When your washer isn’t working right, the solution may be as simple as switching up detergents, tightening a hose or leveling the appliance. Some issues will require professional help so it’s important to know what you can do yourself and what you’ll need a service call for. Doing laundry without a washer isn’t ideal, so our guide will help walk you through washing machine troubleshooting for some possible issues.

If you have a front load washer, a dirty drain pump filter can be a common cause of the issues listed below, like problems draining, spinning and odor. First, try cleaning the drain pump filter to remove any debris or lint, as well as residual water. Check your Owner’s Manual for model-specific cleaning instructions or use Maytag Product Help if you have a Maytag® washer. If cleaning the drain pump filter doesn't fix the problem, read on for additional troubleshooting steps. 

How to fix washing machine problems

Always consult your appliance’s Owner's Manual or Installation Instructions before attempting any repairs. If you have a Maytag® washer and you’re seeing an error code on your console, diagnose the issue using this top load washer or front load washer error code guide.

Blue clothes soaking in deep water in a top load washer

The washing machine won’t drain

If your washing machine won’t drain or your loads are coming out too wet, you may have a kink or clog in the drain hose, a drain pipe that’s too long or a slow-spin option selected.
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Is the drain hose kinked or clogged?

Locate your drain hose—it usually exits the washer in the back, near the bottom. Make sure it’s not kinked, crushed or leaking. If it’s kinked or crushed, straighten the hose to encourage adequate water flow. If it’s leaking, see the section below on leaks. You may also want to check for any clogs in the drain hose and drainpipe. Check your owner’s manual for instructions on how to remove the drain hose. 

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Is the end of the drain hose the correct height above the floor?

Washers have minimum and maximum drainpipe height requirements. For most Maytag® washers, the drainpipe should be installed at a maximum of 96" and a minimum of 39" from the bottom of the machine. Your washer will not be able to adequately pump water out of the washer if the drainpipe reaches too high. In this case, water may flow back into the washer. Consult your washer's installation instructions for model-specific installation requirements or watch this video on proper drain hose and drainpipe installation for Maytag® washers. 

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Was a gentle, delicate cycle or low spin speed selected?

Gentle, delicate or handwash cycles use slow spins to keep fabrics from stretching and wrinkling. Slow spinning also leaves more water in the load. To remove more water, select a cycle that uses high spin speeds such as the Normal cycle. Learn more about washing machine settings

Still looking for answers? Find more drainage troubleshooting info on Maytag Product Help.

Clothes spinning in a top load impeller washer

My washing machine won’t spin

A washer needs to spin correctly in order to fully rinse clothes and drain water from the tub. Before scheduling a service call, check if the power has gone out, that your load is balanced and that the washer is level.
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Was there a power failure?

If the power failed during the spin cycle, it’s possible that the washer did not ramp up to full spin speed. In this case, turn on a spin cycle or drain and spin cycle to get rid of the remaining water. 

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Is the load unbalanced or overloaded?

The wash load must be balanced and not tightly packed. A large unbalanced load could result in a reduced spin speed and wet clothes at the end of the cycle. Learn more about how to load and other laundry basics

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Is your washer unlevel?

It’s important that the washer is level. If not, the load may become unbalanced, causing the washer not to spin properly. This can also cause excessive noise and vibration, especially during the spin cycle. Learn the right way to level a top load washing machine or front load washing machine

Water streaming into a stainless steel wash basket

Washing machine is leaking

Water is meant to stay in the washer. But if you’re noticing some water appearing on the floor, it may be a simple fix. Try cleaning the door seal, tightening hose connections and cleaning the drain pump filter.

Washing machine with water drop icon

Is your front load washer dripping water from the door?

This is most likely a problem with the door seal. Wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris. If the problem persists, check if something is lodged under the door seal by gently pulling it back. If there are tears in the seal, it will need to be replaced. Too much detergent could also be the culprit. If you see soap bubbles on the door after a cycle, try using less detergent to prevent oversudsing. Switching to High Efficiency (HE) detergent can also help cut down on suds. 

Drain pipe with check mark icon

Are all the hoses securely attached?

Make sure the fill and drain hoses are securely connected to the washer. You may also want to check the rubber washers on the fill hoses to make sure they’re fully in place and not damaged or missing. Tighten anything that needs it. 

Laundry pair with a microphone icon

My washer is noisier than expected

If you’ve just brought home a new washer, it’s possible that it makes some noises you aren’t familiar with. Many of these are normal and shouldn’t require any repair.
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Clicking or small metallic noises

Many washer lids make clicking noises while they’re locking in place at the beginning of a cycle. It’s also normal to hear metal items on clothing like buckles or zippers touch against the stainless steel basket. Always empty your pockets before putting clothes in the washer—it’s possible for coins or other items to fall between the basket and the tub, which may require a service call. 

Water drop with sound lines icon

Humming & Gurgling

It’s normal to hear the pump or motor make a continuous humming sound while loads are washing, along with periodic gurgling or surging as water is removed during the spin or drain cycles. You may also hear the hum of the sensing spins after you have started the washer.

Washer with sound lines icon

Rattling or Vibration

If you’re hearing a rattle when your washer is running, it’s most likely off balance or unlevel. Remove some items from the load if it’s tightly packed. If you’re washing a single large item like a rug or comforter, try to balance the load with another large item. If you think the floor your washer sits on might be unlevel, read our guide on how to level a washer.

Gear icon

Clunking & Grinding

A certain amount of clunking or thumping is normal and is often heard when the drive system switches modes from agitation to a full spin. If the sound is unusually loud like metal banging or grinding on metal, you may want to contact a professional. 

Find a full list of common washer noises, including audio clips, on Maytag Product Help

A clean, gleaming stainless steel wash basket

My washer has odors

Washer odors are easily fixable and usually the result of a missed cleaning, a load left too long or too much detergent and fabric softener use. Try these few things to avoid future odor.
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Clean your washer every 30 washes

Your washer may have its own cleaning cycle or even recommended cleaner. Maytag recommends affresh® washing machine cleaner tablets1, but you can use common household items as well. Learn how to clean your washer in four simple steps.

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Remove loads immediately after the cycle

Loads left too long in the washer can cause odors. Try to transfer loads to the dryer right away, or activate a cycle that continues to tumble loads after they’re done washing, like the Fresh Hold® option by Maytag.

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Use less detergent in laundry loads

Many people use too much detergent, resulting in oversudsing that may leave behind a residue and cause odors. If you use the detergent cap to measure, you only need to fill it up to the first line for a normal load, which is about a tablespoon of detergent. If you’re filling up the whole cap, you could be using up to ten times the amount of detergent you actually need. If you don’t use it already, try switching to High Efficiency (HE) detergent, which creates fewer suds. Or consider an ultra-concentrated detergent like Swash™, which offers a Precision Pour Cap to prevent overpouring and detergent waste.2

Need more help with washing machine troubleshooting?

If you have a Maytag® washer, search the Maytag® washing machine help page to find answers to your issues. If you need professional repair help, schedule service online or call 1-800-344-1274. 


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1. affresh® brand products and Maytag® brand products are all owned and distributed by Whirlpool Corporation.

2. Swash™ and Maytag® are owned and distributed by Whirlpool Corporation.