Washing Machine Smoking? – Top 2023 Solutions!

washing machine smoking and smells of rubber

Have you ever had an experience with your washing machine whereby the appliance just suddenly began to smoke and sometimes produce a burning smell?

If smoke is coming out of washing machine during a wash load or after use, basically the reasons for this is due to a worn-out drive belt, components getting frayed due to high electricity voltage, burnt insulation on cable connections, blocked drain pump, faulty drive motor and a damaged seal around the tub bearing.

If you really can’t afford to buy a new one at the moment, I will be highlighting the specific ways you can troubleshoot and fix a smoking washing machine in this article.

Stay tuned!!

Why Is My Washing Machine Smoking?

Moving forward, ask yourself this question, where exactly is the smoke and smell coming from?

Is it from the back of the washing machine, from inside the drum or wash basket or underneath the appliance?

Knowing this will ease the problem and you would definitely know the specific areas and spots to look out for.

Below are the reasons why your washing machine is smoking.

  • Damaged drive belt.
  • Washing machine motor problems.
  • Burnt seal around the washer tub bearing.
  • Clogged drain pump.
  • Wall or socket outlet is overloaded.
  • Burnt insulation on wiring or cable (loose cable connections)
  • Broken spider assembly rubbing against the door gasket.
  • Drum bearing is broken preventing the motor from turning.

Here are some specific areas of your washing machine and the probable root of the smoking issue.

Where’s the smoke coming from?Probable causes of the smoke
Smoke coming from inside the drum or wash basket.Burning drive belt, broken spider assembly 
Smoke coming from the back.Sparking or burnt cable connections, bad fill valve solenoid.
Smoke coming from underneath the washing machine.Faulty spider assembly, clogged drain pump.

Washing machine smoking on spin cycle

#1. Faulty Or Burning Drive Belt

The drive belt of your washing machine can get overheated to an extent that it starts to smoke and produce a burning smell.

When the drive belt isn’t staying put in place, it keeps slipping and results in formation of heat which eventually leads to smoke emanating from the appliance.

This problem is unlikely to occur to you if you are using a new washing machine unless you have an old one that’s barely maintained.

Sometimes, you might not notice but you could be overloading your washer which in return, gives the drive belt system loads that it won’t be able to handle.

samsung washing machine smoking during spin cycle


Step 1: Disconnect the washing machine from the electricity supply, socket or wall outlet. This is the first thing to do in order to be cautious

Step 2: Visually inspect the drive belt which is most usually located at the back for front load washers. If yours is a top load, their belt can always be found at the bottom.

Step 3: Check if there are any signs of damages on the drive belt. If it is burnt, definitely you need to find a replacement.

Step 4: You might need to purchase a new drive belt specifically suited for your washing machine model. 

Most times, when the belt gets melted and you probably have no idea what went wrong while still using the washing machine.

This is the reason for overheating of the component and why your washer is smoking and smells of rubber.

#2. Your Socket Outlet Is Overloaded

One of the issues that mostly leads to a smoking washing machine is when you put too many loads on a single outlet. 

On a normal basis, you are not supposed to plug any other devices to the same outlet as your washing machine.

The other devices are probably  absorbing too much power which is above the carrying capacity of the outlet.


If you notice smoke signals coming from the direction of your washing machine. 

Step 1: Firstly try to disconnect all power to the appliance and wait for the smoke to cool down.

Step 2: Then remove any additional devices that are plugged into the same extension outlet where your washer is connected.

Step 2: If no damage was done to the cable connections, then you are sure that nothing else is wrong.

All you need to do is plug your washing machine alone to a wall outlet rather than an extension.

#3. Burnt Insulation On Wiring

A smoke is definitely always generated by a burn or spark on the wire cable carrying electricity into your appliance.

The cable connections might start to burn and produce smoke due to voltage drops.

When this happens you know there is a problem lurking around.

Aside from attracting smoke signals, a burnt wire might cut connections to your washing machine and you might need to shut down the circuit at the breaker box immediately.

This is very important for you to be safe whenever smoke is coming from your washing machine, you should always turn off the electricity supply to your washer irrespective of the cause.

Burns in the wall outlet or wiring connections might need intervention of a professional electrician. 

Perhaps you can locate the burning part of the socket outlet or wire, you can get them replaced yourself instead of waiting for the next repairman to handle.

#4. There Are Clogs In The Drain Pump

A clogged drain pump is another reason why your washing machine might be smoking.

Literally you should always keep the drain pump clean and free from dirt at all times.

Drain pump of smoking washer

When the drain pump is clogged, it prevents the correct rotation of the motor and gets it stuck.

This can even hinder the proper functioning of your washing machine and might eventually result in a smoke.

