Thread Number: 91278  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
Opinions: most irritating-sounding washer ever?
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Post# 1157931   8/26/2022 at 13:15 by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        

Hi all,

So, I've seen several threads on here over the years in the archives about what people consider to be the best-sounding washer. I have my personal favorite (Whirlpool/Kenmore belt drive machines from the 80's and before), but just for fun, what is the washer that grinds y'all's gears the very most in terms of noise? I was thinking about this earlier this morning while running a load of laundry and my wife was sleeping in. The laundry closet is right outside the bedroom and she slept right through the washer running.

I've had three machines in this apartment since we moved here: the 2016 VMW Whirlpool, the 1984 Maytag helical drive, and the 2005 Whirlpool direct drive, which is what I have now. As far as least irritating in a small space, I'd have to say that goes to the Maytag. It just hummed along in the background with no startling, sudden sounds or fuss. One could watch TV or even sleep without any disturbance from that washer. It just did its thing. In second place would be my current DD washer. Yeah the thumping agitation sound can sometimes be a bit much, but it's still just a more background noise than not. I think it's the lack of electronic sounds that keeps it in that category, which leads me to...

Jeez oh Pete the VMW washer was sooo annoying to me especially in a one bedroom apartment. I don't think it would bother someone in a large house or even a larger apartment than mine, where you can get away from it, but with it being in such close proximity, it drove me crazy. I don't know how anyone can deal with that whomp...whomp...whomp! agitation sound of the motor reversing, or that horrible coughing pump, or the loud clacks it sometimes makes while checking for spin balance. Even my wife noticed and she doesn't really pay attention to such things. When we first got it she said something like "holy crap that washer sounds different. It sounds like a walking robot." Some people say these machines are loud, and I wouldn't necessarily say that. They just sound so drastically different, like tinny electronic metal, that they just don't blend into the background. They're extremely noticeable when running. I don't think it's that I feel like all modern washers sound horrible. My dad has a Maytag Bravos washer from 2011 that doesn't sound that way. It's still more electronic-sounding, but it's a heck of a lot quieter. Different drive design maybe? I also don't mind the sounds of most front loaders, in fact they are mostly extremely quiet and I would probably have one if I didn't have concerns about it fitting in my space.

So, what do you guys think? What washer, in terms of noise, do you hate the most? This can be either vintage or modern.


Post# 1157932 , Reply# 1   8/26/2022 at 13:35 by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        

2009 GE hydrowave: suspension creak and nasty ,horrible sounding pump.Also the motor is a little loud in spin as it revs up to ~10,000 RPM.
2012 GE 24"frontload: nastiest sounding pump ever!

Post# 1157936 , Reply# 2   8/26/2022 at 15:21 by Tomdawg (Des moines)        
Ha, this is fun

GE hyrdrowaves did sound pretty bad, all the creaking and the pump was so loud! My MIL had one and hated the sounds of it.

Whirlpool in general is annoying. The calypso and early duets were actually decent and quiet. Out of the whirlpool family, kitchen Aid were the best sounding machines.

My favorite is mid 90ís Maytag dependable care and early Neptune!

Post# 1157950 , Reply# 3   8/26/2022 at 19:58 by angus (Fairfield, CT.)        

Probably an unpopular opinion but I hated the noise of the Kenmores from the late 50s through the mid 60's. We had a 1958 Lady Kenmore and a 1966 middle of the line model that my parents bought at a Sears "scratch and dent" outlet in 1969 (apparently they sold older models that weren't scratched or damaged along with the more current ones). There was something about that high pitched whine while agitating that annoyed me. And we won't even go into the that ridiculous unbalance buzzer that literally scared the daylights out of me. Seemed like that buzzer went off on almost every load no matter how carefully it was loaded. I much preferred the lower pitched mechanical and rhythmic noise of our GE once we finally switched from Sears laundry, although that tub brake at the end of each spin could wake the dead...

Post# 1157951 , Reply# 4   8/26/2022 at 20:01 by angus (Fairfield, CT.)        

To clarify, I meant the GE Filter Flo generation of washers, not the new GEs. And the sound of my Speed Queen doesn't bother me at all. Very smooth...

