Which? warns homeowners about EXPLODING washing machines

Homeowners are being warned their washing machines could explode after terrified families revealed how the doors blew off their appliances sending shards of glass flying across the air

Consumer group Which? has uncovered 280 cases of exploding washing machines, with experts blaming larger doors, faster spin speeds and cheaper glass.

Terrified families explained how the doors exploded narrowly missing young children and pets.

Experts say the problem was being caused by coins, keys and belt buckles hitting the glass door at high speed and potentially weakening it over time.

room with washing machine

(Image credit: TBC)

Some 115 issues (41 per cent) of the 280 reports that Which? uncovered are about Beko machines, far more than the next brand (Hotpoint, 10 per cent). The figure is much higher than Beko's market share, which they estimate to be 10 to 20 per cent. If glass doors shattering affected all brands equally, you wouldn't expect to see this many complaints about Beko machines.

While the 280 reports may be tiny compared with the tens of millions of washing machines in UK homes, the potential danger posed by a shattering glass door is huge. And for those whose machines have exploded, it can be an extremely traumatic experience.

bucket with water

(Image credit: TBC)

'There's no single clear and obvious reason why these glass doors are shattering. We've talked to several experienced repairers who suggested several possible factors. These ranged from people not using their machines correctly, to increases in the size of washing machine doors, to machines being made with lower-quality components,' according to Which?

It comes just months after tumble dryers were found to be Britain's second-biggest cause of house fires, with almost one bursting into flames every day.

laundry bags

(Image credit: TBC)

You can reduce the odds of the glass shattering by washing items which have metal parts, such as buttons and zips, in a laundry bag, using a lower spin speed and by not overloading the machine - this can put too much pressure on the glass door.

Have you had any appliance disasters? Tell us all about it!

Heather Young

Heather Young has been Ideal Home’s Editor since late 2020, and Editor-In-Chief since 2023. She is an interiors journalist and editor who’s been working for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines for over 20 years, both in-house and as a freelancer.