Washing Machine Shakes or Bounces -Here’s How to Solve It

End the Shake, Rattle, and Roll: A Practical Guide to Fixing Your Washing Machine

Ever walked past your laundry room just to be greeted by a mini-earthquake emanating from your washing machine? You’re not alone.

A staggering 75% of service calls for washing machines are related to vibrations or unnecessary movement (HomeAppliance.org, 2023). Before you assume it’s time to call in a professional (and brace yourself for the potential cost), take a deep breath. The solution could be simpler than you think.

In this guide, we’re not just throwing a list of fixes at you; we’re walking through the why and how, with a twist of DIY empowerment and a dash of preventative wisdom.

Your Washing Machine Decoded: Common Shake Triggers and DIY Fixes

1. The Case of the Imbalanced Load

Why it happens: Imagine running with one shoe heavier than the other. That’s your washer on an imbalanced load.

DIY Fix: Make it a habit to evenly spread your laundry around the drum. Mixing in small and large items in a cycle can also help maintain balance. Still seeing a dance? Pause the cycle, open it up, and redistribute the clothes.

Here’s what I did: I paused the cycle, cracked open the door, and took a moment to rearrange the clothes, ensuring an even distribution. It was surprisingly effective – a simple reshuffle was all it took. Mixing heavy jeans with lighter T-shirts in future loads prevented a repeat performance.

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2. The Uneven Ground Saga

Why it happens: A washing machine is only as stable as the floor it stands on. Even a slight tilt can turn your washer into a mover and shaker.

DIY Fix: Grab a bubble level and check all sides of your machine. Adjust the legs until you’ve hit equilibrium. It’s like tuning a guitar but less musical.

I fetched a bubble level from my toolbox and placed it atop the machine, only to discover a slight tilt.

Here’s my solution: Adjusting the washer’s legs was straightforward. I twisted each leg gently until the bubble centered perfectly. This step was crucial, akin to finding the right chord on a guitar, ensuring harmony between appliance and floor.

3. The Worn-Out Shock Absorbers Drama

Why it happens: Shock absorbers are the unseen heroes keeping your washer steady. Worn ones are like deflated airbags – not much help in a crash.

DIY Fix: Check for leaks or visible wear on the absorbers. This might require a bit more DIY spirit, as it involves removing your washer’s panel to inspect and possibly replace them.

I ventured into the unknown by removing the machine’s panel, a step that felt more technical.

What I found: Signs of wear and tear on the shock absorbers were evident. Replacing them required a bit of mechanical inclination but restored the washer’s composure, significantly reducing the tremors.

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4. The Loose Screws Plot Twist

Why it happens: Frequent use vibrates parts loose over time, turning your washing machine into a mobile unit, minus the wheels.

DIY Fix: Tighten up any visible bolts and screws. If something looks out of place or damaged, it’s time for a replacement.

My action plan: Armed with a wrench, I methodically tightened every bolt and screw in sight. This preventive measure was straightforward but impactful, anchoring the machine firmly in place.

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5. The Overloading Fiasco

Why it happens: Your washer can only hug so much laundry at a time. Overloading it is akin to overstuffing a suitcase — everything gets wrinkled, and it’s hard to close.

DIY Fix: Stick to the weight limits. Your clothes (and your washer) will thank you for it.

Here’s how I adjusted: I began respecting the machine’s load limit, appreciating the space each item requires for a thorough wash. This approach not only spared the machine undue stress but also resulted in cleaner laundry.

Pro Tips for Maintaining a Vibration-Free Washing Machine

Beyond the Basics: You’ve covered the essentials, but for optimal performance and to extend the lifespan of your washing machine, consider these expert tips.

  1. Regular Maintenance Checks: Much like you would service a car, commit to a scheduled check-up for your washer. This includes inspecting hoses for brittleness or leaks, cleaning the filter, and checking the integrity of belts and seals. Preventive maintenance can ward off many common issues before they lead to shake-ups.
  2. Invest in Anti-Vibration Pads: These simple yet effective rubber mats absorb the excess vibration of your washing machine, significantly reducing movement and noise. Placing them under the legs of your washer is an easy, cost-effective way to enhance stability.
  3. Keep the Drum Clean: Regularly run a cleaning cycle on your machine, or use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to combat residue and buildup. A clean drum not only operates more smoothly but also prevents imbalances caused by debris.
  4. Mind the Detergent: Overusing detergent can create an excess of suds, which can cause washing machines to work harder and potentially shake. Use the recommended amount, and consider liquid detergents for better dissolution and less residue.
  5. Acoustic Calibration: Some modern washers come with an option to calibrate for acoustics. This process adjusts the machine to perform more quietly and can indirectly help with stability. Refer to your machine’s manual to see if this feature is available and how to activate it.

Remember, a well-cared-for washing machine is less likely to develop problems down the line. Regular attention and maintenance can guarantee a longer, more efficient service life, keeping the shake, rattle, and roll to a minimum. Resetting Your Kenmore Washer: A Quick and Easy Fix

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Engage, Prevent, Excel

Don’t wait for the next laundry day disaster. Incorporate these tips into your routine:

  • Keep the drum and dispensers squeaky clean to prevent unwelcome surprises.
  • Every couple of months, declutter the filter.
  • Opt for high-efficiency (HE) detergents to prevent soap build-up.
  • Love your level? Check it regularly to ensure time hasn’t thrown it off balance.

