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How To Remove Sand from a Washing Machine

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Whether you’ve just returned from a beach vacation or you live in a sandy area, you may find that your clothes, and consequently your washing machine, are full of sand. While a little sand won’t harm your washing machine, it can lead to blockages, wear and tear, and an unpleasant gritty texture on your freshly cleaned clothes. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of effectively removing sand from your washing machine.


To remove sand from your washing machine, first disconnect the machine from the power supply. Vacuum the drum to remove excess sand, then wipe it down with a wet cloth. Run a hot cycle with vinegar or baking soda, then clean the filter by soaking it in hot water. Finally, run an empty cycle with a washing machine cleaner. To prevent sand from getting into your machine, shake out your clothes, check your pockets, and rinse off wet, sandy items before washing them.

The Damage Sand Can Cause

Sand in your washing machine can cause several issues. First, it can block the lint filter, preventing proper water flow and causing the machine to overheat. Sand is also abrasive, and when it rubs against the sides of the machine, it can cause wear and tear. Over time, this can damage the washer’s seals and bearings, leading to costly repairs.

Moreover, sand can travel through the washer’s drain system, causing blockages. Too much buildup can stop the machine from functioning altogether. Additionally, sand can scratch the inside of the drum, potentially leading to rust and further damage. The abrasive nature of sand can also wear out clothes and cause fading.

How Does Sand Get Into Your Washing Machine?

There are several ways sand can end up in your washing machine. The most common is through clothes worn at the beach. Sand can also collect in the pockets of your clothes, and it can stick to wet items like swimsuits or towels. Even shoes, bags, and other beach accessories can bring sand into your home and eventually your washing machine.

How To Remove Sand From Your Washing Machine

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to remove sand from your washing machine:

  1. Disconnect the washing machine from the power supply: Always ensure safety first by unplugging your washing machine before you start the cleaning process.
  2. Vacuum the drum: Use a vacuum cleaner with a nozzle or crevice tool attachment to remove excess sand from the drum. Don’t forget to vacuum all over the drum, including the sides, and manually spin the drum as you vacuum.
  3. Wipe the drum: After vacuuming, use a wet cloth or a wet paper towel to wipe the washing machine’s drum thoroughly and remove any remaining sand.
  4. Run a hot cycle with vinegar or baking soda: Fill your washing machine with hot water and add either vinegar or baking soda. Let the cycle run for a few minutes before draining the water. Repeat this process a few times until all the sand is gone.
  5. Clean the filter: Remove the filter and soak it in hot water for a few hours to loosen up and disperse the sand particles. Let it dry out naturally before putting it back.
  6. Run an empty cycle with a washing machine cleaner: Use a suitable washing machine cleaner, such as Duracare or Affresh, and run an empty cycle. This will help remove any remaining sand and residues.

How To Prevent Sand From Getting Into Your Washing Machine

To prevent sand from entering your washing machine in the first place, there are a few precautions you can take:

  1. Shake out your clothes: Before washing, shake out your clothes to remove as much sand as possible.
  2. Check your pockets: Always check the pockets of your clothes before washing them. Sand can easily collect in pockets and be released into the machine during the wash cycle.
  3. Avoid putting wet, sandy items directly into the machine: If you’ve just returned from the beach, consider rinsing off your swimsuits, towels, and beach accessories before putting them in the washing machine.

By following these steps, you can effectively remove sand from your washing machine, prevent potential damage, and ensure that your machine continues to function efficiently. Remember, a little preventative maintenance can go a long way in extending the life of your appliances.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use bleach instead of vinegar or baking soda to clean the washing machine?

Yes, you can use bleach instead of vinegar or baking soda. Just add 1 cup of bleach to the washer drum and run a hot water cycle. Be sure not to mix bleach with vinegar or baking soda as it can produce harmful gases.

How often should I clean my washing machine?

It depends on your usage, but generally, it’s a good idea to clean your washing machine once a month to prevent buildup of dirt, grime, and odors.

Can sand damage the pump of my washing machine?

Yes, sand can cause damage to the pump of your washing machine. Sand is abrasive and can wear out the pump over time, leading to potential malfunctions.

What should I do if sand has already damaged my washing machine?

If you suspect that sand has damaged your washing machine, it’s best to call a professional. They can assess the damage and suggest the best course of action, which may include repairs or replacement of certain parts.

Is it safe to vacuum the inside of my washing machine?

Yes, it’s safe to vacuum the inside of your washing machine. Just make sure the machine is unplugged before you start and use a vacuum cleaner with a nozzle or crevice tool attachment to reach all areas.

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