At some point or another, we’ve all heard some strange sounds emanating from our washing machines. Squealing, screeching, banging, knocking, bumping, scratching and rumbling are the most common noises - if yours is making a sound other than that, you might want to have it checked out by a professional. Otherwise, fixing the problem yourself should be fairly straightforward.

Turn it off

For a start, turn your washing machine off and unplug it, as conducting any sort of maintenance while your washer’s still plugged in could pose a safety risk. Turn your machine off at the first sign of a problem - this may help prevent damage and expensive repairs. If you need to stop your machine mid-cycle, consult your instruction manual for advice, including how to drain the drum.

Check for loose items

Begin by inspecting the washer’s drum for loose items. Coins, keys and other objects could fall out of your pockets and become lodged in your machine, causing a loud clanking or knocking sound. Using a flashlight, check the drum along with the basket for random objects (including bra wires - a common culprit for scratching sounds), then run the machine again to see if you’ve resolved the issue.

Clean the lint filter

Loose items can work their way down into the lint filter, so be sure to check there, too. While you’re at it, clean the lint filter, as it could extend the life of your machine (as a rule, clean the filter once every three months). To find the lint trap, refer to your owner’s manual.

Level your machine

Off-balance washers can result in loud thumping or knocking sounds. To silence your machine, check the legs to ensure it’s evenly balanced and resting on a flat surface. Use a level to perform this task and get your washer perfectly flat. If possible, put the machine on again to see if this has resolved the problem. Otherwise, continue troubleshooting.

Check the bearings

Once you have verified your machine is level and there are no loose items banging around inside, check the drum bearings. Before you start, turn off the water and get a screwdriver handy. Use your owner’s manual to help you locate the drum bearings. Next, remove the machine’s back panels with your screwdriver, along with the driver belt. Give the drum a spin - if it makes a rumbling noise, then the bearings need replacing. Either consult your owner’s manual for guidance on this, or hire professional help.

Replace the belt

Damaged drive belts often make bizarre noises, so if all else fails, you can probably assume the belts have worn down and need replacing.

Check the pump

A faulty pump could create a grating, grinding noise, so you might want to consider replacing it once you’ve tried all the other options.

Reassemble and retry

Reassemble your washing machine and try running it again to check whether or not the problem’s been resolved. If not, consult a reputable repairman to save yourself a lot of frustration, not to mention cacophonous noise-induced insanity.

© Axonn 2015