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Has your washing machine glass door shattered?

Exploding washing machine

Which? Convo community members have helped us uncover hundreds of cases of exploding washing machines. We’ve now talked with experts to find out why this is happening.

We first covered exploding washing machine glass doors on Which? Conversation in 2012, and the response was overwhelming. Almost 100 different commenters reported that their machine’s door had shattered.

Combining those comments with reports from a variety of other sources, we were able to unearth 280 reports of washing machine, washer-dryer or tumble dryer glass doors cracking or shattering.

Most interestingly, 41% of the reports we uncovered were about Beko machines, much higher than Beko’s market share (between 10% and 20%). You can read more about this in our online news story, with in-depth analysis in the May issue of Which? magazine.

‘280’ might be a tiny number compared with the tens of millions of washing machines in UK homes, but the potential danger posed by a shattering glass door is huge. And for those whose machines have exploded, it can be a traumatic experience. Rhona told us:

The stories that washing machine owners shared with us were crucial to our research – so please do continue to share them, as we want to keep investigating this issue.

Why washing machine doors explode

There’s no single clear and obvious reason why these glass doors are shattering. We’ve talked to several experienced repairers, who all agreed that it’s likely to be a combination of factors.

Hard items left in the wash, such as coins, belt buckles or even metal buttons, can hit the glass door at high speed and weaken it over time. The advice here is to put items which have metal parts in a laundry bag before adding them to the wash.

Over-filling the machine can also put excessive pressure on the glass door, with Which? Trusted Trader Chris Talabi telling us: ‘A good rule of thumb is that when you close the door, the clothes should fill up two-thirds of the porthole’.

And under-filling could be part of the problem too. Neil Howieson, secretary of the national trade association for domestic appliance repairers (DASA), told us:

‘Some people tend to wash large or heavy items such as bath mats and large towels on their own. These types of items are extremely heavy once wet. Without other items in the drum to balance them out, the machine might not work as it should.’

Changes to washing machines may also be a factor. Washing machine doors have tended to get larger in recent years, which not only means they’re more prone to being hit, but the larger surface area can make the glass more likely to break. Higher spin speeds can also cause items to hit the door with greater impact. Chris Talabi doesn’t use his machine at anything above 1,200rpm, for example.

Then there’s the fact that washing machines are cheaper than ever, which could have affected the quality of glass doors. However, without testing old doors against newer ones, we can’t be sure about that.

What can be done about exploding machines?

Unfortunately, solving this problem isn’t as simple as making unbreakable glass doors.

One possible solution that several repairers suggested was for manufacturers to add a plastic layer to the door, which will keep glass in the machine if it explodes. Bosch, LG, Miele, Samsung and Siemens have introduced this on some of their newer models and we believe that other brands should consider doing the same.

And there’s another solution which would be even safer – eliminate the door altogether. Old-style top-loading washing machines – which have a hatch in the top of the machine instead of a glass door – have been the norm for years in the USA. Could they become more widespread here? The repairers we spoke to didn’t think so, and the top-loading models we’ve reviewed have tended to be unimpressive.

Would you be more likely to buy a washing machine if it had a plastic cover over the glass window? And would you consider buying one without a window at all?

To keep informed on safety issues, we recommend you register appliances for free on registermyappliance.org.uk. It’s run by the manufacturers trade body, Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances.

Comments

Just had the door glass explode on Samsung eco bubble washing machine.Large shards of glass all over the utility room

Hi Ann – How old is your machine? I hope you took photos.

Most people refer to doors exploding and producing small fragments of glass. This is alarming but these fragments are unlikely to cause serious injury. Shards of glass are much more dangerous.

As I explained above, incomplete toughening produces large shards.
Hopefully we might learn more about this problem if Which? talk to the manufacturers and discuss the problem with the glass industry and other European consumer groups who, presumably, see the same problems. As they are on BSI committees they could find out more from them as well.

Christina says:
19 May 2021

Hello Ann, did you get any resolution about this? Same thing happened to me and Samsung say it’s not covered under warranty. Unbelievable

Anne minshall says:
3 December 2020

Just had door explode on my beko eco wmb 81445 lw washing machine. Normal wash nothing out of ordinary. Tiny bits of glass everywhere and I have cats and dogsv

linda scott says:
16 December 2020

My Beko washing machine door exploded yesterday when I wasn’t even using it. Came home from work to find glass everywhere!

