You casually put your dirty old clothes in the washing machine and leave the room, only to hear loud noises about half an hour later. You open the door and find your washing machine walking frantically from one side of the laundry room to the other, knocking over whatever’s in its way.
There are several reasons why your washer might start moving while spinning, and plenty of ways to stop it. But before diving into them, it’s important to know what causes the walking in the first place. Since the cause might differ from machine to machine, make sure you’re very thorough when checking.
What Is a Walking Washing Machine?
Scientists have labeled a washer that keeps moving around by following a certain pattern as a walking washing machine. Basically, whenever your washer starts exploring the room while it’s washing your clothes, that’s when things could become dangerous.
Why Does the Washing Machine Move When Spinning?
One of the main reasons why your washing machine might be moving is because it’s not properly leveled or it’s carrying a very uneven load. Don’t worry though, because this phenomenon happens quite often, and it’s usually easily fixable.
In some cases, all you need to do is change the load you put in the basket, to make it more even. In other situations, you might have to purchase a rubber mat or anti-vibration pads. Either way, one of these fixes will definitely help you out!
How a Walking Washer Negatively Affects You
If you think that your walking washer is not going to have any negative effects, you’ll be surprised to learn otherwise. Some of the negative impacts of a washing machine that keeps moving around include:
- Increased energy consumption;
- Inefficient washing cycles;
- Potential safety hazards.
And these are just a few of all the risks of a walking washer. For instance, if you have a brand new washer which starts moving, it could do premature damage to the appliance. Not only will it damage the outside of it, but also possibly cause malfunctions to the motor.
Furthermore, if all the moving pulls the washer’s cord a lot, that’s another cause for concern. It could tear off the cord or even pull away the plug, which can cause an electric shortage!
9 Solutions for Your Walking Machine
If you’re not thrilled to learn what a walking washer could lead to, it’s time to take action. Check out these solutions and apply them if you want to stop your washing machine from moving:
1. Make Sure There Are No Transit Bolts
If you’re experiencing high vibrations and movement from your new washer, you should check for transit bolts. These safety bolts are on the backside of the washer to ensure the appliance isn’t damaged during transport.
You should remove them before you use the washing machine for the first time, because otherwise they could damage it.
This video guide explains in great detail how you can tackle transit bolts.
2. Balance Out the Basket by Washing Even Loads
Sometimes the easiest fix for an excessively shaky washing machine is to adjust the load. For example, if you are washing one large and heavy item together with some smaller ones, the weight distribution is uneven. The solution would be to replace the smaller items with another big item, to create some balance.
When the heaviness of the load combines with the water pressure during the rinse cycle, that’s when the walking usually starts. The drum will spin left and right aggressively, causing the entire washing machine to shift out of place.
3. Use a Level to Even Out Your Washer
One of the main reasons why your washing machine might be moving is because it’s not leveled. Whenever the appliance sits awkwardly, like on uneven ground or on a small bump, the vibrations from the wash or rinse cycle will make it move.
You can check this by placing a level on top of the appliance. When there is a slight tilt on either side, even it out by placing something sturdy underneath the washer’s feet.
4. Check and Adjust the Washer’s Feet
Usually, washing machines come with 4 tiny pre-installed feet. They are the first line of defense when it comes to canceling out vibrations from washing, so make sure you check if they’re all there. If one of these feet is missing or damaged, you might have to replace it.
Make sure you carefully tilt the washer when adjusting the feet, without completely laying it on one side. You might need a friend to help you out with this, or even a furniture lifter.
Once your washing machine feet are well-adjusted, the vibrations that lead to it moving should be less of a problem.
For in-depth instructions on how to adjust the washer’s feet, you can check this video guide.
5. Get an Anti-Slip Rubber Mat
A multipurpose rubber mat could also keep your washing machine from walking. All you need to do is place the mat underneath the washer. Make sure that all of the washer’s feet are on the mat, so they can’t slide away.
