Suffering from an epidemic of unpaired socks? Maybe they’re taking refuge at the back of your washing machine, long after the cycle is over. Try these steps to find lost items in your washing machine.
- Ensure your machine is turned off and otherwise empty, then shine a torch into the drum to immediately find items hiding at the back.
- Slowly turn the inner drum, checking the tiny perforations for small items.
- Spin your drum and check for resistance, then carefully pry the rubber seal to create a gap between the seal and the inner metal drum rim.
- Rotate the drum while keeping a gap open to check for items lost between the inner and outer drum.
- Using a flexible, thin item, like a wire pipe cleaner or a cable tie, gently work around the outside of the inner drum to feel the item if you still can’t see it.
Hopefully, these steps have helped you locate your incognito items. Finding your lost object is only half the battle, though!
I’ll give you some tips on how to remove lost or stuck items from your washing machine within the rest of this article. I’ll also provide advice for finding and retrieving items that have slipped underneath the drum.
How to Remove Stuck or Lost Items from the Washing Machine
You’ve finally caught that stray necklace, hiding out between the inner and outer drum of your washing machine. Except, you haven’t really caught it, because you have no idea how to remove it!
Let me give you a hand getting it out – here’s what you should try.
1. Use your hands
You can safely grab the sneaky sock at the back of your machine with your hands alone, provided your machine is switched off and you’re not violently rotating the drum (keep it still).
You may also be able to pull a bra wire or other small item out of a perforation in the drum with your fingers, but this can be tricky without a tool.
If there’s some clothing stuck between the inner and outer drum, you might be able to pry it out with your fingers if it’s big enough. However, if the fabric is flimsy enough, this could cause it to tear and leave half within the machine.
2. Use pliers
Some items are too slippery to grip with your fingers, like thin metal chains. If they’re stuck in the inner drum, grab a pair of pliers and use them to gently pinch and work these types of items out of the perforations.
3. Use a screwdriver
You’ll need more leverage to reach items that are trapped between the inner and outer drum.
Arm yourself with a flathead screwdriver and wedge the head between the inner drum rim and the rubber seal. Angle the screwdriver upwards to carefully pry a gap larger than you could with your hands alone.
With this bigger gap, you’ll be able to carefully pull the item out with your fingers or your pliers. You could also try using a wire to catch chains or fabric loops.
Once your item is removed, spin your drum and check that there’s an even gap between the seal and the drum. If the gap looks uneven, use a wooden mallet to knock the drum back into its place – otherwise, you’ll have a bigger gap for your clothes to slink into.
How to Find Items Underneath Your Washing Machine’s Drum
So, you’ve tried all the tips listed above trying to find the tenth sock that’s gone missing this month… but it’s not there. Your washing machine might be playing tricks on you by storing your items under the drum.
1. Check the heater
You’ll need to remove the back panel of your machine to inspect the heater, which you can usually find in a small panel underneath the big drum motor.
Pull this panel out to reveal the heater, which looks like a metal tube folded in on itself – like the inside of a radiator. There might be an item caught on your heater, like a small piece of clothing.
You should also spin the drum and use your torch to peek inside the heater housing to check for items.
Replace the heater by sliding it back into its place and pushing it firmly, ensuring it’s snug inside its bracket.
2. Check the sump hose
Checking the sump hose is the most difficult task on this list; you’ll probably need to lay your washing machine on its side to access the hose from the bottom of the appliance.
Get someone to help you with this, if possible. Otherwise, be very careful – your lost sock isn’t worth getting crushed over!
Remove your machine’s base plate, then locate the sump hose, which will look like a slinky-esque hose that fits into the metal tub of your machine.
Loosen the clip where the hose is attached to the tub and shine your torch in; you’re looking at the underside of the drum. Check carefully for any items and pull them out through this opening.
If you shine a torch through the perforations on the inside of your machine’s drum, you might be able to spot an object and push it through to the sump hose opening, retrieving it.
Your washing machine is a crafty contraption that likes to swallow your items and hide them in strange compartments, so you’ll need to check various areas for your missing belongings. A torch will be your best friend here.
First, you should shine a torch into the drum and remove anything with your hands or pliers. Rotate the drum and listen for any catching or watch for resistance. Check for items caught in the tiny perforations and pull them out if possible.
Then, create a gap between the rubber seal and the metal rim of the inner drum to access items caught between the inner and outer drums. You can use a flathead screwdriver for more leverage.
Remove the back panel of your washing machine to access the heater, then slide the heater out of its housing. You may find items wrapped around the heater itself or stuck inside the housing.
Finally, you can try turning your machine on its side and removing the base panel to access the sump hose. Unfix the sump hose from the bottom of the metal tub, then check inside the opening for any lost items.
If everything here fails and you can’t locate an item that you’re sure is trapped somewhere in your washing machine, you’ll need to deconstruct the drum itself. This is more technical, and you may want to just call an engineer at this point.
A recent uni graduate who likes writing, gaming, and drawing. I’m figuring out housekeeping tips alongside you while trying to provide eco-friendly cleaning options. Let’s find out how to use a tumble dryer together!