Hi Linda, sorry to hear about this. Hope nobody was hurt. How old was your machine? Have you had a chance to contact the retailer or Beko?

@chiragkhetiya – We have had reports of glass doors shattering for a number of years and Which? has reported over 40% were Beko, well above their market share.

Questions have been asked of Which? about standards governing glass doors and whether the manufacture and quality control of Beko was adequate, which looks on the face of it to be pretty poor. Which? appears not to have followed up any of these suggestions and concerns. Why not? Or is Which? content to simply report these problems?

@chiragkhetiya – Hi Chirag. In the introduction we are told: “Bosch, LG, Miele, Samsung and Siemens have introduced this [plastic to provide protection] on some of their newer models and we believe that other brands should consider doing the same.” I have not seen any information about machines with plastic guards in the washing machine review. I’d be grateful if you could ask the relevant team about this.

linda scott says:
18 December 2020

It’s only year old. I am planning to phone Beko but just ordered a new glass online to save any delay with Covid and Christmas. Won’t be buying another Beko appliance. My Beko dishwasher didn’t last long either!

Hi Linda – I suggest that you don’t use the maximum spin speed on your washing machine. Not only will it reduce the risk that the door glass breaks again but it will reduce wear on bearings and the motor. Door glass breakage was not a problem when machines had lower spin speeds.

Door glass breakage should not be a problem if it is moulded and processed correctly. I don’t know what evidence exists of spin speed vs breakage, nor of unbalanced loads at any speed putting higher stresses on the door.

Beko appear to stand out as the prime offender in w/m glass shattering, and into dangerous shards. Are there sufficient breakages to flag up a problem worth Which? investigating? Do other countries experience the same problems?

Like wavechange, I’d avoid high spin speeds because of excess wear, particularly on a cheaper machine.

Jillian Brunett says:
15 January 2021

I have a Samsung front-load washing machine, Model WF45R6100A, and the interior glass door shattered in the middle of a load of wash. I was 2 small blankets and the flat sheet of a twin size bed. It came out of nowhere. It is one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen. Now I can’t open the door because it’s locked as it was in the middle of a cycle and there are GIANT glass shards everywhere inside.

Richard Jaques says:
8 February 2021

We’ve just had this issue on a Sharp tumble dryer – dryer on a low heat setting drying towels and the whole glass door disintegrated into the drum. The machine is less than 3 months old! Unfortunately the model was also a Which Best Buy

Hi Richard – I suggest you contact the company you bought the dryer from and hopefully they will arrange a free repair.

Marion Marshall says:
28 February 2021

My glass on my washing machine has just shattered any advice my guarantee has ran out

It’s not a major disaster. A replacement glass is about £15-£30 + shipping.

Anyone handy with a screwdriver should be able to replace it, although you may need a special Torx bit (6 pointed star). Lots of YouTube videos.

Marion – My advice is that, if your washing machine was loaded at the time, you should take very great care when removing the laundry. With gloves on, transfer it into a bowl or tub, take it outside, shake it vigorously and hang it out to dry; then shake it vigorously again. Sweep up and dispose of any fragments. Any pieces of glass left in the drum should be removed with a vacuum cleaner.

My beko door has just exploded , I was looking in the window as my machine was making a loud noise , and literally 2 seconds after I moved it exploded, I have huge shards of glass that would have killed me! As well a little bits , My clothes are all shredded as the machine took forever to turn off! I have a expended plan on the machine , so they are coming out next week, but think they will just change the door!! But the drum is full of glass and the little humps in the drum are also broken! Let’s see what the engineer says!
It was a terrifying experience!

Beko, when a survey was last done, came out way ahead of anyone else for broken glass doors. I keep hoping Which? will investigate this properly, look at what regulations if any apply to moulded glass doors, and suggest what should be done – through an international standard for example.

In the meantime they might perhaps (if they have not already) put a warning against Beko washing machines that their glass doors are more prone to breakage than other brands.

@gmartin, George, is Which? minded to do anything?

