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Eliminating Washing Machine Vibration and Noise

Eliminating Washing Machine Vibrations and Noise

Eliminating Washing Machine Vibrations and Noise

There are few things as relaxing as the feeling of a towel just out of the dryer, or the smell of freshly washed linens. But the process of washing and drying clothes can sometimes be far from relaxing. Not just because your kids can’t seem to eat a meal without getting more on their clothes than in their stomachs (how in the world do you get spaghetti stains on underwear? Personal problems…), but because every time you start up the washer it sounds like someone’s throwing a pallet of bricks down the stairs - and that’s just using the gentle cycle!

Have no fear, we can help bring some peace and quiet to your laundry day. We’ll help you identify why your washer and dryer might be causing so much noise, and give you advice on how to combat the rattles and thumps. Think of us like a fabric softener, but for your ears.

There are few things as relaxing as the feeling of a towel just out of the dryer, or the smell of freshly washed linens. But the process of washing and drying clothes can sometimes be far from relaxing. Not just because your kids can’t seem to eat a meal without getting more on their clothes than in their stomachs (how in the world do you get spaghetti stains on underwear? Personal problems…), but because every time you start up the washer it sounds like someone’s throwing a pallet of bricks down the stairs - and that’s just using the gentle cycle!

Have no fear, we can help bring some peace and quiet to your laundry day. We’ll help you identify why your washer and dryer might be causing so much noise, and give you advice on how to combat the rattles and thumps. Think of us like a fabric softener, but for your ears.

Free USA shipping
Free USA shipping

Popular Products for Washing Machine Noise


Underblock™ Rubber Floor Underlayment
Damplifier Pro™ Deadening Mats
Overkill Pro™ Closed Cell Foam

Why Do Washers and Dryers Make So Much Noise?

Remember that sound comes from vibrations, and vibrations come from motion. Which means your washing machine will never be completely silent because, well, it needs to move to work. Washing machines and dryers work by spinning your clothes, when the spin of the drum is well-stabilized, little noise can be heard. But if something’s just slightly off, that normal spin can cause far more ruckus than intended.

It’s no surprise that older machines tend to be louder, but you may not realize that front-load washers also cause more noise than top-load washers. That’s because they spin faster, and since they spin end-over-end, the clothes will spin to the top of the drum, and fall down, which can cause the thumping you hear.

On top of everything, your laundry machines are likely sitting on a hard surface like tile or hardwood, so any existing vibrations are exacerbated because the flooring doesn’t deflect the vibrations from the structure. Even worse, excessive movement can cause damage to your floors – we’ll touch on how to prevent this later on. If you have the luxury of choosing where to put your washer and dryer in the house, try to keep it farther from living areas with walls in between. The farther sound has to travel and the more barriers between you and the source of the noise, the less sound you’ll hear

washing machine vibration
washing machine vibration

Level the Feet of the Machine

If your flooring or laundry machine is not level, they’ll shake much worse. If this isn’t corrected quickly, it can lead to more noise and even potentially damage. Think of a wobbly chair or table at a restaurant. The more it shakes, the worse it gets, until eventually everything topples over.

You may not realize that something’s off when the washer isn’t in use. To test if your machine is level, give it a push from the front and see if it rocks. You can also use a bubble level to see if anything’s askew. Be sure to check in several places including the floor, top of the machine, and top of the control panel.

If anything is off carefully pick up the front of the machine and adjust the feet to the right position, then do the same to the back. Don’t forget to tighten the locking nut to make sure things stay in place.

Check for Shipping Bolts

When washers and dryers are transported and shipped from the manufacturer to the store, there is a plastic bolt put in to prevent the drum from wobbling in transit. These shipping bolts are very important as they protect the internal components of your machine, but they are supposed to be removed after installation.

To see if your machine has the shipping bolts intact, reach in and press on the inside of the drum. If it wobbles then you’re safe. If not, check to see if the bolts are still in place. You can also tip your washer over and look underneath. Look for brightly colored or clunky plastic bolts. You can usually pry them out with a little elbow grease, but feel free to grab some pliers if needed.

anti vibration pads for washing machine and dryer
anti vibration pads for washing machine and dryer

Balance the Load

This is more of a laundry tip than a way to adjust your washer or dryer. When you’re doing laundry, distribute your items evenly and don’t overfill your machine. This is especially important for top loading washers. If your laundry load is unbalanced in the machine, it will cause it to spin unevenly which will make the drum shake and bang against the side. If possible, try to wash items of similar fabrics and weights together.

