7 expert tricks to fix a noisy washing machine yourself

If your washing machine is creating more noise than you would like, learn how to fix it with our expert tips

Neutral laundry room with washing machine, tumble dryer and Belfast sink
(Image credit: Future PLC)

Nobody wants to listen to loud screeching noises every time they do their laundry, but unfortunately, washing machines can sometimes have a little hiccup and end up producing more noise than they should. If this sounds familiar, you've probably been wondering how to fix a noisy washing machine so you can go back to doing your wash loads in peace. 

Even the best washing machines can be guilty of being a little too noisy sometimes. It could be caused by something as simple as a loose coin that you forgot was in your pocket banging around the drum, or it could be that the driver belt or pump needs replacing, which requires a little more work. 

But the good news is that you can learn how to fix a noisy washing machine yourself. Our guide is packed full of expert knowledge that will take you through the common causes of noisy washing machines and how to resolve them. 

White utility room with washing machine

(Image credit: Future PLC)

How to fix a noisy washing machine - 7 ways

Whether your washing machine is in your kitchen or you have a dedicated laundry room, you shouldn't have to suffer from the unpleasant noise of a malfunctioning machine. Here are all the ways you can fix your noisy washing machine. 

1. Check for loose items

'When dealing with a noisy washing machine, one of the first things you should do is inspect the machine for any loose items,' says Penelope Jacobs, Kitchen Expert, MyJobQuote. 'Check the drum thoroughly for any loose items that may be making noise such as keys, coins, or anything else that may have fallen out of a pocket into your machine.'

Grab a torch and shine it around the drum so you can see any small items that may have got wedged into the holes. Check inside the rubber seal at the entrance to the drum as well. If you find anything that shouldn't be there, you've found the culprit causing the loud noise. Remove the item and try running the washing machine again. 

2. Clean the filter

Dark grey washing machine with door open in laundry room

(Image credit: Haier Europe)

If you know you are not the best at cleaning your washing machine, next on the list of learning how to fix a noisy washing machine is to pull the filter out and give it a good clean. It's recommended that you do this at least every 4 months. When was the last time you had a look at your washing machine's filter? We often neglect this because it's not an area we see visibly day to day, but if there are loose items hiding in there, your washing machine is going to make a louder noise than usual. 

Clean the filter with a damp cloth and soapy water, and rinse it out in the sink. Grab an old toothbrush and give it a good scrub too. 'Cleaning the lint filter can help to extend the life of your washing machine and also helps to make it safer,' says Penelope. 'A build-up of lint in the filter could eventually lead to a fire so it’s worth cleaning the filter regularly.'

3. Level the washing machine

Laundry room with metro tiling, marble worktops and styled shelving

(Image credit: Future PLC/Rachael Smith)

A common cause of a noisy washing machine is its location. Even if you've only started experiencing loud noises recently, washing machines can actually move from their original position over time, and it may now be knocking against a wall or be sitting on a slightly uneven surface.

'Check to see if the washing machine is balanced properly and ensure that it is placed on a level surface,' says Penelope. 'Use a spirit level to make sure the washing machine is completely level and flat.'

4. Redistribute the load

If your washing machine doesn't make loud noises consistently, it may be improperly loaded. This is quite common, as we have a tendency to throw our garments in without taking the time to distribute them properly. And try not to fill the drum so it's more than three quarters full. 

'If your device is not loaded correctly, it can cause the drum to spin unevenly, resulting in a loud banging noise', explains Barry Gray, Founder, The Tools Square. 'To fix this issue, you'll need to redistribute the load in your machine so that it is balanced and not overloading in one area.'

Broken plan kitchen utility room with sleek cabinetry and white appliances

(Image credit: Future PLC)

5. Check the drum bearings

Inside of washing machine drum

(Image credit: Haier Europe)

'One of the most common causes of a noisy washing machine is a problem with the drum bearings,' says Barry. 'These bearings allow the drum to spin smoothly and quietly, but over time they can become worn or damaged, resulting in a loud, thumping noise.'

To check the drum bearings, remove the front panel with a screwdriver. Check the drum bearings to see if they are worn, damaged or discoloured in any way. If they need replacing, you can do it easily enough with a socket set, a wrench, and a pair of pliers. The noise should have calmed down once you've swapped the drum bearings for a fresh pair.

6. Replace the drive belt

Front panel of black and grey washing machine

(Image credit: Haier Europe)

'The drive belt connects the motor to the drum and allows it to spin,' says Barry. 'If the belt is loose or damaged, it can cause a loud, screeching noise.'

To fix this issue, you'll need to locate your machine's drive belt. Remove the back panel with a screwdriver; if there are no screws, remove the lid of the washing machine instead. You should be able to see the belt stretched around the drum to the motor at the bottom. If it's not attached properly or looks worn in any way, it will need replacing. 

You can buy replacement driver belts from most DIY shops; just check to see if it can be used with your model. Wrap the new belt around the motor spindle at the bottom, then around the circumference of the drum. The infuriating screeching noise should have be all but gone next time you do your laundry.

7. Check the pump

The last trick with learning how to fix a noisy washing machine is to check the pump, which is responsible for pumping water from the drum into the drain hose. Problems with the pump usually cause leakages, but it will also create an unpleasant grinding or grating noise if not working correctly.

If you've tried all the other tricks on our list, it's worth trying to replace the pump. Once you've located the pump (it's usually in the bottom corner), you'll need to disconnect it from the drain hose, then unscrew the pump from the machine. Replace the old pump with a new one, and reconnect it to the drain hose. This can be a messy job, so have plenty of towels to hand to mop up any spillages.  

Why does my washing machine make so much noise when spinning?

There are a few reasons why your washing machine could be making excess amount of noise when spinning. Firstly, note that some washing machines are simply louder than others because of their unique internal mechanisms. But if your washing machine is making more noise than it did before, there could be a few things causing the issue.

'The noise from the washing machine becomes louder when items get caught in the drum, or by washing ‘an unbalanced load’ – a bath towel with a couple of T-shirts, or any other combination of heavy and light fabrics,' says Currys. 'But it could also be a sign there is a problem with the bearings.'

Worn drum bearings are a common cause of noisy washing machines. 'To check your bearings, turn the washing machine drum by hand when it is empty and not being used. If it feels as though you’re pushing against something, you have a problem.'

Wooden worktop with washing machine underneath, and a patterned curtain instead of a door

(Image credit: Future PLC)

How do I stop my washing machine from making noise?

When learning how to fix a noisy washing machine, it's best to locate the source of the noise first. Check for any loose items that have fallen out of pockets in the drum or seal; if you can't find anything, you may need to replace the drive belt, drum bearings, or pump. Check each one of these for visible signs of damage and replace them as needed. 

'Try changing the location of the washing machine if possible and locate it under the stairs or in a utility room,' says Rudolph Diesel, Managing Director, Rudolph Diesel London. 'And always make sure the surface the washing machine sits on is solid.' The washing machine will make less noise if it's on a level surface, as it won't shake and move around as much. 

'By identifying the problem and taking the appropriate steps, you can fix a noisy washing machine and enjoy a peaceful home again,' says DIY expert Barry. 'Always refer to the manual with the machine or contact the manufacturer for further assistance.'

Katie Sims

Katie Sims has been writing for Ideal Homes since spring 2022. She qualified from her Master’s in Media and Journalism in 2021 and has been writing freelance since. She has worked on Ideal Home’s ecommerce team where she researched the best home products on the market, and on the news team, researching the latest trends for feature pieces.