We have a Beko washing machine which is 8 months old, on Saturday the door exploded leaving shards of glass stuck in the wall opposite the machine, all the clothes are ruined , I spoke to Beko who wasn’t too concerned and said they would not be compensating for our ruined clothes etc they gave me a engineer visit for next Thursday which I escalated and got it changed to today(I spoke to engineers as Beko staff wouldn’t do it), I have told Beko I am contacting trading standards to which they then rang back asking if they could uplift the washer today and replace it to which I have refused as there is the damaged clothes to resolve.

Chris – My personal view is that it would be in your interests to accept the replacement machine and deal with the damage to the clothing as a separate claim.

Refusing the replacement machine does not give you any special leverage in getting compensation for the damaged clothing and it could seriously delay your ability to get your laundry activity back on schedule. The company could just offer to supply and fit a new door in due course but by accepting the offer you will be getting a new machine immediately.

Some of the clothes might not be damaged and just need a good shake-out and then a rinse and spin to make sure there are no glass fragments left.

I agree with John and suggest not using the highest spin speed, irrespective of which machine you have. As well as increasing the chance of door glass breakage, high spin speeds will shorten the life of the motor and the drum bearings. I run mine at a maximum of 1200 rpm.

Glass doors should not shatter to the degree Beko ones do, from past reports. The glass may well have left small sharp particles stuck in clothing that washing will not remove, so I would be very careful what clothes I resurrected.

Which? should warn potential purchasers of BEKO machines that they are more prone to glass breakage than other machines. Would I accept another BEKO machine? No, but unless you can get a refund you may have no choice.

It is quite true that a higher spin speed will wear bearings more quickly and, with cheaper machines, lead to a shorter life. However, with correctly made glass doors that should not be an issue.

Glass doors should be protected from dangerous breakage by being correctly manufactured – either very substantial, properly toughened, protected with a plastic film or shield for example.

If Which? attended the relevant BSI committees they could discuss this, and other appliance safety problems, with a view to amending international safety standards. Regrettably, as I understand it, they have no interest in doing so.

Chris, Just make sure you take plenty of photos that show the extent of the damage. Not sure if it is legal, but recording a conversation with an engineer might be interesting.

I set the spin speed for heavy loads such as towels or jeans to 800 rpm. At the end of the cycle, I make sure all the washing is loose and evenly distributed then give it a 1200 rpm spin.

Tom Bunko says:
18 April 2021

Today our Miele glass door exploded. Of course, we are only about 2-3 weeks out of warranty. Bought Miele, as we figured a quality machine will last longer. This is the shortest life span of any washing machine we have ever bought…..

Hi Tom – You might get some goodwill from Miele, such as a free repair, but they have no legal responsibility. Your legal rights are against the retailer and perhaps it would be worth subscribing to Which? Legal for advice.

I suggest not using your machine at the highest spin speed, which will reduce the risk of the glass breakage and also reduce the wear on the motor and drum bearings.

While subscribing to Which? Legal is not bad advice ot should not be necessary. We should not have to pay £108 a year plus a £29 joining fee when basic consumer rights should be clear to all. They are well-explained on line.
Which? should also be pushing to have them clearly summarised and displayed in all stores, on all sellers websites, and take action against retailers who abuse them, like one well known and extensively reported high street electrical and electronic chain.

It would be very hard to show that there was an inherent manufacturing defect in a piece of glass that caused it to shatter. There are tiny stresses in glass that come from the moulding and cooling process that can never be eliminated. Sometimes a hairline scratch is enough to start the failure of a weak point. The actual breakage may not occur for days afterwards.

Every impact with a zip or a coin accidentally left in a pocket can contribute to damage to a glass door. My first experience of delayed breakage was when a drinking glass made of toughened glass ‘exploded’ on a shelf when I was at school.

After 34 years of use the door glass of my Philips machine was noticeably abraded in one area, but it did not break.

It depends upon how the glass door is manufactured. I have tried in vain to find much information or standards. I suspect some will simply be moulded out of thick glass to give it inherent strength; if that does break it will produced sharp shards.

Some (maybe most) are thermally toughened that puts stress in the outer skin and resists impact, but if broken should break into small safe pieces. But the glass is susceptible to skin damage – a nick on the edge, scratch, for example – which will cause it to spontaneously shatter. However, toughening a shaped moulded door is difficult to do properly and requires specialist equipment, technique and quality glass. Done less well and it will only be partially toughened so still break into dangerous pieces. Beko don’t seem the best at this judging by the number of door breakages reported (in a Which? Convo).

