Fixing washing machine

Washing Machine Sounds Like Gravel – Causes and Solutions

We’ve all been there: you put a load of washing in the machine, and suddenly it sounds like you’ve actually put a bag of gravel in for an eco wash.

Is it time for a new washing machine? Or is there an easy fix to your washing machine problem. Well, that depends what’s causing the gravelly sound coming from your washing machine.

So, let’s look at why your washing machine may be making this noise and find out how to solve it, shall we?


1. Check for Objects in the Drum

How to Remove Stuck or Lost Items from the Washing Machine

This was likely the first thing you did when you noticed a noise coming from your washing machine.

We have all left coins or other things in our pockets that have come out in the wash and started making a terrible noise. However, have you checked the seal?

Which? have done some experiments with £1 coins and have noted that they often get caught in the seal during the wash. So, if you hear that ever-common noise of something banging around in the drum and then it disappears, check the seal.

Also, an object from a pocket may have been worked through the washing machine and into the filter. The filter on a washing machine is normally behind a little door close to the floor. Check the filter too.


2. An Object May Have Fallen Between the Drum and the Tub

During the spin cycle, objects, like the pound coin in the earlier example, can be flung around very violently.

The drum is surrounded by a plastic tub that can be damaged by this. If the tub is damaged, it will likely flood your kitchen or laundry room and destroy your washing machine.

If you notice the tell-tale noise of an object in the drum and then the noise gets louder and far more dramatic, likely, the object is now between the drum and the plastic tub. Turn the washing machine off straight away.

The cost to remove the drum and the object is often quite high (somewhere in the region of £350). In this case, it’s often cheaper to buy a new washing machine.


3. Have You Removed the Transport Bolts?

washing machine transit bolts

When I moved into my house, we got a washing machine delivered. My dad told me “make sure you remove the transport bolts”. The two gentlemen that delivered the washing machine said: “make sure you remove the transport bolts”.

I thought I had removed the bolts. However, when they say ‘remove’, they mean entirely. Take my word on this, if you happen to leave one transport bolt in because it is difficult to get out, your washing machine will sound like it is washing gravel!

So, remove all of the bolts AND the plastic parts too.


4. Is the Waste Pipe Clogged or Damaged?

This problem affected my partner – we are a family who hasn’t had much luck with washing machines! When my partner lived by herself, she was rudely awakening to a flood in her kitchen.

Her landlord discovered that there was a couple of metal hairpins clogging up the drain pipe. I wasn’t in her flat at the time, so I’m not entirely sure that the washing machine made a noise like gravel, but I thought it worth mentioning.

If you are careful, you can remove items clogging the waste pipe yourself.


5. Other Potential Causes

Broken Drum Bearing

Those are the more typical reasons a washing machine may make gravelly noises during use. Here are some less likely reasons. In most of these cases, your washing machine must be old or faulty.

  • A faulty bearing
  • Worn out drive belt or pulley
  • Shock absorbers worn out
  • Faulty clutch

In most of these cases, your washing machine can be repaired. However, a washing machine repair is likely to cost more than a new washing machine.

Do check whether your washing machine is still in warranty though. Most of the parts mentioned above may well be covered under a normal manufacturer’s warranty.

We hope this look at washing machines making gravelly noises has been helpful. To find out more about washing machines, please explore our website further.

We have excellent tips about washing clothes, making the most out of each wash and lists of the best washing machines and tumble dryers in the UK right now.