Check the Floor

If your machine is causing your whole floor to shake, the problem may be with the floor soundproofing and not your washer or dryer. Check to see if the floor near your machine bows or shakes when you walk across it. This instability will be made worse by a shaking machine, which will lead to more noise. If you’re unable to reinforce the floor itself, add a rigid sheet of plywood underneath your washer and dryer. This will create added stability. It won’t really stop vibrations, but it can help with noise from the floor shaking.

Stacked Machines

If you have a stacked washer and dryer and hear a rattling noise, it may be the hardware that connects the machines. Usually stacked machines have a metal frame that mounts the upper unit to the lower one. Check to see if the connections are secure, and that both units and the metal frame are installed level, securely, and evenly.

Washing Machine and Dryer Soundproofing

Even if you go through the checklist, you may find that there’s still too much noise coming from your washer and dryer. This could be because of the make and model of your machine, or just the layout and build of your home. Whatever the reason, here are some additional ways you can add soundproofing to a washing machine or dryer.

Anti Vibration Mats or Vibration Isolation Pads

Much of the noise from your laundry machines are likely caused by the structural energy moving from the vibrating washing machine to the floor and then through the floor to the rest of your home. As we mentioned earlier, most washers and dryers are placed on a hard floor, which isn’t designed to deflect those structural vibrations. To prevent the energy transfer into the floor, you will need to decouple the washer from the floor using vibration isolation pads or an anti vibration mat. For either the pads or the mats to be effective, they should be made of 100% rubber. Rubber is by far the best material to isolate any type of machinery from the floor, and a washer/dryer is no exception. If you can stop the transmission of vibrations, you’ll stop a good chunk of the noise.

Not only will the pads or mats help reduce noise, but they also can prevent your washer or dryer from ‘walking’ or moving across the floor. If your machine continues to move so much that it’s walking off of an isolation pad, you need to get it checked out. That’s too much movement. A small isolation pad made of neoprene rubber under each corner tends to be the best for noise reduction (although the full isolation mat is also effective). When looking into pads, you want to check for their maximum load as well as the load that maximizes their deflection rate (how well the pad stops vibrations from transmitting).

quiet washing machine

For example, a pad may have a maximum load of 120 lbs, but the best deflection rate may occur at 40 lbs. For a washer or dryer that weighs 200 lbs, this means one pad per corner is ideal. If the washer weighs 300 lbs though, you should use 2 pads per corner to maximize your sound isolation.

If the vibrations from your washer and dryer are causing the units to impact the wall, cabinets or objects around your machines the easiest solution is to move them away from the wall (we’re geniuses!). That’s not always possible due to the way laundry closets are built though. In that case you can decouple the machine from the wall using something like Overkill closed cell foam. Apply this lightweight, high-performing decoupler to the sides of your machine to cushion the impact between the unit and whatever is around it. Depending on how much space you have, choose either ⅛” thick Overkill or ⅜” Overkill Pro. Both options come with an optional peel and stick backing for easy application. Much like the rubber mats, this material will stop the two hard surfaces from contacting each other, “deflecting” that structural energy from the machine and preventing it from rattling your walls and cabinets.

Sound Deadener

If you want to go another approach or just want additional sound reduction, you can also apply our Damplifier Pro sound deadening mats directly to the metal of your machine. Use Damplifier Pro on the inside of the metal casing of your washer/dryer, or directly on the bin of your dryer. Remove the peel and stick backing and then apply firmly with a hand roller to roll out any air pockets. Take care not to cover or get in the way of any ventilation, drainage, or electrical components. When covering the dryer bin or the metal casing of the washer/dryer, cover as close to 100% of the metal as possible. With 100% coverage, you’ll actually add some density to the metal casing to improve the amount of airborne noise blocked as well as stopping a ton of structural vibrations.

washing machine noise deadened with Damplifier Pro

Second Skin customer uses Damplifier Pro to deaden the metal drum of their dryer

Still looking for more soundproofing options? At this point, we’re beyond the washer/dryer and now looking at soundproofing the laundry room or closet door itself. If you have a hollow door, replace it with a solid core door, and install a Sound Lock Door Seal Kit. These kits are DIY-able, and close the gaps around the perimeter and bottom of the door which is how most sound leaks through. It’s important to know that this won’t do anything to fix a rattling or moving washer or dryer, or stop structural noise through the wall, but it will block airborne noise from traveling out the door and into the rest of your home. For those of you who want to get this extra step, checking out our other articles on how to soundproof a room and how to soundproof a door.

Need Help SOUNDproofing your home studio?

By now you’ve got an idea for what acoustic panels can do for your studio, but if you still have questions on how many you need, or how to effectively install them, feel free to reach out. Contact us anytime and our experts can help you find the right materials to improve the sound in your space or block outside noise from getting in.