Various options have been proposed that will contain the pieces in the event of breakage, such as a sprayed plastic film, or prevent them entering the room, such as a plastic cover. Some think there is no need for a transparent door at all.

We could get answers, perhaps, to some of these questions and consideration of alternative proposals if they were discussed at international level, accessed via the BSI. If Which? contributed to these committees by taking up BSI’s invitation to join them we might make more progress on product safety matters, or better understand the issues and initiatives involved. Maybe they don’t have the right people to contribute effectively, but it does seem to be a real deficiency when claiming to represent consumers? Better inside the tent p-ing out than outside the tent p-ing in?

Tom – At the end of the Introduction to this Conversation is a line in red saying “Your rights if your washing machine explodes”.

That is a link to Which? guidance which for convenience I repeat here –
https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/what-do-i-do-if-i-have-a-faulty-product-aTTEK2g0YuEy

Malcolm wrote: “While subscribing to Which? Legal is not bad advice ot should not be necessary. We should not have to pay £108 a year plus a £29 joining fee when basic consumer rights should be clear to all. They are well-explained on line.” I presume you could pay £38 and join for a month, which could be cheaper than having to pay for the door to be replaced.

Since our statutory rights under the CRA are not any form of guarantee, claimants can be asked to prove that a product does not meet the legal requirements unless the retailer. As Em has said, that could be difficult. Which? Legal sometimes reports on some very satisfactory outcomes for consumers and I thought that if Tom asked for advice from Which? Legal we might all learn what can be achieved.

Elaine Miller says:
3 August 2021

My LG F1280 TD6 washing machine glass door smashed recently two large chunks imploded leaving the remaining glass in the door. I was quite surprised as it is thick glass. 9 years old.

Jason Cornish says:
20 October 2021

Hello, Our 4 year old Hotpoint washer door shattered on a 1400 spin 2 weeks ago, the glass caught both my daughter and dog. We were quite shaken up by this, especially as the machine kept going at 1400 spin after the glass had exploded. We have all our electrical items covered in our house by Domestic & General and contacting them, they were happy to come out to assess the damage. I did though think that this was such a dangerous thing to happen and as we were also involved in the tumble dryer gate issue about 5 years ago when Hotpoint dryers were setting on fire, that I should call Hotpoint directly, they were not taking calls so I left a message on Social Media and hey presto, a call back apologising. They wanted to send an engineer as an urgency but on the Monday morning all they had was in 2 weeks time, several hours later they had found an emergency slot for the next day. Following the visit the engineer deemed it unsafe and slapped a massive sticker over it, the following day I received a call to advise they were sending us a brand new machine and would take the old one away. The service from Hotpoint has been outstanding and although we have had a few safety issues, they have always been prompt to hold their hands up and sort the issues. By the way my daughter and dog are fine apart from a few light cuts.

Thanks for reporting good service from Hotpoint, considering the amount of hassle that Whirlpool, the parent company, caused for many customers with fire risk dryers and washing machines, even though you were lucky.

It’s always good to hear positive comments about companies, especially those that have caused problems in the past. We have a Conversation about problems with the rotten customer service by Currys and it would be good to see some good reports.

I suggest you try using a 1200 rpm spin speed, which will reduce the risk of glass breakage and wear of the motor and bearings in the machine. I don’t remember cases of door glass breakage before machines with a high spin speed appeared.

Is there any evidence linking glass breakage to spin speed? Thee is evidence that BEKO have a much higher incidence of failure, taking account of market share, than other brands. This suggests a quality issue rather than an operational issue.

I have tried in vain to get any information on the specification of moulded glass doors. If they are thermally toughened then quality may well be the problem; this is a tricky process on thick moulded glass and requires high quality glass – no inclusions for example. If they just rely on thickness for strength then the moulding process can introduce stresses.

I have no empirical data but the kinetic energy of an object is proportional to the square of its speed. That will affect the damage that can accumulate as a result of impact by hard objects such as zips, buttons and the odd coin that may get into the machine. Often the door will break during the spin cycle but cases have been reported when the door has exploded when a machine is not in use.

Since we have no control of the quality of door glass, I suggest restricting spin speed as a sensible way of reducing the risk of failure and possibly a near miss, as experienced by Jason’s daughter.

