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Pink and purple laundry in a washing machine.

Solving Common Washing Machine Problems

Do you ever wonder what it was like before washing machines were invented? Perhaps you remember – but you’d rather not! Unfortunately, when you’ve got washing machine issues you’re forcibly reminded of how inconvenient and time-consuming doing the laundry can be. But not every washing machine problem will send you back to hand-washing and wringing clothes out by hand – many laundry issues are actually easy to fix!

We’ve put together this troubleshooting guide to help Matic Mums quickly put simple washing machine problems behind them. Remember, you should always check the manufacturer’s instruction manual before tackling any problems yourself, and if you’re in any doubt, be sure to call a professional for advice.


7 Common Washing Machine Problems

1. The machine won’t start

Possible reasons and solutions : The machine isn’t plugged in, or the electrical wires, socket, or plug are damaged; you haven’t closed the door properly or the door is damaged; you haven’t entered the program selection in the right way. For more detailed information and advice, check out our article on washing machine settings here.


2. The drum won’t fill with water

Possible reasons and solutions : The water supply hoses aren’t connected properly, are bent, blocked or leaking; the water supply is not turned on, the tap is faulty, or there’s not enough water pressure; the filter is blocked. For more detailed information and advice, check out our article on washing machine repair here.


3. The washing machine doesn’t spin

Possible reasons and solutions : If the drum doesn’t rotate at all during the wash, it is likely to be due to a damaged or slipped drive belt or worn out carbon brushes on the motor – this will require specialist technical assistance. In a fully automatic machine, if the drum doesn’t spin at the end of a cycle it may be overloaded, or something might be preventing the drum from draining fast enough. For more information and advice, check out our article here.


4. The drum won’t drain

Possible reasons and solutions : A blockage in the machine or waste water pipe; an electrical fault; or problems with the pump. For front-loading machines, check to see if you have a draining tube connected to the pump filter at the front of your machine – you can use this to empty the water. If not, remove the waste water hose from your plumbing and empty it into a bowl. Unplug top-loading machines and empty the water by hand. 


5. The machine seems to be full of foam!

Possible reasons and solutions : You’re most likely using too much or too little detergent, and the amount needs to be adjusted according to whether you live in a soft or hard water area. Soft water and too much detergent will cause lots of bubbles! Many new washing machines, like this model from IFB, now have foam control systems built in.


6. The door is jammed shut

Possible reasons and solutions : This is one problem that you should get a professional to fix – it’s likely you’ll need to replace faulty or damaged door parts. On front-loading machines, jammed doors should be opened from the inside, rather than being forced open from outside. You should never open the inner workings of the machine yourself – you could be electrocuted, and will certainly invalidate your warranty.


7. The machine is very noisy

Possible reasons and solutions : Either small items like coins have gotten into the wash and are rattling around inside, or you have been regularly overloading your machine and the bearings have gone. Empty all objects out of the drum and filter, check the door seal, and try running the machine again. If the noise persists, call out a technician to check the bearings.  


Top 3 Laundry Problems in Washing Machines


1. There are small holes in your clothes

Possible reasons and solutions : The potential causes of laundry problems like this are various, but first and foremost you should always make sure you wash clothes according to their care labels and select a spin setting that is appropriate for the type of fabric you’re washing. Delicates should always be washed separately, and on a gentle setting.

Another important tip is to make sure that any item of clothing you put into your machine has no protruding fastenings, and to remove objects like coins or hairpins from your pockets as these can damage both your clothes and the machine. Try not to overload your machine, either. Repeated use of strong cleaning products like bleach may weaken the fibres of your clothes.


2. The clothes come out creased

Possible reasons and solutions : This is normally down to an overloaded machine, or a too-hot wash. Always be sure to check the care labels on your clothes and to use a spin speed appropriate for the fabric. Many manufacturers, like our partner Bosch, now build anti-crease technology into their fully automatic machines.


3. Your clothes are covered in white streaks

Possible reasons and solutions : Usually, it’s the use of too much or too little detergent that causes white streaks. Always check that you are adding the right amount to the machine in the right way. If your detergent drawer hasn’t been cleaned in a while, detergent can build up and form clumps in your drum – check your machine’s guidelines on how to clear this out, or our article on cleaning washing machines here.

Be sure to give your clothes enough room to move around during the wash. Soak marked clothes immediately and rewash them to get them clean. For more information on how to deal with other common laundry problems, check out our Matic Mum laundry tips.  


Advice on Dealing with Problems with Washing Machines

Our Matic Moms have some helpful tips for you all about using your washing machine! Here are some of their tips:

“Before ironing it is important to check the care instructions on the garment to achieve the best results and avoid damaging the fabric.”

“Be sure to give your clothes enough room to move around during the wash. Always check that you are adding the right amount of clothes according the detergent.”

“If there is a problem with water filling, check for any problems in inlet water hose.”

“Always zip your jeans and pants & close the buttons of your shirts while washing. This way you can save your machine and your clothes, too.”

“It’s better to check pockets of kids’ dresses (which might contain pencils, erasers, or toffees) before putting them in the washing machine.”

“Fill the machine with right load, use the right amount of Surf excel and the right temperature to solve these problems.”

“Always be sure to check the care labels on your clothes and to use a spin speed appropriate for the fabric."

“Clean the water inlet hose regularly to let water come speedily.”

“If you read the manual carefully, you can fix a minor problem without needing help.”

“Check your clothes’ wash care labels and also use best detergent especially made for the right machines in right amount to wash your clothes.”

“If you are adding detergent manually, the best way is to pre-dissolve it in lukewarm water in a mug and then add to your machine before loading clothes to avoid detergent residue deposit on your garments.”

“Always use branded washing machine powder to great cleaning and care for your machine.”

“Regular maintenance of washing machines also makes a difference. I have noticed the formation of mold like stains in washing machines after some time. This can easily be fixed by wiping the machine drum dry after use or just let the lid open for some amount of time.”

“Checking the simple things can often save you a lot of time and money as well as give us much more to go on if you still cannot solve the problem and ask for help in our forums – so, please take the time to check the simple things first.”