However, depending on the type of rubber mat you find, you might have to trim it to size. It’s not easy (or cheap) to find a rubber mat that fits perfectly under your washing machine. So, it might be easier to buy one that you like and simply adjust it.
This solution is ideal if the ground underneath the washer has very tiny imperfections which can lead to increased vibrations during washing, such as certain floor tiles.
If your washer is sitting on very uneven ground and you can’t move it elsewhere, a normal mat might not be enough. In that case, you can choose a thicker anti-vibration mat, which should also reduce the noise your washer makes.
6. Anti-Vibration Rubber Feet Pads Are Small and Efficient
Similar to how a rubber mat works, anti-vibration pads follow the same principles. The main difference is that they only go under the washer’s feet. Also, the pads are small and aesthetically pleasing, so they won’t stand out as much as a mat.
However, one of the best parts about them is that you can find rubber pads to match your appliance’s color. Since the front two will often be visible, the pads will also act as a cover for the default ones. So, if you have a white washer, you can go for Jaylen Olwin’s white rubber feet pads. If you don’t want them to be visible or you want to match your black appliance, check Vibe Killer’s black rubber feet.
The correct way to install them is to first level out your washing machine. Then, carefully lift each side of the appliance and place pads underneath the feet. Once they’ve all been placed, the pads will create additional cushioning against the vibrations, so the washer should stay in place.
However, if the rubber feet still seem to move a little bit, you could reinforce them using double-sided adhesive tape. Peel one side of the tape and place it onto the rubber foot of the washing machine. Then, peel the other side and secure the foot to the desired place on the floor.
This combination of double-sided tape and anti-slip rubber foot will make it almost impossible for the washer to move.
7. Place the Appliance Onto a Washing Machine Stand
One of the easiest fixes for any walking washer problem is a sturdy metal stand. Washing machine stands are a game changer, as they are super durable and will even help you reposition the appliance. They’re usually made from aluminum or steel and have rubber pads where the washer’s feet should go.
Most of the stands are adjustable, so you can set the height you want for the washing machine. Also, thanks to their multifunctionality, they can be used for any appliance, not only for washing machines.
You can try out the Grandekor Stand, a sturdy appliance stand from aluminum alloy that comes in six different options. Depending on the weight it has to withstand, you can choose between the 4 or 8 feet version, with or without locking wheels.
The Spacecare Mobile Roller with 4 Locking Swivel Wheels is also good for a washing machine that you frequently move. The 360-degrees turn angle of the wheels make it very easy to reposition the appliance.
Yulemy’s Universal Mobile Base is one of the best stands you could choose for a washer that you don’t intend to move. This base will elevate the appliance and, thanks to the anti-skid pads, it will also reduce vibrations.
8. Universal Anti-Vibration Mats Are a Great Alternative
The universal anti-vibration mats from Kulannder are another great option to stop your washing machine from walking. Their high-grade EVA material not only helps stop the vibrations, but also reduces the noise.
But another benefit of these mats is that you won’t need any additional adhesive to stick them to the floor. You just place them in the desired spot, put the washing machine on top, and you’re done!
9. There Are Several Alternatives to Store-Bought Products
If you’re not too keen on spending $20 on anti-skid pads or mats, you could DIY your own from items you find around the house. With some tools that you’ve probably already got in your house, you could create anti-slip foot pads for free.
Follow the instructions in the video and you can make your own in just a few minutes.
Final Words: Solve the Walking Washer Problem With Ease
Having a washing machine that travels every time you do the laundry can become problematic. Because issues such as damaged appliance and even power shortages may arise, you need to address the walking quickly.
Check your washer for transit bolts, make sure that you wash even loads, or even opt for an anti-slip mat. One (or all) of these solutions will definitely be the right one for you!
To sum up, if you find your washer in a different spot every time you wash your clothes, it’s time to check for possible culprits. Sometimes you’ll have an easy fix — other times, it might require some work. In either case, you should never leave your washer to roam freely as it can lead to bigger issues.