How Long Should a Washing Machine Last?

Washing machine in kitchen

Some washing machines can be quite expensive whereas others are less so, but no matter how much money you spend on one we all hope it will last years before it needs mending or replacing.

The trouble is that not all washing machines are quite as reliable or long-lasting as others, and they may need to be replaced sooner rather than later. The longevity of a washing machine is often considered to be more important than the price or the quality, so what should you be on the lookout for when shopping for a new washer, and how can you ensure your current washer lasts as long as possible?

What to Look Out For

Although washing machines tend not to come with a lifetime guarantee they do come with warranties. However, warranties such as these tend to last just one or two years, and once those designated number of years are up if your machine breaks down you’re on your own.

Some manufacturers do offer extended warranties, but not everyone wants to pay out a few hundred pounds just in case, which means they could be in the same boat as the rest of us if and when their washer stops working properly.

If you do want to be certain that your washing machine will last at least 2 years before you have to pay for it to be fixed or replaced, check to see how long the warranty lasts. Be aware that some manufacturers offer a very short warranty that could last as little as 6 months to 1 year. Use this as an indicator that all may not be well with the washer, and if you can, purchase a model that offers at least a 2-year warranty.

The Price and the Warranty

Occasionally the cost of a washing machine can reflect how long a washing machine lasts. For example, a £250 washer may come with a 2-year warranty, whereas a £500 washer may have a 4-5 year warranty. The question is, are you prepared to pay double so that you can have an extra 2-3 years without any issues?

Planned Obsolescence?

Sometimes if you buy a washing machine with say a 2-year warranty, it will stop working properly or show an error message shortly after the warranty runs out. This leads people to believe that manufacturers might be designing appliances with a limited life so you need to buy a new one sooner. There’s no evidence for this though, and it seems unlikely as it would damage the reputation of the brand.

Why Warranties Are Limited

Although we would all love manufacturers to put a 4-5 year warranty on every washing machine, there are a few reasons as to why they don’t:

  • A machine may not be installed correctly.
  • A washing machine that’s placed in a garage that is not centrally heated will not last as long as a machine that’s placed in a heated and less damp kitchen.
  • Washing machines can occasionally be overloaded or even under-loaded.
  • Some machines are used more frequently than others.
  • Many different brands and types of detergents are used.

All of the above factors have an impact on the life of a washing machine and could subsequently damage them. These factors are the reason why the manufacturers cannot place a 4-5 year warranty on every machine they produce.

Making Your Washing Machine Last

The good news is that even if your washing machine only comes with a 1-year warranty there are a few things you can do to help your washer last just that little bit longer.

  1. When installing the machine make sure it’s level. If the machine is not level it could move across the floor when it’s spinning. This can cause a lot of damage to your washer, so take your time and adjust its legs properly.
  2. Clean the surface regularly. Wipe away any excess detergent and dust, as well as the doors and any crevices.
  3. Clean the washing machine from time to time. There are some machine-washing cleaning products that when added to an empty machine will clean it on the inside. Simply buy the cleaning product, which is usually a powder, and place the recommended amount into the drawer where you would usually place washing powder or liquid. Set the machine onto a normal wash, and let the powder work its magic.

The above 3 tips can potentially help you take good care of your washing machine, and ensure that it lasts as long as possible before it needs repairing or replacing.

If you’re lucky your washing machine may last as long as 8-10 years, but it can all depend on its frequency of use, and if the brand is up to scratch. With a warranty and a potential extended warranty, you could have peace of mind for at least 1 year. Once the warranty is up, it’s up to you to keep your machine running as smoothly as you can, for as long as you can. Choose your model wisely, spending no more than you really need to, and your washer could be with you for many years to come.


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