Washing machine bearings are circular metal parts that enable the drum to spin effortlessly during the wash cycle. Like all mechanical parts, they have a limited lifespan.

How long do washing machine bearings last? Understanding the lifespan of these bearings can help you anticipate when they might need replacement, potentially saving you from unexpected breakdowns.

So, I will provide information about the average lifespan of washing machine bearings and explore the signs that might indicate it’s time for a replacement.

How Long Do Washing Machine Bearings Last?

The lifespan of washing machine bearings can vary widely depending on several factors, including the quality of the bearings, the frequency of use, the type of laundry being washed, and how well the washing machine is maintained. On average, washing machine bearings can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years.

Front-loading washing machines tend to have more issues with bearings compared to top-loading machines, mainly due to the way the drum is positioned and the higher speeds at which front-loading machines spin.

If the washing machine is heavily used or subjected to heavy loads frequently, the bearings might wear out faster.

How Long Do Washing Machine Bearings Last?
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Signs of Worn-Out Washing Machine Bearings

Recognizing the signs of worn-out washing machine bearings is essential to prevent further damage and ensure the longevity of your appliance.

Here are the key indicators to look out for:

Loud noises during spin cycles 

One of the most common and noticeable signs of deteriorating washing machine bearings is the presence of loud, grinding, or roaring noises during the spin cycle. These noises often become more pronounced as the bearings degrade.

If you’ve noticed that the usual hum of the washing machine has transformed into a jarring sound that resonates throughout your laundry area, it’s likely that the bearings are wearing down.

Increased vibration and wobbling 

Washing machines usually have a certain level of vibration during their operation. Still, if you suddenly notice a significant increase in vibration or wobbling, it could be indicative of bearing issues.

As the bearings wear out, they may become misaligned or loose, causing the drum to move more erratically during the spin cycle. This not only affects the appliance’s performance but can also lead to more severe damage if left unaddressed.

Leaking and corrosion 

Worn-out bearings can compromise the integrity of the washing machine’s seal, allowing water to leak out during the wash or spin cycles. This leakage can result in visible water pooling around the appliance.

Additionally, if water finds its way into the bearing housing, it can cause rust and corrosion. Corroded bearings can further accelerate the wear and tear process, causing the machine’s performance to deteriorate rapidly.

Difficulty in drum movement 

If you’re finding it harder to move the drum by hand or if you sense resistance when trying to rotate it, the bearings might be at fault.

Damaged bearings can hinder the smooth rotation of the drum, making it challenging to turn manually. This reduced mobility can translate into subpar washing results, as the drum might not move as effectively during cycles.

Related: How Long Do Brushes Last On A Washing Machine?

What Causes Washing Machine Bearings to Fail?

Washing machine bearings are one of the most important components in a washing machine, and if they fail, they can cause extensive damage to the machine.

There are several reasons why bearings may fail, including:

1. Lack of lubrication

One of the most common causes of bearing failure is lack of lubrication. Bearings need to be regularly lubricated in order for them to function properly, and if they are not, it can cause them to seize up and eventually fail.

2. Improper installation

If bearings are not installed correctly, it can put undue stress on them and cause them to fail prematurely. It is important to make sure that bearings are installed correctly by a qualified technician.

3. Wear and tear

Over time, bearings will start to wear down and will eventually need to be replaced. This is normal wear and tear and is to be expected over the lifetime of a washing machine.

4. Poor quality bearings

In some cases, bearings may fail simply because they are made of poor-quality materials. This is usually not the case with top-brand washing machines, but it can be an issue with cheaper models.

5. Improper maintenance

If bearings are not regularly inspected and maintained, it can cause them to fail prematurely. It is important to make sure that you regularly check your washing machine for any signs of wear or damage and to have repairs carried out as soon as possible if necessary.

Is It Worth Replacing the Washing Machine Bearings?

Replacing washing machine bearings is definitely worth it. Not only will it prolong the lifespan of your machine, but it will also prevent annoying and costly repairs down the line.

Washing machine bearings are relatively inexpensive to replace, so you’ll definitely save money in the long run by doing this simple maintenance task.

Plus, replacing your own washing machine bearings is a fairly easy DIY project that anyone can do with just a few basic tools.

So, if you’re looking to save money and extend the life of your washing machine, replacing the bearings is a great option.

Also read: Why Does My Washing Machine Keep Beeping?

source: istockphoto.com

Extending the Lifespan of Washing Machine Bearings

To ensure the longevity of your washing machine bearings and the overall performance of your appliance, adopting a few simple practices can go a long way:

Avoid overloading the machine

Resist the temptation to cram too many clothes into a single load. Overloading places excessive strain on the bearings and other internal components, potentially accelerating wear and tear.

Opt for smaller, balanced loads to reduce stress on the bearings.

Use proper detergent and amounts

Using the appropriate type and right amount of detergent prevents residue buildup and maintains optimal function.

Excess detergent can lead to unbalanced loads, increasing the load on the bearings. Follow manufacturer guidelines for detergent usage.

Balance loads to prevent vibration

Unevenly distributed laundry causes the drum to become unbalanced during operation, leading to increased vibration and strain on the bearings.

Prioritize evenly arranging clothes inside the drum to minimize vibration-related stress.

Regular maintenance and cleaning

Keep your washing machine clean and well-maintained. Wipe down the drum and seals after each use, and periodically clean out detergent and lint trays. This prevents debris accumulation that could affect bearing performance.

Opt for gentle washing cycles

Select appropriate washing cycles for different types of laundry. High-speed spin cycles, while efficient, can be harsh on bearings. Opt for gentler cycles when suitable to reduce wear.


How long do washing machine bearings last? The lifespan of washing machine bearings varies between 5 to 15 years, influenced by factors like bearing quality, usage frequency, laundry type, and maintenance.

Recognizing signs of wear, such as noise, vibration, leaks, and movement issues, is essential. To extend their lifespan, avoid overloading, use proper detergent, balance loads, conduct regular maintenance, and opt for gentle cycles.

Promptly addressing bearing issues ensures optimal washing machine performance and longevity, emphasizing the importance of care and maintenance in preserving these vital components.