Post# 1157956 , Reply# 5   8/26/2022 at 21:34 by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        

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"...although that tub brake at the end of each spin could wake the dead"

Yes, I agree, the GE FF brake was jarring. I wonder if GE did that on purpose to be a built in end of cycle indicator. After the washe=time to add fabric softener, after the 2nd spin= to for dryer.


In the 90s, whirlpool experimented with a pulse/reversing motor for their transmissionless washers. They had a portable model I bought and quickly returned and they made a 24", plastic top model I tried that did the same thing.
It was SO ANNOYING. Beside the awkward sound. IT would make the rooms lights flash because the washer was constantly creating a power surge with each pulse.

Post# 1157970 , Reply# 6   8/26/2022 at 23:48 by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        
Reply #5

maytag85's profile picture
That Whirlpool portable washer you bought in the 90ís was a very early version of the VMW design and while they were built slightly better, they were quite obnoxious in operation and even the never VMW washers can be a bit obnoxious while in operation as well.

Post# 1157972 , Reply# 7   8/27/2022 at 00:06 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

The VMW "Maypool" "Whirltag" Centennial waswher I have now.The stupid thing can't balance on its own and tangles things.When I get the funds-the terrible VMW machine will be replaced with a Speed Queen.So want to take the VMW Centennial to a range for its "execution"!

Post# 1158003 , Reply# 8   8/27/2022 at 08:56 by Paulg (My sweet home... Chicago)        
Newer GE ďskinny miniĒ type

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We spent a week at a resort recently. The suite was outfitted with a newer General Electric compact washer with attached upper dryer. Sort of a skinny-mini type unit.
I thank the dear Lord we donít own that thing.
It was very useful when we got back from the beach but that BANG BANG BANG noise it makes during the wash cycle was completely unacceptable. I am not picky and expect machines to make noise, but had I owned that thing I would have hauled it out to the trash.
This was NOT an unbalanced spin load. It bangs cyclically during agitation.
Is GEís R&D going down the toilet under its new ownership?

Post# 1158005 , Reply# 9   8/27/2022 at 09:55 by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        

Oh yes, I remember the "clack clack" of the filter flow break quite well. My dad and stepmom had one for many years before it was replaced with the Bravos in 2011. My bedroom was right above the laundry room and even with the door closed, I knew when my laundry was done. I thought the fill was quite loud as well, but somehow not obnoxious. It just meant someone was doing laundry.

I remember every filter flow I was around as a child sounded just a tiny bit different from my dad's and from each other. For instance, some had a louder clunk when engaging into agitation, like when the tub locked down. Others had the spin chatter while some didn't. It's the same thing as all Whirlpools sounding just a touch different from each other, both belt drive and direct drive.

@angus, my grandma on my dad's side had one of those Kenmores (replaced in the mid-90's by a Maytag DC unit) that disengaged if the load was out of balance and just buzzed loudly. The washer was in the kitchen, so it would sound throughout the house if that happened, which as you said it did often. For the most part though, I enjoyed the belt drive machines.

Post# 1158013 , Reply# 10   8/27/2022 at 11:54 by appnut (TX)        

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My mom got the next to TOL Maytag Dependable Care pair in 1995. I almost hurled with a wretched stomach when I heard that thing begin agitation. First was the familiar Maytag motor wonderfully humming away wanting to yield into that pleasant trance-inducing hum. But then I heard IT. That fast agitation coupled with the agitator fins at the top of the agitator with that incipid quick water swishing sound. I've tried forcing the thought and image of a baby chick's "cheep cheep cheep" sound but always end up conjuring up a sound generating thought emasculated, rapidly sashaying individual down the boulevard.

