How to Level a Washing Machine: Efficient Ways to Level a Washer

When doing laundry, having a washing machine that operates smoothly is crucial. An often overlooked aspect of maintaining a well-functioning washer is ensuring it is properly leveled. In this guide, we’ll explore how to level a washing machine, the signs of an unlevel washing machine, and the importance of leveling. We’ll provide a step-by-step guide to help you achieve a perfectly balanced appliance.

How to Level a Washing Machine
How to Level a Washing Machine

Signs of an Unlevel Washing Machine

Vibrations during operation

Excessive vibrations during the operation of your washing machine are not just an annoyance; they can signal a significant issue. These vibrations can lead to noisy laundry sessions, disrupting the peace of your home. Beyond the noise, these vibrations can cause wear and tear on the machine over time, potentially resulting in costly repairs.

Uneven distribution of clothes

Discovering that your clothes are consistently distributed unevenly inside the drum after a wash cycle indicates that your washing machine needs leveling. This issue goes beyond the aesthetics of neatly arranged laundry. Uneven distribution can affect the quality of the wash, leaving some clothes inadequately cleaned and others potentially damaged due to the imbalance during the spin cycle.

Strange noises

An unlevel washing machine may produce a variety of strange and unsettling noises during its operation. These noises can range from subtle rattling to loud thumps, indicating that the machine is not operating as it should. Ignoring these auditory cues may lead to more severe malfunctions over time, underscoring the importance of promptly addressing any unusual sounds.

Why Leveling is Important

Ensures proper functioning

Properly leveling your washing machine is not just about convenience; it is about ensuring it functions as intended. An unlevel machine can result in poor washing performance, leaving you with subpar results after each cycle. Moreover, it can strain the machine’s internal components, leading to potential malfunctions.

Prevents damage to the machine

The continuous operation of an unlevel washing machine can cause excessive stress on its various parts, leading to premature wear and tear. This can result in costly repairs or even the replacement of the entire machine. By maintaining a level position, you contribute to the longevity of your appliance, saving both money and hassle in the long run.

Enhances laundry results

Achieving a level machine allows for optimal water distribution during the wash cycle. This, in turn, leads to cleaner and more efficiently washed clothes. The balanced operation ensures that each garment receives the appropriate amount of water and detergent, improving the overall quality of your laundry. Additionally, an efficiently running machine can save both time and energy.

How to Level a Washing Machine

Tools and Materials Needed

To embark on the task of leveling your washer, gather the following tools and materials:

  • Leveling tool: Essential for accurately determining the levelness of your machine.
  • Adjustable wrench: Necessary for loosening and tightening lock nuts during the adjustment process.
  • Screwdriver: Handy for any adjustments or fixes that may require screw manipulation.
  • Wood shims: These small but crucial pieces can be used for fine-tuning, ensuring precise adjustments to achieve a stable and balanced machine.

Safety Precautions

Before diving into the process of leveling your machine, prioritize safety with the following precautions:

  • Unplug the machine: Disconnect from the electrical outlet to eliminate the risk of electrical hazards during the leveling process.
  • Seek assistance for heavy lifting: If your machine is bulky and difficult to move, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Heavy lifting without assistance can lead to personal injury or damage to the machine.
  • Work in a well-lit area: Adequate visibility is key to a safe working environment. Ensure that the area around your washing machine is well-lit to prevent accidents and facilitate a more effective leveling process.

Step-by-Step Guide to Level a Washing Machine

Properly leveling a washing machine is crucial for its optimal performance. This step-by-step guide will focus specifically on leveling a washer with adjustable legs. Follow these instructions to ensure your machine stands on an even keel, reducing vibrations, preventing uneven loads washer, and extending the lifespan of your machine.

Step 1: Unplug the Washing Machine

The first and foremost step in leveling your machine is to prioritize safety by unplugging it from the electrical outlet. This precautionary measure ensures a risk-free environment for the adjustments ahead.

Step 2: Identify the Leveling Feet/ legs

Inspect the bottom of your machine to locate the leveling leg or feet. These are typically found at the corners. The leveling feet are adjustable and are used to balance the machine on uneven surfaces.

Step 3: Adjust the Front Feet

Begin by adjusting the front leveling feet of the washing machine:

  • Using an adjustable wrench, loosen the nuts on the front legs.
  • Once the lock nuts are loosened, turn the front feet clockwise to raise the machine or counterclockwise to lower it.
  • Make minor adjustments and periodically check the level using a leveling tool.