Spinning generally sticks clothes to the inside of the drum by centrifugal force, rather than launching objects at the glass. I am not convinced by that argument. the incidence of failure is very small. But I would like Which? to tell us whether they know of any standards that apply to quality of these glasses.

I was involved in sourcing a toughening process for moulded glass bowls. The experts were Corning in Sunderland and I visited their plant to discuss the problems; they had ceased using the thermal toughening process but were extremely helpful in explaining the way to do it, and how difficult it was to do it successfully. We did experiment with our local glass producer but never did achieve full toughening where the glass, if broken, all ends up in very small safe-edged pieces. We did not have the volume of product to make it worth pursuing.

You can disbelieve me Malcolm but I have seen coins being tossed around and service engineers have referred to this problem. Damage can also occur during the wash cycle, when the drum stops periodically and it can be cumulative damage that results in breakage.

Malcolm wrote: “Is there any evidence linking glass breakage to spin speed?”

Further to what I said, here is advice from Which?

“7. Don’t wash belts or coins, or the door glass might break

Remove belts from trousers and jeans before you wash.

The glass in washing machine doors is toughened, but a belt buckle spinning at 1,600 rpm will do the glass in the door no good whatsoever.

And something small like a coin could end up blocking the filter or causing a din as your machine spins.

How to provide even more protection for the glass

Once you’ve removed any beltsfrom the load, consider using a laundry bag for any clothes that have large metal buttons.
Lowering the spin speed could also help to mitigate the already low risk of the glass breaking.”

https://www.which.co.uk/news/2019/06/10-things-you-should-never-do-if-you-own-a-washing-machine/

My old Tecnik washing machine that came with the Moben kitchen (now ceased trading), according to Whitegoods.co,uk was made by Beko and is still working after at least 25 years usage.

It has 2 spinning cycles, 800 and 1200rpm. I’m sure I have only used the 1200rpm spin about 3 times. This would most probably indicate the reason for its longevity, and also the reason why my clothes come out with fewer creases and why they are probably too damp to iron straight from the machine. It has never malfunctioned and incurred any expense during all the years I have owned it.

Tecnik was a brand belonging to Moben in the same way that Howdens own the brand Lamona, which features in their kitchens. I’m sure that using the lower spin speed will have improved the chances of the door glass surviving but since breakage is not common we don’t know if it would have failed if you had used the higher speed. The lower spin speed will have extended the life of the motor brushes, which are not expensive to buy but fitting them involves a callout and labour charge.

I’m impressed by how long your machine has survived Beryl. DerekP has an older Zanussi but he seems to have left Conversation. The Whitegoods website has useful information about brands but could do with updating to reflect the changes in the sector.

I doubt if parts will still be available in the event of a breakdown Wavechange. I am waiting for it to malfunction so that I can update the kitchen, but like you, I am reluctant to let any contractors in the house at present. Derek seems to have left us, but I am also missing alfa who hasn’t posted for a while.

Have a cracker lined up for the morrow!

Watch this space!

You should certainly make sure no coins are left in pockets and I wouldn’t put a metal-buckled belt in the wash. However, a properly toughened glass door should resist any reasonable impact; that is the property of toughened glass. I believe the problem is with improperly toughened glass; the descriptions generally refer to shards of glass, a characteristiv of untoughened, or inadequately toughened, glass.

I find a 1000rpm spin speed is quite adequate to give clothes enough dampness to hang up to dry.

If glass is properly toughened it will not produce shards but small pieces about the size of peas, which are much less dangerous. Replacing the glass door with stainless steel would completely eliminate glass breakage but the machines might not sell. Alternatively, a door guard could help protect people and animals nearby.

Beryl – I hope that Alfa does reappear soon. She often takes a break, though it has been a while.

Sharp points can break even high-quality toughened glass.

That is why small hammers with sharp points are provided to allow passengers to escape through windows of coaches in emergency. Early cars used toughened windscreens for safety but stone chips could cause them to shatter and we now have laminated glass windscreens. The ‘door bowl’ of a washing machine is I believe too complex to create a laminated equivalent with plastic sandwiched between two layers of glass.

“Sharp points can break even high-quality toughened glass.“. A concentrated impact breaks the “compressed” skin releasing the stresses in the roughened glass and causes it to shatter. The standard test for checking proper toughening is to used a centre punch and then count the number of fragments within a 50mm square.

