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How to Remove A Stuck Item From A Washing Machine Drum

Small items, such as bra wires and other objects, can get jammed under or around the inner drum - but how do you know if you might have something stuck in your drum? An indication of this is if your machine starts to make a strange noise when the drum turns during or after the wash.

It is important to remove any unwanted objects because if you don’t it could lead to a perforated drum - causing flooding in your home (and irreparable damage to your machine).

If you need to remove something from the drum but are unsure where to start (or possibly worried about damaging your machine) - there’s no need to panic. We’ll talk you through how to successfully retrieve the item without you needing to dismantle your washing machine.

This video shows an example on how to remove or replace the part on a typical machine, some models may be different but the procedure should be similar.

What You Will Need:

Switch Off Your Machine

Safety First! Please ensure that you have disconnected the appliance from the mains before starting any repair.

Issue One

As soon as you hear the noise coming from something catching, use a torch and look carefully at the perforations in the inner drum. If you slowly turn the drum, try to identify where the noise is coming from.

You may be lucky and spot the object straight away, such as the end of a bra wire for example.

Using your hands very carefully (or a pair of pliers) - you can ease the bra wire out of the perforations. You might need to gently turn the drum a little for it to ease out.

Issue Two

If you spin your drum and you can see and feel a lot of resistance, it may mean that something is trapped between the inner drum and the outer drum - such as a small item of clothing.

What you can do is put a little gap in the seal in between the seal and the inner drum, then upon turning the drum again, you may be lucky enough to see the item that's stopping it from turning.

If you still cannot see the object, it might be a good idea to use a thin flexible probe such as a cable tie. If you work that around the outside of the inner drum, you can see if you can feel where the object is.

In this machine, there is actually a clothed trapped between the inner and outer drum.

Ok, You Have Found The Object - But What Do You Do Now To Get It Out Then?

Well, if you are able to free it by using your hands then great, but what may well happen is the item could break in half, if it's a rag such as in this video, and you don't want the other half being trapped inside the machine.

So to remove this object you can use a flathead screwdriver, and wedging it between the inner drum and the door seal so you can carefully lever it back to give yourself some more space to get to the item.

Finish off now by giving your drum a spin to ensure that the gap is even between the drum and the seal.

If there is an uneven gap, you can easily knock the drum back into place using a wooden mallet - as you don't want a larger gap to appear (which would make it even easier for clothes and objects to get trapped behind)

Have You Searched For The Item - But Had No Luck Finding It?

Don’t worry, all is not lost just yet - because an object might have worked its way underneath the drum. To access under the drum you're going to have to remove either the heater or the sump hose to try to find the item.

Removing the heater…you need to remove the back panel from the machine, and when you then take the heater out you might be able to see the object stuck in it.

If there is nothing there try turning the drum, it is worth using a torch to have a good look inside the heater housing - as something might have got inside there.

When putting the heater back in, make sure that you push it in firmly and that it engages with the bracket. 

Removing the sump hose…gain access to the sump hose from the bottom of the machine. For doing this it's better if you put the machine on to its side - so you can access the sump hose safely.

If you remove the base cover, you will be able to see the sump hose. The last thing to do now is to loosen the clip, and you can ease the hose off - giving you access to see into the tub.

You can also tilt the machine back upright and use a torch to shine through the perforations. And then if you see an object, you could push it through and access it via the sump opening.

Our final tip for trying to find unwanted objects is to remove the drum paddle from inside the drum, and you will be able to access underneath the drum.

*This last technique is not always possible to do - it would depend on your make and model.

If you've looked at all the techniques in this video, and you still can't find the offending item, it may well be that we have to dismantle the drum itself.

To do that please see another eSpares video on how to replace the drum bearings in your washing machine.


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