Carry out the following procedures below if the drain pump is the reason why smoke is coming from your appliance.


Before checking if any small items have found their way into your washer drain pump, unplug the washing machine.

Depending on the type of washing machine you’re using, the drain pump should be located at the bottom corner of your machine. 

You might also need to unscrew the clamps that are holding it to the pump outlet. Check to see if there are any blockages and clear them all.

That should provide the motor with free rotation and the smoke should die down afterwards.

If it doesn’t, then it’s probably the other causes highlighted below.

Related Post: Can you drain your washing machine outside legally?

#5. The Spindle Housing Heating The Seal Around The Tub Bearing

If you are hearing a banging sound accompanied with the release of some smoke while your washing machine is working, the smoke is probably due to issues with the tub bearing.

Washing machine smoking

It occurs at the back of the spindle housing as it wears into the seal, heats it and takes the rubber off.

That’s what causes the smoke, it’s not directly the tub bearing but the back of the spindle withdrawing when it burns the seal.


You have to dismantle the whole washing machine in order to get to the bearing.

This might seem as a tough task if you are just a regular washing machine user. 

Pound the bearings out and install a new one along with the seal.

In situations like this, you might need a professional to help you check it out and get to the tub bearing to troubleshoot the problem. 

#6. Issues With The Drive Motor

The drive motor is another very important component of a washing machine which could also be involved in causing smoke. 

However, the drive motor won’t spin very well or get stuck if the drain pump is clogged.

Ensure that the drive motor is turning and isn’t blocked.

Note that if the drum bearing is broken, it can also prevent the motor from turning.

#7. Broken Spider Assembly Rubbing Against The Door Gasket

The spider arm or assembly supports the drum of your washing machine with its three arms.

A damaged spider assembly can cause the drum to be less secure and eventually starts to rub against the door gasket.

The drum might produce a loud rattling or some clicking sound while rotating which can eventually lead to smoke.

Front load washer smoking from inside


If you find out that this is the reason why your front load washer is smoking from inside, replacing the faulty drum spider might be the solution.

What should i do if my washing machine is smoking?

Without a doubt some of these faults need fixing via the use of complex tools which are not readily available in most households. 

This is why you might need to invite a professional or troubleshoot the issue all by yourself if you have the tools.

Below are the list of solutions to a smoking washer which you can fix at home and those that might need guidance on.

Fixing a washing machine that started smokingCan I fix this myself at home?
Unclogging the drain pumpYes 
Replacing the tub bearingNo
Burning wire outletNo
Faulty drive beltYes
Reducing socket overloadYes
Replacing spider assemblyNo

Unless you have enough information on dismantling your washing machine, you can carry out all the aforementioned troubleshooting and fix the smoke all by yourself.

What To Do To Avoid Smoke Coming From Your Washing Machine?

After you must have detected the root of your washing machine’s problem, it would be ideal if you know what you need to do in order to stop your washing machine from smoking inside.

  1. Avoiding overloading the appliance so that you won’t stress the drive belt to carry excessive mass. 
  2. Providing your appliance with monthly inspection and maintenance is good for avoiding wear and tear.
  3. Only plug the appliance to a wall outlet without adding any more loads.
  4. Fix and avoid loose wire/cable connections as soon as possible.
  5. Never leave electricity supply to your washing machine turned on for a long time within use.

Final Thoughts

I hope I’ve been able to provide you with the answer to your queries, try troubleshooting with any of the above methods.

You should be able to fix your smoking washing machine as soon as possible. Thanks for reading!

  1. Hi Alvin! You may have answered this in your article, but I just wanna ask to doublecheck. The washer part of our washer/dryer combo makes a squealing/scratching kind of sound & the tub bounces around severely, then shuts off. As this was happening I noticed smoke coming from the drain pump. Also, the lid lock stays on for a bit after pulling the plug from the socket. Do you feel this may be a clogged drain pump? However, this was just replaced by a GE repairman. Also, I just replaced the 30 amp 10-30R socket by the advice of the repairman. Could this be causing a surge in electricity leading the pump to smoke.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!!


    1. Hi Kevin. It’s possible that a clogged drain pump could be the problem.

      When the drain pump is clogged, it can put additional strain on the motor, causing it to make unusual noises such as squealing or sounds.

      The bouncing of the tub and the eventual shutdown could also be a result of the pump not functioning properly.

      As for the smoke coming from the drain pump, it is generally an indication of a serious problem which can also be a sign of surge in electrical issues.

      To prevent further damage or potential hazards.

      Unplug the appliance from the power source immediately to ensure your safety. Then reach out to the repairman who replaced the drain pump to explain the current situation.

      He should be able to provide advice on how to proceed. Thanks and stay safe.

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