The impact needs to be quite high and concentrated which is why properly toughened glass survives well. Even when car windscreens were toughened they survived many impacts from flying debris.

Until today when I discovered this conversation I had never seen or heard of any washing machine door glass breaking, and I’ve had a bosch washer for 16 years and have never had the glass break, the worst thing that’s happened is the motor and drum bearings wearing out, so I’m planning to get another new bosch washer soon but I’m now a bit worried about it ripping my clothes all to bits and flooding my kitchen. And it looks like it’s a good job I’ve chosen a low spin speed model of 1200 rpm, my old one is a1000. And is it all high speed models over1200 rpm which are shattering? And this raises questions about warranties. If the door glasses are not covered by the warranty and if I have to replace it myself during the warranty period does that void the warranty for the rest of the machine? And what if it damages other parts of the machine or writes it off is that covered by the warranty? And is there a possibility that resonance could be a factor here, with the higher spin speeds causing vibration at the resonant frequency of the glass used? It’s a good job I’ve already got some industrial gloves with long coverage up the arms. And where would I stand with home insurance if the door burst and flooded my kitchen and wrecked my units? I think I know now why the building regs require a two inch minimum raised hearth in the fireplace containing my back boiler! And my mum had loads of old welsh made hoover front loaders and none of the door glasses ever burst, the worst that used to happen with them was the back of the stainless steel drum cracking and ripping the clothes. And on a lighter note, I see that someone mentioned fenbridge guards on old TV tubes. I remember replacing them after fitting a replacement tube and then discovering that there was some debris stuck inside the guard on the screen only after fastening all the fixings! It was a right pain in the butt trying to make sure no unwanted detritus got in there. The twin panel tubes were much better as they were bonded on and the rimband tubes were even better still and soon became industry standard as they were much safer.

I would not be concerned, Crusader. Door glass breakage seems very uncommon and your machine has already survived for 16 years. Vibration could be a factor but impact damage and imperfections in glass seem more likely. I presume that home insurance would provide cover against flooding and door breakage usually happens during the spin cycle when the water is shut off.

Fenbridge Guards cropped up when I mentioned them to Duncan Lucas, who repaired old electronics. For some reason he left Conversation and asked for his many posts to be removed, but I recently saw his name on another forum.

I’m annoyed by the fact that my washing machine defaults to the highest spin speed for a programme rather than remembering my preference, like the simple rotary control on my previous machine.

Aeg glass door shattered ..was spinning a load of toddlers clothes

Glass spitting out

A plastic piece from the barrel was broken off inside

Technician said that couldn’t ha e broken the glass but nothing else hard was in the machine

Our 3 year old washing machine “exploded” last night just as it started to spin, it sounded like it was about to take off then went bang, the door was still in one piece but the drum was shredded and had blown the motor or something up out of the top sending shards of plastic everywhere, no one injured, thankfully but quite frightening. Some slightly damaged clothes but nothing too serious, it could have been a lot worse. My husband has joked since we got it that the model number starts with WMD and it has proved itself to be a weapon of mass destruction!

Thankfully, washing machines don’t explode often but it must be frightening. There is a very old Conversation on the topic: https://conversation.which.co.uk/home-energy/faulty-hoover-candy-washing-machines-not-recalled/

Kirsty, sounds a very unusual occurrence at just 3 years old. What make was your machine? Sounds like a Hotpoint? Worth reporting to the manufacturer. Glad you have a sense of humour about it!

Which? did a report on drums tearing themselves apart but these were on machines around 2009.
https://www.which.co.uk/news/2013/05/indesit-and-hotpoint-recall-exploding-washing-machines-319617/?source_code=Y21ADR&&source_code=911CRJ&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIpcG68_DR9AIVDJftCh2sSAFOEAAYASAAEgIQ1PD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

I think these cases of door glasses smashing are most likely caused by something hard like a belt buckle hitting the glass and causing a weakness in the glass which then shatters later on when subjected to the vibration. So this is one reason for always removing things like belts and keys and coins etc. before washing, and stuff like coins can also ruin a hugely expensive drum. And I used to put diving boots in my machine after going rafting and they never did any damage, but stuff like belt buckles certainly can. It’s probably a bit like the bus windows which can be broken in an emergency using the little hammers provided, but they rarely if ever break when in normal service despite the dreadful vibration buses suffer when in service. And I’ve never put any buckles in any of my washing machines, or keys or coins etc. which is probably why I’ve never suffered any catastrophic damage like those described here. And my new machine should arrive in a few days and it goes without saying I certainly won’t be feeding it any buckles, or anything remotely similar, NO chance!