Post# 1158018 , Reply# 11   8/27/2022 at 14:35 by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        

Bob, just LOL! You're right, the Maytag orbital trans washers are kinda like that. Might as well add a fast little piccolo as background music. :D

Post# 1158023 , Reply# 12   8/27/2022 at 17:02 by Paulg (My sweet home... Chicago)        
Appliance execution

paulg's profile picture
True story:
I once worked for a very-well-known stereo manufacturer. We had marketed an in-dash CD player for the car, the first of its kind.
In my opinion, and the opinion of many other - it was not a good unit. Skipped an awful lot.
One dissatisfied customer, having been through service too many times, sent us a video.
In this video he marched the CD player to a tree stump. He blindfolded the CD player and proceeded to shoot the thing to pieces with a rifle.
I am not absolutely certain about this, but I believe our response was, ďSuch behaviors void your warrantyĒ. If that indeed occured it would have been the perfect response.

Post# 1158031 , Reply# 13   8/27/2022 at 20:27 by Adam-aussie-vac (Canberra ACT)        

Thankfully I havenít really found any kind of appliance that I donít really like unless it sounds really surprisingly cheap and plasticky and crappy, is it just eww although honestly a close second is my mums Washing machine and LG Toploader, Iíve never really been a fan of How its been programmed, As it does really like quick three minute just to wash cycle it probably wouldnít even let powder detergent dissolve properly, who the hell only let them machine spend three minutes just washing? Am I figured you canít really get anything clean with just three minutes unless using hot water

Post# 1158032 , Reply# 14   8/27/2022 at 20:59 by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        

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I know it says "washer" but I think we can all agree:
something bagless, it's filters plugged, It cost about $70 to buy new, it's making an irritating ear drum piercing sound akin to a rooten tooth in your mouth, and it's being used by an unfortunate individual whom has NO CLUE how to clean the filters and maintain this disposible p.o......

  View Full Size
Post# 1158066 , Reply# 15   8/28/2022 at 09:46 by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        

Is this a bagless vacuum? If so, we had one before I got my robot vacuum and yes, it was soooo loud! And I did clean the filters often, but it just never did as good a job as a bagged unit would. The robot vac I have now does a respectable job certainly, but I had to buy a hand-held dust buster to get into the areas it just won't reach, i.e., tight corners and such.

Post# 1158070 , Reply# 16   8/28/2022 at 10:39 by Adam-aussie-vac (Canberra ACT)        
That reminds me, the most irritating sound I have ever heard

Is when there is a vacuum with dirt caught on the fan and it sounds like a turboprop trying to take off in the living room and you can hear the thing trying to vibrate it self to death like a jigsaw with a lead weight attached

AND ITíS FROM MY MUMS BOSCH BAGGED VACUUM CLEANER (she used bags that werenít suited for her machine and let the dust fly through it, we havenít turned that on in months and I want to take it apart just so I can clean out the motor

Post# 1158162 , Reply# 17   8/29/2022 at 03:02 by superocd (PNW)        
Whirlpool VMW/many other HE TLs sound like $10 food choppers

I also don't like the pulsating fill of my LG-made Kenmore FL. On-off-on-off-on-off in rapid succession. Why not just fill once & be done with it? I had to buy hammer arrestors within the first week of owning this washer. I also.don't like the pump sound, it sounds obnoxious, almost like a "souped-up" Acura Integra or something. Vvvvvwrrrrrrraaaaaaahhhhrrrrrraaaaaaaarrrrrwwwwwwwwwppp!

Post# 1158175 , Reply# 18   8/29/2022 at 09:12 by GELaundry4ever (Killeen tx USA)        
worst washer sound

The worst washer sound goes to the latest GE washers. The gears grinding is so annoying. I wish they made the filter-flo. It was more pleasant to listen to than what came after to present.

Post# 1158177 , Reply# 19   8/29/2022 at 09:32 by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

ea56's profile picture
The total lack of sound when thereís dead silence after you turn it on and its dead! And you have a full weeks worth of laundry waiting to be washed. Now thats irritation!


Post# 1158188 , Reply# 20   8/29/2022 at 12:29 by rinso (Meridian Idaho)        

rinso's profile picture
My Annoy Award still goes to Norge/Montgomery Ward machines with the banging, spring-loaded tub brake. Also, during agitation or spin, they made no attempt to dampen the fact that really were built like a tank and were very aggressive machines, perfect for washing farm or ranch clothes.

