Why My Washing Machine is Overheating and Making Steam?

Jul 10, 2023, 18:40pm

A frequent breakdown of a washing machine may be overheating or the production of steam in the appliance. Sometimes the washing machine does not respect the desired temperature, and heats up much more, to the point of producing steam, which could damage the clothes in the drum.

If you notice that the machine is very hot when you touch the walls or inside after a wash cycle, or that steam is escaping from the drum or the detergent drawer, the following checks should be carried out:

  • Check the temperature selector
  • Test the temperature probe
  • Test the thermal fuse
  • Test the pressure switch
  • Check the electronic card

Discovering that your washing machine is overheating and producing steam can be a concerning issue. An overheating washing machine not only poses a risk to its internal components but also affects its overall performance and safety. Several factors can contribute to overheating and steam production in a washing machine, ranging from mechanical problems to incorrect usage. In this article, we will explore the common causes behind a washing machine overheating and producing steam, as well as provide possible solutions to address the problem.

1. Excessive Load or Overloading

Overloading the washing machine with a heavy load can strain its motor and other internal components, leading to overheating. When the machine works beyond its capacity, it may generate excessive heat and produce steam as a result. To prevent this, ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the maximum load capacity and distribute the laundry evenly inside the drum.

Why My Washing Machine is Overheating and Making Steam?2. Blocked Ventilation or Airflow

Proper ventilation and airflow are essential to dissipate heat and maintain the washing machine’s temperature within safe limits. If the ventilation or airflow around the machine is restricted, it can lead to overheating. Check for any obstructions around the machine, such as furniture or other appliances, and ensure that there is adequate space for air to circulate freely.

3. Clogged or Damaged Filters

Clogged or damaged filters can restrict the flow of air and water, causing the machine to overheat. Regularly clean the filters to remove any lint, debris, or residue that may accumulate over time. If the filters are damaged, replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

4. Malfunctioning Thermostat or Temperature Sensor

A malfunctioning thermostat or temperature sensor can disrupt the regulation of the washing machine’s temperature, leading to overheating. These components monitor and control the temperature inside the machine. If they are faulty, they may not accurately detect or regulate the heat, causing the machine to overheat. Contact a professional technician to inspect and replace any faulty thermostats or temperature sensors.

5. Electrical Issues

Electrical problems, such as faulty wiring or a malfunctioning heating element, can cause the washing machine to overheat. If the electrical current is not properly regulated or the heating element is damaged, it can result in excessive heat generation. In such cases, it is recommended to seek the assistance of a professional technician to diagnose and repair any electrical issues.

6. Incorrect Usage or Settings

Using incorrect settings or programs, such as running the machine on high-temperature settings for delicate fabrics, can cause overheating. Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines and select the appropriate settings for your laundry. Avoid using high-temperature settings for fabrics that require gentler care.


On some models of washing machines, a rotary selector allows you to choose the desired temperature for the washing or drying cycle, or the program. It happens that this one is damaged, and that it turns in the vacuum. In this case, it may be set to a higher temperature, which you will not be able to change.

  • Gently pull the plastic part of the selector towards you to extract it. You can use two flat screwdrivers to pry.
  • Inspect the back of the button, and in particular the hole in which the selector must fit on the washing machine. If it is deformed, it is possible that it spins in a vacuum, it will then have to be replaced.

Why My Washing Machine is Overheating and Making Steam?Troubleshooting Steps

Here are some troubleshooting steps you can take to address a washing machine that is overheating and producing steam:

  1. Avoid overloading the machine and ensure proper load distribution.
  2. Check for obstructions and ensure adequate ventilation and airflow around the machine.
  3. Clean the filters regularly to prevent clogs.
  4. Contact a professional technician to inspect and replace faulty thermostats or temperature sensors.
  5. Seek professional assistance to diagnose and repair any electrical issues.
  6. Use the appropriate settings and programs for different fabric types.

By following these steps, you can often resolve the issue of a washing machine overheating and producing steam. Regular maintenance, proper usage, and attention to load capacity will help prevent future occurrences.

In conclusion, a washing machine that overheats and produces steam can be caused by various factors, including excessive load, blocked ventilation, clogged or damaged filters, malfunctioning thermostats or temperature sensors, electrical issues, and incorrect usage or settings. 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.


“If you’re in Toronto or the Greater Toronto Area and need your fix washing machine urgently, contact Shymon Appliance Repair, we know how to fix it!”