Feeling more confident about tackling that troublesome tumble? Remember, while many issues have a straightforward DIY solution, some problems might require a professional touch.

Troubleshooting Checklist

Before calling a professional, run through this checklist to potentially diagnose and remedy the issue at hand:

  • Balance the Load: Ensure the drum’s contents are evenly distributed.
  • Check Leveling: Confirm the machine is level using a bubble level.
  • Inspect Shock Absorbers: Check for damage and replace if needed.
  • Tighten Loose Components: Secure any loose internal parts.
  • Load Appropriately: Avoid overloading and follow guidelines for load capacity.
  • Maintain Regularly: Clean the machine and perform periodic checks on components.

By following these detailed solutions and maintenance tips, you can effectively address and prevent your washing machine from shaking or bouncing during operation. Early intervention not only ensures the longevity of your appliance but also maintains the tranquility of your home environment.

Got More Laundry Quandaries?

Wondering about:

  • How to extend the lifespan of your washing machine?
  • The best homemade detergents for sensitive skin?
  • How often should you really clean your washing machine?

Your laundry woes don’t end here, and neither do our solutions. Stay tuned for our next posts where we tackle these queries and more, ensuring your laundry room remains a place of peace, not pandemonium.

Remember, a well-loved washer makes for happy clothes and even happier homeowners.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

In our effort to cover all bases and ensure you have all the information you need at your fingertips, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions that may arise as you work through troubleshooting and maintaining your washing machine.

Can I use DIY methods to replace shock absorbers?

While the guide provides a DIY approach to inspect shock absorbers, replacement can be more complex and may require professional assistance, especially if you’re not comfortable disassembling large parts of your washing machine.

How often should shock absorbers be replaced?

The lifespan of shock absorbers varies depending on the model of your washing machine and how frequently it’s used. A good rule of thumb is to inspect them for wear and tear annually, but they typically need replacement every 5 to 7 years.

What if my washing machine still shakes after trying all the DIY fixes?

If you’ve exhausted all the DIY solutions and your machine continues to shake or bounce, it might be time to consult with a professional. There could be internal issues not visible to the untrained eye, such as problems with the drum or motor.

Are there specific tools I need for these fixes?

Most adjustments and inspections can be done with basic household tools, such as a wrench, screwdriver, and bubble level. However, replacing parts like shock absorbers may require more specialized tools depending on your washing machine’s make and model.

Is it normal for new washing machines to shake?

Some initial movement is normal as the machine adjusts to its load; however, excessive shaking is not typical. If a new washing machine shakes more than expected, double-check for shipping bolts that haven’t been removed or consult the installation guide to ensure it’s properly leveled.

Can moving my washing machine cause it to start shaking?

Yes, moving your washing machine can unsettle its leveling and potentially jostle internal components. If you’ve recently moved your machine, it’s wise to recheck its level and ensure all parts are tight and secure.

By addressing these additional queries, our goal is to empower you with knowledge and confidence, turning your laundry room from a place of potential frustration into a well-oiled, serene space where clothes come out clean and vibration-free.

Can adding anti-vibration pads really make a difference?

Absolutely. Anti-vibration pads can significantly reduce the movement and noise of your washing machine by absorbing the vibrations it produces. They’re especially useful if your washing machine is on a hard, non-carpeted floor. Installation is straightforward and can be a simple yet effective solution to minimize shaking.

Why does my washing machine walk across the floor?

“Walking” or moving across the floor is typically caused by an imbalance in the washing machine’s load or an uneven floor. It can also occur if the machine isn’t level. Adjusting the load, ensuring the machine is level, and using anti-vibration pads or mats can help keep your washing machine in place.

How important is it to use HE detergent in an HE washing machine?

It’s very important to use HE (High Efficiency) detergent in an HE washing machine. These detergents are formulated to produce fewer suds and dissolve more effectively in low water volumes, which is essential for the functioning of HE machines. Using regular detergent can result in too many suds, reducing the machine’s efficiency and potentially leading to longer cycle times and increased wear on the machine.

What does it mean if there’s a foul smell coming from my washing machine?

A foul smell usually indicates the growth of mold and mildew, often due to leaving damp clothes in the machine too long or not allowing the washer to dry out between uses. Running a cleaning cycle with a washing machine cleaner, vinegar, or bleach can help eliminate odors. It’s also beneficial to leave the door or lid open between washes to allow it to air out.

Can overloading the washing machine cause long-term damage?

Yes, overloading your washing machine can cause significant long-term damage. It puts extra strain on the motor, belt, and transmission, leading to increased wear and potentially costly repairs down the line. Following the manufacturer’s guidelines for load size can help ensure your machine runs efficiently for as long as possible.

J.S. Diyhouseskills

I’m J.S., I created and am the content manager at DIYHouseSkills.com. I do the research and write the articles that appear on this website. I’ve learned many household skills during my life and think it’s important to at least know the basics so that you can save yourself time and money… READ FULL BIO >