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How to keep a wandering washing machine still, once and for all!

Vibrating and “wandering” washing machines can result in noise nuisance and even water damage

The manufacturers of washing machines come up with all kinds of suggestions, but the most effective solution is never really mentioned: a rubber anti-slip mat measuring 60x60cm and 6mm thick.

By Edwin Kuiper

How can you prevent a washing machine from vibrating and moving around?

Many people ask that question on Google, which within seconds, will generate a few thousand suggestions.

Many people consult the Siemens website, which provides a lot of interesting information. Like most washing-machine manufacturers, Siemens gives three reasons why a washing machine might “go walkabout”:

  1. Placement and adjustment
  2. Removal of the transit bar/bolts
  3. Loading the machine

But I’d like to add one more reason: the lack of a rubber anti-slip mat.

Home in de praktijk

A poor floor surface is the main cause of an unstable washing machine

The surface on which you place white goods is absolutely crucial. A wooden floor is not really suitable for placing a washing machine on. Also, it’s better to position a washing machine or clothes dryer in the corner of a room and on a hard surface, such as stone or concrete. The surface on which a washing machine is placed is even more important if a dryer is placed on top of it. The floor must be able to support the total weight, particularly when the washing machine’s spin cycle increases the force of the vibrations. If the machine is not stable it will shake, rattle and roll in all directions, sometimes with disastrous repercussions.

Wet areas, such as bathrooms, kitchens and utility rooms, often have concrete or tiled floors. If the floor is rough enough it usually won’t be a problem. Washing machines and dryers can move about on smooth tiles and sometimes cause damage.

Possible consequences of unstable washing machines and dryers

Water damage

  • the water supply hose can be under tension, causing it to leak
  • the drain hose can be pulled out of its drainpipe

Floor damage

  • The machine’s steel feet can wreak havoc on smooth tiles

Damage to walls/partitions

Damage to the machine itself

  • Rattling against a wall is never good for a washing machine
  • If a dryer is placed on top of a washing machine it can fall off at high spinning speeds

How can this kind of domestic anguish be avoided?

I’ve already mentioned the first potential solution: a hard, rough surface. A machine will “dance” on a non-rigid wooden surface.

A washing machine must always be level

A washing machine that isn’t level often poses a stability problem, particularly during its high-speed spin cycle. Make sure that the machine stands firmly on the floor. You should always use a spirit level when installing white goods. By adjusting the feet beneath a machine you can ensure that it is level, even if the floor on which it stands is not.

Watch out! A new washing machine, or a machine that has moved house, might still have the transit bar/bolts installed. If these transit bar/bolts – which protect the machine during transit – are not removed, they could cause stability problems that even a rubber mat cannot avoid. The washing machine manual will explain how to remove these protective elements.

Loading a washing machine might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s not that easy. Over- or underloading a washing machine can result in instability and cause it to move. You’d therefore be wise to load a washing machine in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. These are usually clearly laid out per wash programme in the machine’s user manual.

The solution

But, of course, the egg of Columbus is, and remains, the rubber anti-slip mat. Circular rubber is a simple yet effective solution for unstable washing machines and dryers.

Granuflex’s recycled, or circular, rubber mats will keep a washing machine in its place. Being anti-slip is a natural property of rubber. The granulate we use for our anti-slip mats is fine-grained and made from used automotive tyres. The tiles are black, speckled with yellow and green to make them easily recognisable for consumers in hardware stores.

The functional mat comes in a standard size of 60x60cm, the same size as 99 per cent of white goods. The standard thickness of this anti-slip mat is 6 millimetres, but I have to concede that 8 millimetres thick is the best option. To further optimise the damping effect of the mat, we can also customise its size, varying not only the thickness, but its length and width dimensions too.

Our circular rubber mat is an effective and sustainable remedy for washing machines “going walkabout”. At the end of its useful life, the mat can be returned to us and the rubber will be recycled and used again as the raw material for new products. In this way, the circle is completed and the rubber can be reused indefinitely, rather than being burned and thus further burdening the environment. All scientists agree that adopting a circular mindset reduces CO2 emissions. A circular product that is also functional by keeping washing machines still once and for all: how good is that?

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