Dirty water washing machine: Why Is My Washing Machine Water Dirty? Tips to Fix It – DIY By Hand

Why Is My Washing Machine Water Dirty? Tips to Fix It – DIY By Hand

Written by Jonahin DIY Appliance Repairs

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Washing machines are supposed to make your clothes clean, not cover them in dirty water. Unfortunately, a malfunctioning laundry machine can leave grimy, discolored water at the bottom of the washing drum or tank. Fixing the source of the dirty water will keep your clothes looking fresh for a long time.

Your washing machine water is dirty because the water inlet is dirty, the filter is unclean, or the laundry machine is clogged. Furthermore, washing oily fabrics can leave grime coated on the inside of the washing machine. This muddies the water, making it look dirty.

Cleaning your washing machine and monitoring the water lines can make a world of difference. It also ensures your clothes always look and feel clean, while preventing stains.

Easy Hacks on How to Clean a Washin…

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Why Is My Washing Machine Water Brown?

Your washing machine water is brown because there’s mold or dirt in the water inlet. This allows bacteria and discoloration to dissolve in the water supply, leaving a lot of the debris on your clothes. Washing extremely dirty clothes with dirt, sweat, and other contaminants can also make washing machine water look brown.

If you wash blankets and towels with mud, stains, and other particles, it’ll make the water look brown. However, you shouldn’t see leftover water in the tank after the cycle finishes. Stagnant brown water is often a sign of one of the following issues:

  • Poor drainage caused by clogged filters, lint traps, and drain pipes
  • Too much lint on your clothes prevents the water from leaving through the pipes
  • Thick debris (mud, oil, etc.) slowly draining and mixing with the leftover laundry water
  • Laundry machines that won’t drain because they’re stuck on Soak, Clean, or Spin
  • Matted clothes stuck to the bottom of the washing machine that prevent water from draining

In rare situations, excessive amounts of dye from new clothes and other fabrics will discolor the water. However, it won’t prevent it from draining out of the laundry machine. You’ll only notice the discolored brown water if you open the washing machine in the middle of its cycle.

There’s a big difference between discolored, dingy water and dirty water, though. Dirty water can cause stains and be quite unhealthy. Discolored water from dyes and other solutions aren’t always problematic. The most important thing is that your laundry machine can drain properly.

Below, you’ll find out how to properly get rid of dirty washing machine water.

How Do I Get Dirty Water Out of My Washing Machine?

To get dirty water out of your washing machine, follow this step-by-step method:

  1. Close both water inlets and drain your washing machine. Never work on your laundry machine when there’s water or electricity going to it. You can siphon the water with a garden hose, drain it by removing the filter and letting it go through the drain pipe, or scoop the water with a bucket.
  2. Remove and clean the filter, then check if it needs to be replaced. You should clean your washing machine’s filter every three to four months. Replace the filter if there are holes or cracks since they limit the filter’s ability to remove debris.
  3. Scrub the inside of the washing machine with warm water, soap, and vinegar. This step prevents debris buildup from getting on your laundry. It also stops everything from mixing with the water in the laundry machine. Use a mixture of one cup of water, one drop of soap, and one tablespoon of white vinegar.
  4. Clean and clear the drain hose. The drain hose is located at the bottom of the washing machine. It gets rid of all of the dirty water from your laundry. If it’s clogged or won’t drain, there’s no doubt the water in your washing machine will be dirty.
  5. Spray water down the drain pipe and clean the water inlet. You can also use a drain snake (also known as a plumbing auger) to remove debris coming through the water inlet. A dirty water line can make your laundry water dirty and unsanitary.

Cinch Home Services explains that some drain pipes can clog or kink, which allows debris to build up. This makes the water in your washing machine look discolored, cloudy, brown, and dirty. Replace the kinked hoses because it’s very difficult to make them operate properly once they’re bent.

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How to Prevent Dirty Laundry Machine Water

To prevent dirty laundry water, apply these recommendations:

  • Don’t wash too many clothes at once. For instance, avoid washing sheets with clothes and other fabrics if they stack up to the top of the laundry machine. Too many fabrics will make it difficult for the machine to drain the water, leaving sweaty, grimy, dirty water in the tank.
  • Make sure you clean the lint trap regularly. Some washing machines have accessible lint traps that let them remove lint, dust, and hair from the laundry while it’s soaking. If you don’t clean the lint trap, all of the excess debris will stay on your clothes and in the water.
  • Spot clean oily or muddy fabrics before putting them in the laundry machine. Although it takes a little extra time, it can keep a lot of hard-to-remove contaminants from mixing with the water supply. It also prevents stains from forming on the laundry.
  • Test your water supply for mineral buildup. Magnesium and iron can discolor the water, making it look brown. It can also stick to your laundry. Testing the water supply will let you know if you need additional water filtration for drinking and cleaning water lines.
  • Clean your washing machine’s filter regularly. This filter collects all of the debris that didn’t drain through the drain line. If you don’t clean the filter, it clogs and rapidly decreases the draining rate. It can also cause a lot of debris to stay in the washing machine, dirtying the water.

