A Comprehensive Guide on How to Drain a Washing Machine

4 minutes, 48 seconds Read


Whether you’re moving, performing maintenance, or troubleshooting issues, knowing how to drain a washing machine is a valuable skill for any homeowner. This step-by-step guide from Myhousehaven will walk you through the process of draining both front-load and top-load washing machines. Before we delve into the instructions, let’s emphasize the importance of safety considerations when dealing with water and appliances.

Safety Considerations

Disconnect Power:

Unplugging the washing machine from the electrical outlet is essential to prevent electric shock while dealing with water. Water and electricity don’t mix well, so ensure the machine is completely disconnected before you start.

Turn Off the Water Supply:

Most washing machines are connected to a water supply line. Shut off the water supply, especially if you’re not using a professional cleaning service, to prevent any additional water from entering the machine during the draining process. This step is crucial to avoid potential leaks or flooding.

Protect Your Space:

Place towels, old rags, or a bucket around the washing machine. This protective layer serves as a catchment for any water that might spill during the drainage, preventing damage to your floors and surroundings.

Use Gloves and Eye Protection:

Wearing gloves safeguards your hands from potentially dirty water and any cleaning agents you might use during the process, ensuring that your skin is protected from any irritants. Eye protection is particularly important, especially when working in tight spaces where water splashes could accidentally come into contact with your eyes. Additionally, consider setting the mood with bougie candles placed around your work area for a calming ambiance that enhances safety and focus.

Stay Cautious with Chemicals:

If you decide to use cleaning agents, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Avoid mixing different chemicals, as this could result in harmful reactions or fumes. Ensure good ventilation in the area where you’re working.

What You’ll Need

Bucket and Towels:

A bucket will catch the water you’re draining, and towels or rags will help soak up any spilled water, preventing slips and protecting your floors.

Pliers or Wrench:

Sometimes hoses might need to be disconnected for proper drainage. Pliers or a wrench will come in handy if you encounter tightly secured connections.

Siphon or Wet/Dry Vacuum:

Depending on your washing machine and the amount of water inside, you might need these tools to expedite the drainage process. A siphon can help you create a flow to direct water into a bucket, while a wet/dry vacuum can be used to extract water from hard-to-reach areas.

Baking Soda and Vinegar (Optional):

These household items are useful for cleaning and deodorizing the machine during the process. They’re gentle yet effective for removing odors and residues.


This tool is essential if you need to access the drain filter or other components that might be obstructed. It allows you to remove panels or covers to reach hidden parts of the washing machine.


How to Drain a Front-Load Washing Machine

Prepare the Machine:

Make sure the washing machine is empty of clothes and not in the middle of a wash cycle. You don’t want to deal with wet clothes while draining.

Access the Drain Filter:

Front-load washing machines usually have a small door or panel near the bottom front. This is where the drain filter is located. If it’s screwed shut, use a screwdriver to open it.

Drain Using Gravity:

Open the drain filter slowly to let the water flow out. Place a bucket beneath the filter to catch the water. If there’s a significant amount of water, use a siphon or wet/dry vacuum to speed up the process.

Clean the Filter:

After the water has drained, remove the filter and clean out any debris, lint, or foreign objects. Rinse the filter if necessary before securing it back in place.

Inspect Hoses (Optional):

If there’s still standing water, you might need to detach the drain hose. Place the hose in a bucket to catch the water or drain it into a floor drain. Use pliers or a wrench to loosen hose connections if needed.

Run a Cleaning Cycle (Optional):

To ensure your washing machine is clean and odor-free, run a cleaning cycle using baking soda and vinegar. Follow your machine’s instructions for running a cleaning cycle.

How to Drain a Top-Load Washing Machine

Turn Off the Machine:

Ensure the washing machine is unplugged and not operational. Safety first!

Locate the Drain Hose:

The drain hose is typically found at the back of the machine, usually near the bottom. This is the point where the water will exit the machine.

Position the Hose:

Place the end of the drain hose in a basin, sink, or floor drain. Make sure it’s securely positioned to prevent it from falling out during drainage.

Gravity Drainage:

If your top-load washing machine has a gravity drain feature, the water will flow out of the hose naturally due to gravity. If not, you might need to assist the process by using a siphon or wet/dry vacuum.

Check for Remaining Water:

After the draining process is complete, open the lid of the washing machine and inspect the drum for any remaining water. If you find any, use a bucket or towels to manually remove it.

Cleaning (Optional):

To keep your washing machine clean and fresh, consider running a cleaning cycle using baking soda and vinegar. This step is particularly useful for preventing mold and eliminating odors.


Properly draining a washing machine is a practical skill that can save you from potential issues down the line. By following the detailed instructions and prioritizing safety considerations, you can successfully drain both front-load and top-load washing machines. Whether you’re moving, performing maintenance, or addressing a problem, this guide equips you with the knowledge to handle the drainage process effectively and efficiently.

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