Interior Kitchen & Dining Appliances

How to Stop a Washing Machine From Shaking

Prevent excessive noise and potential damage by taking these steps to stop a shaking washing machine.
Timothy Dale Avatar
how to stop a washing machine from shaking

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The washing machine is a key appliance to have in the home, and while you can head to a local laundromat to wash your clothes, the convenience of being able to carry a basket of dirty laundry straight from the bedroom to the washing machine without leaving the home cannot be overstated.

However, these appliances can become unbalanced for a variety of different reasons, all of which can cause the washing machine to vibrate or shake excessively. Violent shaking creates loud noises that can be startling and can serve as a broad indication of the amount of force that is being unevenly applied. At this point, you need to learn how to stop a washing machine from shaking in order to continue washing your clothes, bedding, and towels at home. 

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In some cases the problem may be caused by worn-out shock absorbers in the washing machine. If you find that the washing machine is completely balanced, but it still shakes, then this may be the case. In this situation it’s advised to contact a professional appliance repair company to replace the shock absorbers.

STEP 1: Ensure that the load is balanced.

The washing machine might not be the first thing you think of when you try to imagine the various things that vibrate in your home, but if the clothing, linens, and other items are unevenly distributed inside the washer, the weight of the wet items can throw the washing machine off balance. This is a common occurrence when individuals attempt to wash comforters, blankets, and duvets because these items absorb a lot of water during the washing process, increasing the weight and causing an imbalance within the machine.

Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to learn how to balance a washing machine. Just open the washing machine and adjust the clothing, bedding, or other items inside the washer. By redistributing them so that the load is balanced, you can stop the washing machine from shaking and vibrating. Just keep in mind that you may also need to remove some items if the washer is too full.

how to stop a washing machine from shaking

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STEP 2: Adjust the washing machine feet.

If the problem isn’t resolved by adjusting the load and even persists with an empty washing machine, then you will want to check the balance of the washer by pushing down on each corner in turn. If the washing machine wobbles, then it’s likely that the washer is unbalanced.

These appliances usually have a set of four feet that can each be adjusted to raise or lower a corner of the washer. Some washing machine feet have built-in washer anti-vibration pads, while others have simple metal feet, but the method for how to level a washing machine using the adjustable feet remains the same. Place a level on the top of the washing machine to ensure accuracy, then use your fingers or a set of tongue-and-groove pliers to turn the leveling feet and adjust the height of the washing machine. Also, it’s a good idea to have a second person nearby to help tilt or lift the machine in order to gain access to the adjustable feet.

STEP 3: Level the floor with a platform. 

While the adjustable feet on the bottom of the washing machine are designed to make up for uneven floors, the floor at your home may be too slanted for the feet to properly level the washer. In this case, it’s possible to level the floor underneath the washing machine by adding a platform. However, it’s important to remember that the goal is to balance the washer, so you don’t need a tall platform.

Instead, correct the imbalance by using one or more ⅝-inch or 1-inch sheets of plywood under each corner of the machine. With the addition of a basic platform, users should be able to finish leveling the washing machine by making final adjustments to the leveling feet. Alternatively, DIYers may want to make a full platform with 2x4s and plywood that can correct for the uneven floor and level the washing machine.

how to stop a washing machine from shaking

STEP 4: Add anti-vibration pads under the washer.

Washing machines are regularly installed in basements, utility rooms, and garages where the floor may not be completely even, but you can still have a quiet washing machine if you make use of a washing machine mat or anti-vibration pads for the washer. These items are available in a variety of sizes and thicknesses, allowing the user to choose the best mats or pads for their machine.

Washing machine mats are thin pieces of foam or fabric that sit under the entire washer and help to reduce vibration between the machine and the floor. Similarly, anti-vibration pads also work by reducing the vibration between the washer and the floor. However, anti-vibration pads are typically designed to fit under each foot of the washer instead of under the entire machine. This makes it easier to customize the thickness of the pads for each foot in order to help level the machine.

STEP 5: For stacked washer and dryer units, ensure that the stacking kit is secure.

Stacked washers and dryers present a different problem that could cause the washing machine to vibrate, shake, and possibly leak. If the stacking kit isn’t properly installed and secured, the internal movement of the washer can cause both the washer and dryer to shake and vibrate, resulting in loud bangs and ongoing noise.

Inspect the stacking kit for any loose screws or worn brackets that may need to be replaced. Most stacking kits can be installed or simply tightened up with a screwdriver, so this is a relatively easy project for a DIYer to take on. If the stacking kit is properly secured, the washing machine should no longer shake or vibrate.

how to stop a washing machine from shaking

Related: The Best Compact Washer and Dryer for Your Laundry Space

Final Thoughts

A previously quiet washing machine top loader can typically be prevented from vibrating and shaking by balancing the load, leveling the feet, leveling the floor, or insulating the washing machine with anti-vibration floor pads. If you have a stacked unit, then the problem may be coming from the way the stacking kit was installed, though worn-out shock absorbers on a washing machine could also be the issue. Take the time to thoroughly investigate each possibility and make the necessary repairs or additions to ensure the situation is resolved. But keep in mind that if the shock absorbers are worn out, then it’s best to contact a professional appliance repair company.