These are some of the many ways you can bridge the gap between dryers lasting longer than washers.

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Dirty water filling washing machine

I keep finding my washing machine (which is in my kitchen, in the unit next to the kitchen sink) filled with dirty water shortly after a wash. I don’t know how dirty water could be getting back into itt.

Could it be an issue with the connector pipe running to the pipes under the sink?


5 Answers from MyBuilder Plumbers

Best Answer

Jays Plumbing and Heating

Dartford • Member since 18 Apr 2017 •
No feedback yet

I’d say is quite possible that the person who installed the machine has put the waste pipe for the machine into a spigot trap under the sink and not used the u shaped waste fitting the washing machine come with to raise it above the trap so kitchen sink water is able to flow down the pipe to the machine


Answered 23rd Jul 2019

Elite Heating and Plumbing

Watford • Member since 5 Jan 2016 •

100% positive

This is a common issue usually caused by the washing machine drain hose not being installed in an upwards loop down into the spigot trap under the sink. Often one of the spigots drops downwards and water from the kitchen sink enters the machine. Secure the hose so it goes up and over and the problem should be resolved


Answered 26th Jul 2019

D & R Property and Plumbing Maintenance

New Romney • Member since 15 Nov 2016 •

97% positive

poor plumbing by untrained kitchen fitter.


Answered 28th Jul 2019

Drain Doctor

Doncaster • Member since 6 Nov 2015 •

93% positive

It could be a number of things, but the potential issues that spring to mind could either be a faulty input valve, or it could be that it is back syphoning, this is when water runs into the machine from the waste pipe of the sink.


Answered 23rd Jul 2019

Eco Plumbing and Drainage NW

Accrington • Member since 23 Oct 2017 •

100% positive

My guess is the waste outlet hose runs along the floor then up into a kitchen waste spigot. Potentially, dirty waste will backfill the hose into the washer.

The hose should be installed ‘up and over ‘ to prevent backflow


Answered 23rd Jul 2019

How to fix the problem with dirty water in the washing machine?


Look over: 579

A washing machine is an indispensable helper in everyday life, but what if the water in it is dirty? The problem is not only unpleasant, but can also adversely affect the quality of washing. In this article, our washing machine repair technicians will tell you how to fix a problem with dirty water in a washing machine.

  • Why is the water in the washing machine dirty?
  • How to remove dirty water from a washing machine?
  • How to avoid problems with dirty water in the washing machine?
  • Conclusion

Also read: “TOP 5 quietest automatic washing machines” odessa-remont.com.ua/top-tihih-mashin

Before we talk about how to deal with dirty water in the washing machine, let’s see why this happens. Firstly, dirty water can appear due to improper use of the washing machine. If the manufacturer’s recommendations are not followed and the tank is overloaded, water may remain in the machine and become contaminated. Secondly, the cause of dirty water can also be low-quality laundry detergent, which leaves residue on the laundry and in the tub of the washing machine. Finally, dirt can accumulate in the machine itself if it is not cleaned regularly.

How to remove dirty water from a washing machine?

If the water in the washing machine becomes dirty, immediate action must be taken. The first step is to check if there are any obstacles in the machine to drain water. If this is not the problem, then you can move on to more serious measures.

First, try changing your laundry detergent to a better one. The use of poor-quality powder can lead to the formation of sediment in the washing machine tank, which further pollutes the water. Secondly, try not to overload the washing machine tank. If water remains in the machine after washing, you can try reducing the amount of laundry in the tub.

It is also worth paying attention to the machine itself and its cleaning. To avoid the accumulation of dirt in the machine, it is recommended to wash it periodically. To do this, you can use special products for cleaning washing machines, which are sold in stores. They will help clean the tank and pipes from accumulated dirt and powder residue.

In addition, you can use traditional methods. For example, you can rinse the tub of a washing machine with vinegar. To do this, it is necessary to mix equal parts of water and vinegar in the tank of the washing machine, and then start washing at the maximum temperature. After that, you need to run the wash again without powder and fabric softener to completely remove the smell of vinegar.

If all the above methods did not help, then it is worth contacting specialists. Perhaps the cause of the problem lies in the breakdown of the washing machine.

How to avoid problems with dirty water in the washing machine?

To avoid problems with dirty water in the washing machine, you need to follow a few simple rules:

  • Do not overload the washing machine tank;
  • Use good quality laundry detergent;
  • Clean the car periodically with special products or vinegar;
  • Regularly check the operation of the machine and contact a specialist if necessary.


Dirty water in a washing machine is a nuisance that can damage washing performance and cause discomfort. To avoid this problem, follow the simple rules for caring for your washing machine and remember to clean it periodically. If the problem still occurs, use the recommendations described in this article, or contact the experts for help. Take care of your washing machine and it will serve you for many years!

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What to do when there is water left in the washing machine drum

Have you started the machine, carried out the washing cycle as usual, but at the end you notice that there is water left in the washing machine drum? Perhaps the reason is a simple blockage, but serious breakdowns also occur.

To find out the cause, you need to pay attention to the symptoms of the problem, as well as carry out diagnostics and a thorough inspection of the machine.

