After the Daily Mail ran a story on washing machines that appear to be suffering from "exploding glass doors" there has been a surge of interest in the fact that washing machine doors can appear to "explode" or shatter leaving owners frustrated and frightened over safety concerns.
The article cites Which? as the source of the information with reports of up to fifty user's washing machines being affected from brand names such as Beko, LG, Miele and others. This would seem to indicate that the issue that is causing the fuss is not limited to one brand of washing machine.
It si also important to put this into context, there are over 1.5 million washing machines sold every year in the UK and an estimated 30-40 million washing machines in daily domestic use in UK households. The failure of the reported 50 cases is such a small number in comparison shows how small a danger that this actually is.
Logically you would be reasonably safe to assume that the problem may not be caused by the washing machine itself but is far more likely to be caused by the use rather than the actual washing machine itself. This is the general sentiment of the trade in general, both manufacturers and repairers seem to be drawn to the conclusion that overloading the washing machine and allowing objects that are not suitable to be in a washing machine are the two most probably causes of these failures.
People put all kinds of things in a washing machine, our forum members have pulled things out of washing machines during service visits that could make your hair stand on end! From cooking knives to coins, nails and all manners of kids toys to name but a few.
This highlights the need for people to take great care when loading their washing machines in order to ensure that nothing is allowed into the machine that could potentially cause damage.
And, even if an object doesn't cause damage to the machine there and then, it could potentially weaken the door glass allowing it to shatter if it is impacted in just the right way at some point in the future.
We also hear of people also regularly wash trainers and children's shoes in their washing machines and most washing machines are not suited to this use and we strongly advise against it to prevent the machine from being damaged by the shoes banging off the door, the drum and smashing the drum paddles.
Overloading is also most probably a cause and, a huge number of people do this and not only will you get poorer cleaning results if you do, you will also get the potential to stress and wear the bearings in your washing machine, damage the suspension and other issues. You can read much more about this in this article about load sizes in washing machines and more on how to properly load a washing machine here.
We would suspect that in most cases we would find, if the evidence were not in a million pieces, that the washing machine door glasses were scored or damaged by impact in some way as the door glass on a washing machine is a normally pretty hefty piece of glass and actually quite hard to damage.
All that said, there has been a trend for door glasses on washing machines to be made larger and larger as manufacturers use the size of the door opening bigger as a sales feature, as well as a way to improve their load capacity ratings so there is now possibly an outside chance that it may be easier to damage the door glass due to an increased surface area but, that's a bit of a long shot.
It is also worth pointing out that, as our friend Andy Trigg from Washerhelp pointed out to the Daily Mail, “The faster spinning washing machines appear to be the problem, many spin too fast for their quality of build.”, that a lot of washing machines these days are actually far, far too cheap and built to a price. The quality of especially the cheaper washing machines is open to debate and we show you here what a washing machine should really cost when adjusted for inflation form the early eighties and why we say that most are too cheap.
We have now published an article on exploding washing machine doors here that shows the statistics that we have worked out detailing the odds of this happening to you as well as offering some possible explanations.