Soundproof Washing Machine: How to Make It Quieter
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There seem to be times when even the most organized of moms let their chores back up, forming one massive pile of to-dos that can’t possibly be finished in a single day.
This applies especially to the working ladies of the world, who often stay up into the wee hours of the night catching up on random housework.
What we often seem to intentionally leave for the last minute is laundry, piles, and piles of laundry, I know I do.
I also have an old, tired washing machine that makes an insane amount of noise and shakes up my entire house, which means there are only certain time slots during the day when I’m comfortable turning it on.
Other times, it’s either blasting along with my son’s loud music or making sure my afternoon nap never happens.
But, it works perfectly fine, and since I can’t justify getting a new one, it got me thinking: how can I fix the noise issue without lashing out a huge sum of money on something I don’t really need?
Well, after some research, I was surprised how easy and affordable some of the solutions were, so I decided to share them with you!
I’ve tried two that definitely work, and the rest just seem fun to try!
How to Make a Washing Machine Quieter
So here we go, June's top 5 tips for soundproofing your washing machine are:
1. Close that door
Now I know what you must be thinking, this seems like common sense, doesn’t it?
Any somewhat modern washing machine can’t even start unless the door is closed, but that’s where you’re wrong. You need to check if your door is really closed.
What I mean by that is that after a few cycles, the door can become very wobbly, so much so that during a spin cycle, it can vibrate so much that the noise becomes unbearable.
What you need to do is check for any gaps between the door and the machine, and if you find any, you can attach a door draught stopper to the outer rim of the washing machine door.
A door draught stopper is usually a long strip of foam with an adhesive on its back that you can cut to size, and you can find it in pretty much any hardware store.
If you can’t be bothered to go through all that trouble, just take any sponge you have lying around the house, cut it up into small rectangular pieces, and stick it to the door using double-sided tape.
Make sure you can still close the door properly, and if it can’t, just trim down the sponges. If this quick fix doesn’t do the trick, move on to step no. 2!
2. Use Kitchen Sponges
If you don’t have any you don’t need for cleaning, you should go out and buy yourself four standard-sized kitchen sponges.
Sponge naturally absorbs sound and muffles vibration, which is why it’s often used in recording studios and industrial ear muffs that prevent workers in various occupations from getting ear damage due to daily exposure loud noise.
All you need to do is place each sponge under one of the four corners of the washing machine.
It’s best getting someone to help with lifting the machine, keep in mind that they only need to raise one corner at a time, so the job isn’t all that difficult.
The sponges will not only reduce the echo produced by the aging motor or wobbly drum, but they’ll also prevent the machine from wandering around the laundry room while it operates.
I’ve heard it works in most cases, but if the noise is a bit more severe, regular sponges won’t be enough. In this case, move on to the next trick.
3. Place a Garage Mat
This one requires a bit more work, but those who’ve tried it say it’s well worth it in the end.
What you’ll need is foam garage flooring sheets, which you can usually buy at any hardware store or online, for example this one.
Depending on how large your washing machine is, you’ll need anywhere from two to four sheets.
This one requires a lot of help and possibly some type of device to lift the machine up, but may prove to be the most effective.
You simply place the mats below your washing machine and voila, you have successfully soundproofed your floor!
This is also good for anyone with downstairs neighbors who might have already complained once or twice about their walls inexplicably shaking whenever you’re doing your laundry.
4. No laundry room? No problem!
For those of you who struggle with space or live in an apartment, chances are your washing machine is set up in a closet or a bathroom corner.
These setups cause the biggest headaches since there’s very little separating your living space from that noise maker.
Your local hardware store/Amazon will be your go-to place one more time!
Measure your washing machine and buy any type of foam sheeting you can afford and some spray-on adhesive.
Just like the sponges, foam absorbs sounds and vibrations, and using it to insulate a larger surface will ensure your spin cycle is noise free.
Remember, the denser the foam, the better the insulation!
Pull out your washing machine, place the sheets around the machine or attach them directly to the cupboard with the adhesive, making sure there’s enough room to put it back inside.
Combining this with the floor insulation trick might also help.
If you’re renting, don’t forget to always check with your landlord before making any permanent changes to your place! It may cost you your deposit once you move out.
5. Use Anti-Vibration Mats and Pads
Desperate times go for desperate measures, and if none of these tricks gave you the desired effect, or you’re just not the DIY type of person, maybe some products designed to tackle washing machine noise issues will be the solution.
Out of all the research I’ve done, these seem to have the best reviews:
The Anti-Vibration mat is a simple sheet usually made of neoprene, which is a type of rubber known for its durability and vibration dampening.
Prices can range from 5 to over 60$, but going midrange and getting one like this is just fine
These pads can go for a lot less and work in the same way the sponge trick does. They’re made from durable rubber and are placed on the legs of your washing machine.
For the pads, though, customer experience has shown spending a few more bucks can make all the difference.
6. Move/Shake the Washing Machine
Sometimes the machine moves a bit due to the spin cycle working very hard to drain a heavy load of laundry, or it was just improperly placed in the first place!
This can produce so much noise that, sometimes, I had to put music on just to drown out all the loudness.
But it’s not only an issue of noise. It can develop into a very big problem, as mechanical stress can be the biggest cause of leaks and other malfunctions.
You don’t want that vital piece of technology going bust all because it was just a few inches off center, do you?
This next step isn’t really soundproofing, but rather preventing the causes of noise.
You can do it alone, although I’d advise you to get someone to help you just in case (definitely if you have a washer-dryer set up with one of the appliances on top of the other).
You should unplug the machine and give it a good shake from all four sides, then move it slightly from side to side until there’s no more shaking.
7. Call the Repairman
If none of these suggestions, including the last one, worked at all, it might be time to just call in a repairman.
Most of these are, after all, DIY hacks, and can only do so much to reduce noise before professional assistance is needed.
Make sure you get at least two estimates on any repair that seems a bit too expensive, and if the repairman can’t guarantee that the repair can fix the issue, then it’s time to start saving up for a new washing machine.
After these tips, you’ll at least know how to prevent mechanical wear and tear on your shiny new appliance.
Click here for our reviews of the best quiet washing machines on the market.
Final Verdict: On Soundproofing Washing Machine
Considering how old my washing machine is, I went straight to the sponge-in-door trick, knowing that for sure my door wasn’t closing properly, and I could immediately hear a difference.
There was much less of that insane clanking noise I couldn’t seem to get used to.
I coupled that with the garage mat trick and was finally able to get the noise level down to something I was happy with.
It was a bit tricky getting the washing machine onto the mat itself, but once I turned it on, it was all worthwhile.
At the end of the day, everyone’s situation is different, so there’s no way of knowing how far you’d have to go in order to fix your problem, but In my case, all it took was a total of 20 dollars and some manual labor from my husband and my son.
I hope this helps!