Glass Shards Flying Through Air

Should You Be Worried About Your Washing Machine Exploding?

You may have heard reports in the news recently about washing machine doors exploding and spewing broken glass across the kitchen. Scary stuff! These stories stem from a recent Which? article but hold your horses, there’s no need to panic. Here’s why.

First off, the numbers of machines that suffer from this fault are very low. Of three million washing machines sold by Beko for example, just 115 encountered the problem – that works out as 0.003%. If you’re still concerned we’re pleased to say that by paying attention to what you’re washing you can greatly reduce (if not completely eliminate) the risk of your washing machine going boom.

The Cause

In our humble opinion, the most likely cause of these broken doors is unbalanced drums. If the washing in your machine is heavier in one part of the drum, the drum can bounce around violently as it spins, potentially hitting the door and scoring the glass. If this happens repeatedly during a fast spin cycle the glass will be significantly weakened and will eventually fail. Not good.

Balance is even more important if you have a machine with a big drum. The larger the drum the more power is needed to spin it so the more power it has to do harm to the washing machine if it’s jolting around.

The Solution

So now that you know the likely cause, here’s how to prevent the issue. Unbalanced loads can be down to the following:

  • Washing just one heavy item like a pair of jeans or a heavy jumper with a lot of light items
  • Under loading the machine with just one heavy item
  • Overfilling the drum so the washing machine can’t reposition clothes when it spins
  • Adding all of the clothes in the wash to a laundry bag so they are bunched together
  • Clothes like a large quilt cover getting knotted up

So, to prevent the dreaded unbalanced load, wash heavy items together and fill your machine three-quarters full maximum. You could also wash tights, bras, and items with metal zips and buttons in laundry bags to avoid knotted up laundry or scratched door glass. But remember to use two or three bags to help keep the washing load balanced.

Replacement Washing Machine Door
If you have taken steps to balance the load and your machine is still shaking violently and spinning loudly during a wash, it’s possible your clothes have become tangled unbalancing the drum despite your best efforts. In this case, try pausing and resuming the wash to give the clothes a chance to settle. Which? also suggest hanging a towel over the door as a precaution to keep you safe if you’re concerned about the glass breaking, but if your machine is spinning unusually violently or noisily the best thing to do is stop it and investigate. You can find more information on how to stop your machine from spinning noisily over on our Advice Centre.

Now listen up! We urge you to check the door on your machine for cracks, chips, heavy scratches or grooves. If your machine door has been damaged by a previous wash, we strongly advise you to replace it as it has been weakened and has a higher chance of shattering.

Once you’ve fitted your new door, ensure your load is balanced in the future and tell your friends! Hopefully, by letting as many people as possible know about the dangers of unbalanced loads we can get that 0.003% closer to 0%.

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