the filter cover
  4. Unscrew the filter cap by turning it anti-clockwise
  5. Let any water drain into the bowl and remove any loose objects
  6. Wash the filter under warm water
  7. Spin the impeller (a plastic propeller at the back of the filter) with your fingers to clear away any debris
  8. Put the filter back and close the cover
  9. Turn the machine back on

For detailed instructions, see our guide to cleaning a washing machine’s pump filter.

Use anti-vibration pads

If you’re after a bit of peace and quiet, you could look into anti-vibration foot pads and mats. These absorb vibrations and keep your machine stable. They’re available to buy online – just type ‘washing machine pads’ into a search engine.

What to do if this doesn’t fix the problem

Tried everything but your machine still wants to get some steps in? If none of our fixes solve the issue, you might want to get an engineer out to repair your washing machine.

About the author

Charlotte Letch

Charlotte is a resident copywriter at Domestic & General. As well as popping up on the blog, she writes for several different channels across the business. Over the past 7 years, Charlotte has put pen to paper for insurers, jewellers and a homeware brand. Out of the office, she enjoys running, yoga and adding to her ever-growing tattoo collection.

Our blog is loaded with more related articles