Post# 1158250 , Reply# 21   8/30/2022 at 10:09 by Mrsalvo (New Braunfels Texas)        

For me it would be the direct drive dual action agitator, chunk, chunk, chunk, chunk...It cranks my nerves. Give me smooth old school belt drive one piece agitator any day.


Post# 1158251 , Reply# 22   8/30/2022 at 10:20 by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        
Whirlpool VMW/many other HE TLs sound like $10 food choppers

LOL this is actually a pretty apt description of them. You can literally hear how cheaply they're made. All that tinny metal whirring and clicking, just ugh. And yes, a lot of HE machines have the on/off issue with water and it does indeed make water hammer issues go crazy.

I know a lot of people dislike the direct drive thumping sound and on some loads its more pronounced than others but I dunno, just never really found it that irritating. I'm 33 so I've literally grown up with those machines as the mainstay, like many of you grew up with belt drives, so maybe that's why I don't mind them.

Post# 1158252 , Reply# 23   8/30/2022 at 10:30 by GELaundry4ever (Killeen tx USA)        
GE washer

The sound of the GE post filter-flo washers with that stupid sawing noise just drives me up the water. What was GE thinking?

Post# 1158293 , Reply# 24   8/30/2022 at 22:09 by Adam-aussie-vac (Canberra ACT)        
I actually quite like the Chugga Chugga Chugga sound

Of whirlpool DDS

Post# 1158315 , Reply# 25   8/31/2022 at 12:19 by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        

bradfordwhite's profile picture
Yes, it's not the worst. It's a sound that means business, but it's not over the top.
It's not the mellow, smooth "country drive" sound of it's predecessor belt-drive model, but each is unique.

Post# 1158335 , Reply# 26   8/31/2022 at 16:49 by GELaundry4ever (Killeen tx USA)        
GE washer sound

The post filter-flo GE washers made a similar sound to the whirlpool direct drives. It was the sawing noise that was very annoying when it was new, let alone it shaking violently.

Post# 1164635 , Reply# 27   11/23/2022 at 09:29 by GELaundry4ever (Killeen tx USA)        
GE post filter flo

the worst sounding washer was the post GE filter-flo. The sawing noise from the suspension during agitation was horrid!

Post# 1164657 , Reply# 28   11/23/2022 at 15:18 by huebschman (Quebec, CA)        

The spin drain part of the cycle on SQ/Huebsch.

Post# 1164758 , Reply# 29   11/24/2022 at 14:23 by thomasortega (El Pueblo de Nuestra SeŮora de Los Angeles de Porciķncula)        

1980s Arno washer with brushed motor in Brazil.

Usually appliances sound louder on videos. In this case, it's sounding much quieter, maybe the person that made the video kept the finger covering the microphone.

That thing was loud as a cheap vacuum cleaner.

Video from internet for example only.

Post# 1164798 , Reply# 30   11/24/2022 at 22:30 by Miele4Life (Reading, UK )        

early Hotpoint/Ariston Aqualtis models from 2006/2007, while they are silent with their motors, they have these ridiculously loud pumps which sounds like itís on its way out, even a cheap Indesit has a better sounding pump then on those machines :/

Post# 1164809 , Reply# 31   11/25/2022 at 06:32 by chetlaham (United States)        

chetlaham's profile picture
The gargling of a drain pump, in particular post FF GE washers and some front loads... but in general separate pumps make awful noises.

Post# 1164821 , Reply# 32   11/25/2022 at 09:39 by GELaundry4ever (Killeen tx USA)        
to chetlaham

Don't get me started on the agitation of the post filter-flo washers. They sounded horrible when you first buy one.

Post# 1164842 , Reply# 33   11/25/2022 at 13:04 by chetlaham (United States)        

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Every aspect of the agitation sounded as it functioned: awful. The tub support rods would groan and grind in their sockets while the metal frame would make high pitched squeals every stroke. There was also this machine like rattling/droning that I could never figure out what caused it.

A good washer is like a Maytag dependable care- light hum, hum, hum, hum while the water gently splashes around the agi.

