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My washing machine makes a loud rattling sound when it spins

If your machine makes a loud rattling sound during spinning, you should investigate the cause of the problem. You can fix some problems very easily. Some may require further assistance from an engineer. Some can be potentially very expensive if not resolved quickly.

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Loose item in drum

The most obvious reason for a loud rattling sound when your washing machine spins is a loose item in the drum. A pebble, brooch, coin or button, for example, will repeatedly impact against the steel body of the drum as it rotates, causing a regular clattering noise. The item may have fallen out of a pocket or be attached to a garment. Stop the machine, switch off, await the door safety lock release, then seek and remove the item.

Machine not level

According to Electrolux, if your washing machine is not level, it can cause noise during operation. This is because the centrifugal action of the spinning drum generates significant forces. In order for these forces to be balanced, the machine needs to be standing squarely on an even base. Use a spirit level to check whether the machine is level. Lower or raise the feet with a spanner as required.

Item caught between drum and tub

Consumer group Which? did tests on loose items in washing machines. They discovered that some items jump from the drum, travel past the plastic door seal and end up getting caught between the drum and the tub. When this happens, a loud rattling sound can ensue. Further, the abrasive action of an object in this position can cause significant damage to your machine. Which? recommends you seek professional assistance in a case like this.


A bra wire can slip out of the garment and down one of the holes in the drum. This can cause a scraping or rattling sound when the machine is in operation. You may be able to fish the wire out if it has not penetrated too deeply. Further, according to washing machine manufacturer Candy, failure to remove the transit bar before operating the machine can cause noise. Remove the bolts and screws and lift away the bar.

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About the Author

Frank Luger had his first educational resources published in the early 1990s. He worked on a major reading system for Cambridge University Press, became an information-technology adviser and authored interactive whiteboard resources for "The Guardian." Luger studied English literature and holds a Bachelor of Education honors degree from Leeds University.

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