Symptoms and causes of the problem

Pay attention when you find that there is water left in the washer:

  • After the wash cycle, while removing the laundry from the drum. Things were badly wrung out.
  • When the car hung, a fault code was displayed on the scoreboard. In this case, the hatch door does not open.

Why do such breakdowns occur? There may be such reasons:

  1. A kink in the drain hose has occurred, or a blockage has formed in the drain system.
  2. Drain pump broken.
  3. Faulty pressure switch (pressure switch).
  4. The electronic board is defective.

What to do if there is water left in the drum after washing

Do the test correctly from simple to complex, so immediately check the drain path. Proceed sequentially, start cleaning the drain filter.

Clean the pump filter

  • Disconnect the machine from all communications and the electrical network.
  • Drain off any remaining water. Prepare the container beforehand, unscrew the inlet hose and drain the water from it.
  • In front of the hull at the very bottom is a small hatch. The lid can be opened by prying out the latches with a flathead screwdriver.
  • Place a container and unscrew the drain filter. If it is clogged with debris, clean it.
  • Before installing the filter, look into its hole, check if the threads have wound around the pump impeller.

Filter cleaned. To check the rest of the details, go to the next paragraph.

Remove clogged drain pump and pipe

If water remains in the drum after washing, the pump or drain pipe may be clogged. To get to the pump, in some CMA models, you need to remove the casing, in others, remove the bottom. We wrote in detail about disassembling washing machines of different brands in previous articles.

Please note! If you tilt the machine on its side to get to the pump through the bottom, be sure to check the dispenser tray for water. If the control module gets wet, the repair will be very expensive.

You have opened the pump. Now proceed as follows:

  • Disconnect the wires leading to the pump. Beforehand, you can photograph their location.
  • Loosen the fixing screws. Loosen the hose clamp.
  • After disconnecting the nozzle, check it for blockage. It can be cleaned with strong water pressure.
  • If, after inspecting the pump, no blockage is found, check its winding using a multimeter.
  • If defective, replace the winding.

Check and replace the pressure switch (level sensor)

If there is water in the drum, this may indicate a malfunction of the pressure switch. The part is responsible for controlling the water in the tank. It is this sensor that sends a signal to the control board to stop the intake of water in the SMA. If it is broken, then there is no signal – the pump will not start, and the water will not be pumped out.

What to do:

  • Remove the top cover from the housing by unscrewing the two screws on the back.
  • Near the wall you will see a level switch.
  • Disconnect its contacts.
  • Remove the mounting bolts.
  • Disconnect the pressure switch tube and check for blockage.
  • Using a multimeter, measure the resistance by applying the probes to the sensor contacts.
  • If necessary, install a new element.

Inspect the electronic unit

The reason that water accumulates and remains in the tank of Indesit, Samsung and other brands may be the control unit. Such breakdowns are rare, but take the time to this version, especially if you have checked all the other details.

Triacs are located on the control board. Each of them is responsible for the operation of a specific part in the washing machine. In this case, there may be two variants of the malfunction:

  1. The triac of the pump has burned out, so it does not receive a start command. Therefore, the water from the tank is not pumped out.
  2. The triac of the pressure switch is faulty. Therefore, the unit does not receive information about the amount of water in the tank and considers that it does not need to be drained.

It is very difficult to test the module yourself unless you are an electronics expert. Therefore, it is better to contact the master so as not to damage the expensive part.

What to do if water is continuously poured into the drum

The situation is different from the previous cases when water collects in the drum of a switched off washing machine. The reasons for this malfunction:

  1. The filling valve has broken.
  2. There is a blockage in the sewer.
  3. Incorrect hose connection.

Since the water is constantly poured in, the machine passes it through the sunroof collar. This means that the filling valve is defective. The reason may be hidden in its membrane or electronics.

  • The electronic board sends a signal to the filling valve when to draw water and when to stop drawing. When filling, the valve diaphragm opens and the flow enters the tank. To stop dialing, the membrane closes. If the valve wiring is faulty, it will not receive a signal when to stop drawing water.
  • Over time, the valve diaphragm may have been damaged. As a result, water is constantly drawn into the tank.

How can I check if the valve is faulty? Turn on the water supply tap. If the drum remains dry, then the cause is in the valve. The part cannot be repaired, but you can replace it yourself:

  • Remove the top cover of the machine – the valve is located at the rear wall.
  • Disconnect the wiring connectors.
  • Remove the screw on the back that holds the valve in place.
  • Disconnect the hoses leading to it.
  • Install a new part.

If dirty, waste water appears in the drum, the cause is a clogged sewer or incorrect connection.

Incorrect connection of the hoses causes waste water to enter the washing machine through the hose. And if there is a blockage in the sewer, then the water from the siphon elbow is poured into the tank.

To solve the problem, you need to clean the sewer and properly connect the system to the water supply.

Breakdown Prevention

A failure is easier to prevent than to repair later. It is recommended to follow the installation rules that are described in the instructions. Some users artificially lengthen the drain hose, thereby increasing the load on the pump.

Before washing clothes, not only must they be sorted, but foreign objects must also be removed from the pockets.