Post# 1164850 , Reply# 34   11/25/2022 at 14:23 by qsd-dan (West)        

qsd-dan's profile picture
Any VMW washer, it sounds like they're dying right out of the box.

Best sound is the old Speed Queen front loading commercial washers accelerating/deaccelerating from a spin. I recently went to a new laundromat and the first row of machines were new Dexters (meh), but then I heard that glorious sound of an old Speed Queen taking off into spin. Yep, it was going to be a fantastic wash day! These machines are no nonsense, they bang right from one cycle into the next and provide 3 deep rinses with full spins in between (unlike the junk they make now).


Post# 1165033 , Reply# 35   11/27/2022 at 16:05 by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
I just heard my

mother in laws late model Whirlpool Cabrio yesterday, It took forever to fill up, and then agiatates with a herendous groaning of the direct splutch drive.

Post# 1165240 , Reply# 36   11/30/2022 at 14:55 by maytaga806 (Putnam, Michigan)        

Cannot stand the sound of the belt driven whirlpools, or those cheap fisher and pankels that go DWA DWA DWA DWA DWWWWAAAA DWWWWWAAAAA DDWWWWAAAA, omg that is NOT a washer!! Terrible sounding. Hate all the HE machines sounds too. Them new GE ones are pretty awful too and some consumers have even said itís supposed to sound like that? 😂

Post# 1165242 , Reply# 37   11/30/2022 at 14:58 by maytaga806 (Putnam, Michigan)        

The late 80s Maytags and 90s Raytheon SQ washers were the absolute best sounding machines ever. And many others from that timeframe too!

Post# 1165269 , Reply# 38   11/30/2022 at 19:32 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Irritating, sounding vintage washer

combo52's profile picture
A large tub, Maytag with a Pitman transmission and a large load of clothing.

You get to listen to the slipping sound of the belt as the thing is struggling to agitate anybody thatís mechanically, inclined would be irritated by that type of poor design and performance.

Maytag was the only vintage washer ever that struggle to even agitate because of the slipping belt.

Things got a lot better when they redesigned the motor carriage and went to the orbital transmission.

John L

Post# 1165274 , Reply# 39   11/30/2022 at 19:58 by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        
Reply #38

John, my standard capacity Maytag that I had for a while earlier this year did exactly this. It slipped at the beginning of agitation even when lightly loaded and it would take it a good minute or two to smooth out. It was troubling and one of the reasons I got rid of it. Made me nervous the thing was going to break down any moment.

Post# 1165275 , Reply# 40   11/30/2022 at 20:02 by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        
Reply #36

Oh yes, the VMW sounds are my least favorite but I think many people on here know that by now LOL. I think the coughing pump grinds my gears the most but the whomp-whomp agitation sound comes in a very close second. I know a lot of people don't mind them but something about the tinny metal sound of these washers and the clicks and clacks they make just makes me itch. If I had to get a modern machine, it would be a front loader and one reason is that most modern top loaders sound this way, sans the TR and TC speed queens.

Post# 1165351 , Reply# 41   12/1/2022 at 22:20 by GELaundry4ever (Killeen tx USA)        
washer tolerance

If I can tolerate any washer sound, it would be the speed queen perfect wash.

Post# 1165402 , Reply# 42   12/2/2022 at 14:09 by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Old WP/Kenmore belt drives

are music to my ears!!! So is a GM Turbo Hydramatic 350 start up whirr. Ford C6 was similar under hard throttle.

Post# 1165468 , Reply# 43   12/3/2022 at 05:01 by statomatic (France)        

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The buzzer sounds of every LG, Samsung...etc useless and sound like cheap made in China toys !

Post# 1165481 , Reply# 44   12/3/2022 at 08:57 by seedub (South Texas Hill Country)        
Reply #43

seedub's profile picture
One wonders how many users switch off the alarm.

Post# 1165577 , Reply# 45   12/4/2022 at 15:07 by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
My Samsung washer

plays Die Ferrel (The pear). Not irritating, but can be silenced.

Post# 1165579 , Reply# 46   12/4/2022 at 16:24 by Logixx (Germany)        

logixx's profile picture
It's Die Forelle (The Trout).

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