If Your Washing Machine Is Shaking Violently, You May Want To Check Your Filter

It's definitely panic-inducing when any piece of household equipment starts acting a little strangely, but especially so when it's the washing machine. A shaking machine isn't the most unusual sight, but it is telling you that you need to take a closer look. You may regularly clear out the tumble dryer filter, but what about the one in your washing machine itself? Yes, your washer has a filter too, and a build-up of debris within it could be why it's suddenly moving around a lot.

It's normal for your machine to shake and rattle a little during a wash cycle, of course, especially if you're cleaning items like sneakers and heavy items that have a tendency to bang against the drum. However, if you find it's moving a lot even during a light load, it's time to check whether it's actually the filter itself that could be causing it. Here's all you need to know about what a filter does and how to check and clear it out so your machine is restored and can run smoothly once again.

Checking the filter isn't tough to do

As mentioned, the reason the filter can cause your machine to jerk about is because its job is to collect lint from your clothes as well as any dirt and debris. When the washer lint trap becomes overloaded or clogged due to not being emptied in a while, it cannot do this job effectively. A shaking machine could also be due to metal items like coins or bobby pins being trapped inside, which will rattle against the sides. If you do believe it's your filter causing the ruckus, the good news is that it's relatively easy to resolve. 

Most filters will be installed in the front panel of your washer. After carefully draining the filter, you should be able to see instantly if any loose items are in the filter, in which case either scoop them out or grab your vacuum for anything that's more difficult to retrieve. Once cleared out completely, run a regular wash cycle to see if the machine is back to normal. However, if it has been a while, you may need to do a more thorough cleaning job.

How to maintain your washer properly

Just like the tumble dryer filter, the one in your washer should be regularly cleaned to stop build-up from forming. Keeping on top of cleaning it will also help your washing machine last longer. Items like stray coins may occasionally happen, but a clogged filter is the cause of it not being cleaned rather than an item falling through the cracks. Each washer is different; you may need to clean it monthly or be able to stretch it out to twice annually. If you do a lot of washing, it's best to err on the side of caution and clean it more regularly. 

To clean the filter, carefully remove it from the machine and get rid of any trapped lint with a clean, damp cloth. If it's especially dirty, soak the filter in a solution of hot water and a teaspoon of laundry detergent for around 10 minutes. If there's a lot of visible build-up, use a clean scrubbing brush or an old toothbrush to remove it. Once clean, simply slot the filter back in and then run a short cycle to check all is as it should be.