Non-draining washing machine? Gaff Goddess has a hack for that
Household Hack: How to drain a washing machine that refuses to empty itself
Favourite dress stuck in a non-draining machine? Gaff Goddess has a hack for that. Illustration: Getty Images
Your washing machine is holding water and showing no signs of draining it. Yikes! Worst of all, your favourite dress is stuck inside. Before you speed dial your local plumber and book her in for an urgent appointment, let’s talk about how you can sort this yourself.
–A large, low rise container (I find a baking/ grill tray is fab here)
–A mop bucket
–Really, that’s it.
Before we start, we need to understand what we are looking at. Once your machine is done washing and rinsing your clothes, it sends the water from the drum, through a filter and then out of an outlet pipe located at the lower back of the machine. Stunning! However, when something gets stuck in this filter – say hair accessories, coins, collar stiffeners and so on – this can result in water not being able to leave through her properly and, eventually, not at all.
To free up the filter and get things moving, we need to first locate the filter, and then remove whatever is obstructing her.
She will usually be to the lower right of the door. If you are finding it hard to locate her, suss out the manual (you’ll find it online if you don’t have one to hand). Usually, she is hidden behind a small flap and has a filter cap that needs to be twisted anti-clockwise to open. But not quite yet.
A very stern word here: do not under any circumstances just twist that filter cap without laying down a towel and your baking tray. There will be a lot of water behind that filter cap and once you open it fully there is no going back easily. Trust me on this, slow and steady will bring more success and less mess.
Once you have everything in place under the filter, twist the cap very, very slowly and allow the water to seep out. You’ll need to empty the tray into the mop bucket as it fills, you will notice the water from behind the cap gradually slow down as you go.
Once water stops coming out and you can fully remove the filter cap, you should be able to see inside and retrieve whatever is causing the obstruction. Pop everything back into place and she’s ready to drain for the next cycle.
Laura de Barra, aka the Gaff Goddess, is a property manager, author and She-IY enthusiast from Cork, now based in London