Why Is My Washing Machine Washing Badly?

Jul 10, 2023, 18:15pm

The washing machine may no longer wash clothes properly. This can be due to wear and tear on the device, but it can also be caused by a misused product or an incorrectly set program.

Make sure you use the most suitable program for your laundry and its level of soiling. Also, to obtain a good washing result, you must avoid overloading your drum. The laundry may not be stirred properly and the stains will have a hard time coming out.

Discovering that your washing machine is not performing well and leaving your clothes poorly cleaned can be frustrating. A properly functioning washing machine should effectively remove dirt and stains from your laundry, but when it fails to do so, there are several potential reasons for the poor washing results. Understanding these causes can help you troubleshoot the issue and find a solution. In this article, we will explore the common reasons why a washing machine may wash badly and provide possible solutions to address the problem.

1. Overloading the Machine

One of the most common causes of poor washing results is overloading the machine. When you overload the washing machine, it can lead to inadequate water and detergent circulation, preventing the clothes from being properly cleaned. Ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the maximum load capacity and leave enough space for the clothes to move freely.

Why Is My Washing Machine Washing Badly?2. Incorrect Detergent or Insufficient Detergent Usage

Using the wrong type of detergent or not using enough detergent can affect the washing performance. Different fabrics and soil levels require specific types and amounts of detergent. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the appropriate detergent for your laundry. Additionally, consider adjusting the detergent amount based on the soil level and water hardness in your area.

3. Improper Sorting and Loading

Sorting and loading your laundry properly can significantly impact the washing results. Separate different fabric types, colors, and soil levels to prevent color bleeding and ensure that the clothes receive appropriate washing settings. Additionally, avoid overstuffing the machine and evenly distribute the laundry inside the drum to allow for better agitation and cleaning.

4. Clogged or Dirty Filters

Clogged or dirty filters can obstruct water flow and affect the washing performance. Check and clean the filters regularly to remove any lint, debris, or residue. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the location and cleaning procedure of the filters.

5. Malfunctioning Agitator or Impeller

If your washing machine has an agitator or impeller, these components are responsible for creating the necessary motion to clean the clothes. If they are not functioning correctly, the clothes may not receive sufficient agitation, resulting in poor washing results. Inspect the agitator or impeller for any visible damage or wear and consider replacing them if necessary.

6. Hard Water or Limescale Buildup

Hard water or limescale buildup in the washing machine can interfere with the detergent’s effectiveness and leave deposits on the clothes. If you live in an area with hard water, consider using a water softener or descaler periodically to reduce limescale buildup. Additionally, cleaning the washing machine regularly with vinegar or a descaling agent can help remove any existing deposits.

7. Mechanical or Electrical Issues

Mechanical or electrical issues within the washing machine can also impact its washing performance. If you have ruled out other potential causes and the machine continues to wash poorly, it is advisable to contact a professional technician to inspect and repair any mechanical or electrical problems.


To test the motor of your washing machine, the principle is to test the motor windings in pairs:

  • Set the multimeter to 200 ohms
  • Disconnect the motor connector
  • Put the test probes of the multimeter on two terminals of the connector. You can go up the two tips to test the two above: as long as the multimeter displays a value, even a very low one, the engine is in good condition.

There are three types of engine, the test details differ a bit:

  • For the universal motor, you must place the keys of the multimeter on the lugs of the windings, the motor brushes and on those of the tachometer. If a value is displayed, then the motor is functional. Otherwise, either the motor or the tachometer, which measures the drum rotation speed, will have to be replaced.
  • For the induction type motor, if you find a value of 5 ohms across the terminals of both windings, then the motor is functional.
  • For the asynchronous motor equipped with a capacitor, measure each winding on the motor terminals. If a value is displayed, the motor is functional.


If none of your components is faulty, this may be due to information transmitted incorrectly by the electronic card.

  • Set your multimeter to 600 volts AC.
  • Behind the washing machine’s control panel, locate the white and black wires leading from the noise filter, which is at the mains input. It reduces radio interference.
  • Place the multimeter test probes on the two wires with the board under voltage. If an OL or a 1 is displayed, then the card is faulty and must be replaced, otherwise it will suffice to change the wiring.

Why Is My Washing Machine Washing Badly?Troubleshooting Steps

Here are some troubleshooting steps you can take to address a washing machine that is washing badly:

  1. Avoid overloading the machine and ensure proper sorting and loading techniques.
  2. Use the correct type and amount of detergent for your laundry.
  3. Clean the filters regularly to remove any obstructions.
  4. Inspect the agitator or impeller for any damage or wear.
  5. Address hard water or limescale issues through water softeners or descaling agents.
  6. Contact a professional technician if the problem persists or if you suspect mechanical or electrical issues.

By following these steps, you can often improve the washing performance of your machine and achieve cleaner clothes. Regular maintenance, proper detergent usage, and attention to loading techniques will help prevent future instances of poor washing results.

In conclusion, a washing machine that washes badly can be caused by various factors, including overloading, incorrect detergent usage, improper sorting and loading, clogged or dirty filters, malfunctioning components, hard water or limescale buildup, or mechanical and electrical issues. By understanding these common causes and following the troubleshooting steps mentioned above, you can often identify and address the issue effectively. If the problem persists or if you are unsure about any repairs, it is advisable to consult a professional technician to diagnose and repair the specific problem with your washing machine’s washing performance.


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