Zip fasteners and even buttons can also damage door glass. By the time my old machine was 30 years old, one part of the glass was noticeably abraded even though I became very careful about emptying my pockets after wrecking the pump impeller with a stray coin early in its life.

I’ve just got a new bosch washer and it has a clear plastic screen fitted over the door glass, so it looks like the manufacturers are aware of the shattering door glass problem and it looks like they’re now taking steps to protect their customers, or at least bosch are by the looks of it. And what a nightmare it is trying to get through to the customer services to register the machine for it’s warranty. Anyone else here got a new machine with a similar plastic screen fitted? I don’t know what kind of plastic they’ve used but I hope it’s polycarbonate.

That is very encouraging. Can you say which? model you have, please? I could not find any models with a protective screen when I was looking for a new machine some years ago.

Polycarbonate is used for riot shields and for the outdoor beer glasses so would be an ideal choice.

It’s a bosch WAJ24006GB, 1200 rpm spin and 7kg load. And someone mentioned how their machine’s drum exploded. Well there’s actually a warning in the user manual for my new machine about the possibility of that happening if any of the laundry has been treated with solvents, which could possibly explain what happened, as some solvent fumes are highly volatile and can explode if they build up in a confined space like the inside of a washing machine’s drum, and then there’s the possibility of static electric charges building up in there and causing a spark which could ignite the fumes, especially with some synthetics like nylon. So the obvious answer there is don’t use volatile solvents on laundry before sticking it in your machine unless it’s allowed to fully evaporate first and then rinsed with some water. And one thing I’ve noticed with this new machine is how the push buttons on it don’t have the positive tactile effect like those on my old machine, and it’s the same with the rotary program selector too, there’s very little positive action when it’s turned unlike my old one. And this kind of thing is not mentioned in the Which? reviews for this model. I wonder how many other new machines have similar controls? I think that should’ve been mentioned in the reviews. And don’t buy this machine if you want your washes done in a hurry as some of the programs take three HOURS or more, and it doesn’t have “quick wash” either. It’s ok for me but not if you like to sit and watch your washing! It’s a bit like the old aristons that go on and on and on…

Thanks very much Crusader. I’m disappointed that Bosch does not mention this safety feature on their website, but with the exception of cars, safety features are rarely mentioned on household products.

There has been a move from washing at higher temperature to low temperature to save energy and minimise fabric damage. It does work, especially with biological detergents, but it takes a lot of getting used to the longer wash cycles needed. My machine has a programme that takes three hours and twenty nine minutes. 🙁 Express washes lasting 15 or 20 minutes are useless at low temperature. Figures such as 60° on a modern washing machine can be meaningless.

I can understand why oils and solvents are a fire risk in tumble dryers, most of which have a powerful electric heater behind the drum, but in a washing machine the fabrics will be wet or damp except at the start.

I was surprised by the controls on my recent Bosch dishwasher. Where I would have expected buttons or a touch pad there are areas where the user has to press, but there is no movement. I suppose it means to water can enter.

I hope you are pleased with it despite the long cycles. My dishwasher has a three hour fifteen minute Eco cycle but I use the one hour twenty nine minute Short cycle, which does a good job.

AEG produced a washing machine with a plastic [?polycarbonate] screen on the outer face of the door at least as long ago as 2014 – I recall being told this by a friend of ours who had one [AEG W M/c that is, not a screen across her face].

You mentioned this before, John: https://conversation.which.co.uk/home-energy/exploding-washing-machines-doors/#comment-1487298 Since then I have been trying to find washing machines with a plastic guard.

I feel that the real answer is to have metal doors, maybe stainless steel. Watching the washing go round lost its appeal over 50 years ago.

Many people have their washing machine in a utility room or washroom so it is out of sight most of the time anyway thus there is little point in having a window on the washing.

The concave glass does seem to assist the tumbling and agitation process so a similar projection on the interior of a metal door would no doubt be necessary but making it of metal would make it shatter-proof.