Step 4: Adjust the Rear Feet

Proceed to adjust the rear leveling feet of the machine:

  • Similar to the front feet, use the adjustable wrench to loosen the lock nuts on the rear feet.
  • Turn the rear legs or feet clockwise or counterclockwise to achieve the desired level.
  • Check the levelness regularly to ensure even adjustments on all four feet.

Step 5: Check for Levelness

Use the leveling tool to verify if the washing machine is now level:

  • Place the leveling tool on different machine surfaces, including the front, back, and sides.
  • Adjust as needed, ensuring all four leveling feet are firmly in contact with the floor.

Step 6: Test the Machine

With the leveling process complete, plug in the machine and run a small test cycle:

  • Observe its operation to ensure it runs smoothly without excessive vibrations.
  • Pay attention to any unusual noises or movements during the test cycle.

Step 7: Fine-tune with Wood Shims

If necessary, fine-tune the leveling by using wood shims under the leveling feet:

  • Insert the wood shims under the feet that require further adjustment.
  • This allows for precise adjustments and ensures a stable and balanced machine.

Common Mistakes to Avoid while leveling the machine

Overlooking regular checks

Many homeowners overlook the importance of regularly checking and maintaining the level of their machines side to side and front to back. Over time, the machine’s ground can shift, affecting its balance. Make it a habit to inspect and level your washer every three months. This simple routine can prevent potential issues and extend the lifespan of your machine.

Neglecting to unplug the machine

Safety is paramount when working with any electrical device. Neglecting to unplug the machine before attempting to level it can result in electrical hazards. Always take the time to disconnect the power supply to ensure a safe working environment.

Ignoring strange noises

Washing machines operate with a particular hum, but strange or excessive noises during a cycle should not be ignored. These noises are often indicative of underlying issues with the machine’s components. Ignoring these warning indicators may eventually result in more severe issues. If you notice anything unusual, address it promptly to avoid costly repairs later on.

Benefits of Leveling the Washing Machine

Extended machine lifespan

Proper leveling not only ensures immediate benefits in terms of performance but also contributes to the long-term health of your machine. By reducing stress on its components, you can significantly extend its lifespan. This means fewer replacements and more value for your investment.

Improved energy efficiency

A leveled machine operates more efficiently, translating to energy savings and reduced utility bills. When the machine is balanced, it doesn’t have to work as hard, leading to a more energy-efficient operation. This benefits the environment in addition to your pocketbook.

Enhanced washing performance

A level washer directly impacts the quality of your laundry. Water is evenly distributed with balanced operation, allowing for better cleaning results. Clothes come out cleaner and well-cared-for after each cycle, saving you time and effort in the long run.

Maintaining a Level Washer

Ensuring your washer stays level over time involves more than just a one-time adjustment. It requires ongoing attention and care.

  • Conduct regular checks for levelness: Make it a part of your household routine to check the levelness of your washer every few months. This proactive approach can catch any imbalance issues before they escalate.
  • Adjust the legs as needed: If you notice any imbalance during your checks, don’t hesitate to readjust the legs of the machine. This small effort can go a long way in maintaining the stability of your appliance.
  • Seek professional help if needed: If you find persistent leveling issues or experience difficulties in achieving balance, it’s wise to seek the expertise of a professional technician. They can identify underlying problems and provide solutions that ensure the long-term stability of your washer.


In conclusion, while leveling your washing machine may seem like a minor task, it plays a crucial role in the overall performance and lifespan of the appliance. By adopting a proactive approach, conducting regular checks, and addressing any issues promptly, you can enjoy the benefits of a well-balanced and efficiently operating washer for years to come.


  1. How often should I check if my washing machine is level?
    • It’s advisable to check the level of your washer at least once every three months.
  2. Can I level my washing machine without any tools?
    • While it’s possible, using tools like a leveling tool and wrench ensures more accurate and stable leveling.
  3. Why is it essential to unplug the machine before leveling?
    • Unplugging ensures your safety and prevents electrical hazards while working on the appliance.
  4. What should I do if my washing machine continues to vibrate after leveling?
    • Recheck the level and make fine adjustments. See an expert technician if the problem continues.
  5. Are wood shims the only option for fine-tuning the leveling?
    • Wood shims are commonly used, but you can also explore rubber pads or anti-vibration mats for fine-tuning.

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