Stabilizing an Unbalanced Load in the Washing Machine

washing machine full of colorful clothes

Sometimes, a washing machine load becomes unbalanced, which can cause problems in the spin cycle. If no one is there to correct it when this occurs, serious damage to the washing machine can occur.

What Causes This?

If the load is made up of smaller items, they move easily around in the water during the wash cycle and rarely end up unbalanced. However, when washing one or two heavy items, they can end up on the same side of the tub at the end of the wash cycle.

Warning Sounds

If you hear a large thumping sound coming from your washing machine, turn it off as quickly as you can. Reach in and manually redistribute the load so that the contents are spaced evenly around the tub.

Turn the machine back on and engage the spin cycle. Wait to see if the sound occurs again. If needed, move the contents around and try again. If the problem is a single heavy item that is difficult to redistribute, add another item to the drum to balance it.

Before leaving, be sure that the machine spins smoothly and without any unusual noise. If you encounter any other problems with your washing machine, here is our washing machine troubleshooting guide.

Clothes dryers rarely have this problem, although heavy items will make some noise as they move around in the drum.