Maybe it is so that you can see it has drained properly before you open the door. Ovens have glass doors so you can see if the cake has risen. And, to be fair, incidents of glass doors breaking seem rare, although the quality of BEKO could do with looking at. As could a standard for glass doors to ensure they are properly toughened or adequately strong.

Fabrics impregnated with solvents were mentioned by Crusader in relation to exploding washing machines. This seems more than possible as an explosive mixture can be formed in a confined space and ignited by a slight spark from motor brushes. Machines generally rotate the drum before the clothes are soaked in water.

John – The shape of what is sometimes referred to as the door bowl of a washing machine is important and has apparently evolved to improve the efficiency of washing. Unfortunately it is difficult to heat-treat complex shapes to achieve uniform tempering (toughening) and at worst this can leave the possibility of dangerous shards following breakage. We have come to expect washing machines to have a door glass, but stainless steel would do an equally good job while eliminating the very small risk of breakage.

It’s interesting that in North America, most washing machines are still top-loaders, where there is no glass to break.

In the UK’s smaller residences many people need to double stack their appliances or house them under a worktop, so front opening is probably the best arrangement here.

Malcolm makes a fair point about checking the machine is fully drained before opening the door, but the existing interlock should be sufficient to safeguard that.

Low expansion (borosilicate rather than soda lime) thick glass mouldings may well be used rather than toughened glass, as the latter needs a good deal of expertise to accomplish correctly.

The purpose of the door interlock is now to protect children and others who open the door when the machine is running. Modern machines do not use sufficient water to flood the kitchen.

I recall that Philips used to sell top-loading washing machines in the UK. Philips even made washing machines in the UK back in the early 80s and I had one of their front-loaders for over 30 years.

Didn’t Philips merge their major appliances division with Hotpoint to create Whirlpool?

Whirlpool is a long established US brand and I believe that the merger started off as a joint venture. My Philips microwave oven which has been in daily use for over 30 years, unfortunately not British but made in Japan. My parents had a slightly more recent Philips model that failed after a few years. It was not worth repairing because the magnetron had failed and was replaced by a cheaper microwave of a different brand, which proved reliable.

One thing I hate about new washing machines now is how far too short the floor bolts are which the machine sits on. I’ve just really struggled to tighten the locknuts on my new machine as the spanner which is only about a quarter inch thick, just wouldn’t fit and I had to force it in around the nuts to tighten them, and this problem also means that you can’t get a deep enough dish or whatever under the front of the machine in order to drain the pump whenever it needs doing, which should be done as part of regular maintenance, and in my experience washing machines, like my old bosch, can hold up to one and a half gallons of water in their sump which if you can’t catch it in time makes a right load of mess and it can potentially ruin nearby chipboard units. So they need longer floor bolts, but then I suppose there must be regulations about having to have them as close to the floor as possible to prevent anyone, especially little ones from getting their feet trapped under the machine, especially with them weighing about 150lbs or more. But since I’m on my own I’ll certainly try and find some longer bolts of suitable strength, at least 8.8 and try and raise it up a bit, about an inch and a half or more then I can make a special custom draining tub with an outlet which I can attach a hose to which can run out the back door and down the grid seeing as the machine is near the back door. I just hope that doesn’t infringe my warranty…or else I’ll have to devise another way to securely raise it up off the floor and whatever I use will of course have to be waterproof.

I agree their is not much room to adjust the feet on washing machines, dishwashers and the like, but they do have to fit under standard- height worktops.

It is well worth adjusting the feet of a washing machine to reduce vibration, which could cause various problems to any machinery. I doubt that vibration will increase the risk of glass breakage but I will not find out.

My machine was supplied with a thin spanner to adjust the feet and the pump/filter housing is high enough to make draining the water easy. The cover over the filter has to be levered open with a thin piece of plastic and one is thoughtfully provided. Whoever thought of concealing this tool behind the front of the detergent drawer deserves a coveted silly design award.

I have a brand new LG front load washer and dryer. This is my 5th time using them. I went to get a small blanket out of the dryer that I had on the delicate cycle and realized before I opened the door that the inside glass had shattered everywhere inside my dryer. I’ve had this dryer for a year but just recently moved in because we were refinishing the house before moving in. If I knew this was a thing I would have never purchased a front load at all. Will be interesting what LG has to say tomorrow considering only used it 5 times.