Washing machine exploding door glass danger

Shattered glass in the news I’ve been writing about and following cases of “exploding” door glass on washing machines since 2008. There’s been a steady trickle of reports from people with various brands. Some even claim their door glass shattered spontaneously when the washing machine was not even switched on. It’s potentially a genuine safety concern. Especially for children.

Customers who report these incidents are definitely claiming it is dangerous. I have seen reports of people being cut and injured, but nothing serious so far. As far as I can make out it’s been more to do with being cut picking up the glass.

Back in 2012 there was a brief flurry of international media interest in my article. It was widely quoted and linked to. However, presumably without any reports of serious injury it was soon forgotten.

Don’t confuse two separate “exploding” washing machine issues

This article is about the door glass exploding. Another issue, which has also had national press coverage is when the washing machine’s inner drum “explodes” during spin.

This is a known issue related to specific brands and is covered in my article here – washing machines exploding: What’s going on?

Shattering door glass

Shattered door glass on floor

I’m not entirely happy using the word explode because it sounds sensational. But as most people experiencing this issue use that word it needs to be used. Some have even described it as being like “a bomb”.

The previous picture is of a Beko washing machine. Beko are one of the most common UK washing machines who so far have the highest reported cases. The consumer who sent it me wrote –

I dread to think the outcome if my son had been in front of the machine at the time!

Lots of people have expressed concerns over children and pets.

Seeing the following photo on my Facebook news-feed heightened my concerns. It’s of a friend’s small child innocently looking into their washing machine.

Small child

Reports of spontaneous exploding glass when washer not even running

No parent could be expected to foresee the thick door glass of their washing machine shattering, either when on – or especially when it’s just standing unused. This photo is worrying when you know about all of the incidents that have happened (rare or not). Clearly it’s best to not let children get this close up just in case.

Manufacturers are saying the problem is caused by foreign obstructions such as coins or metal buckles hitting and weakening the door glass. The weakened door can then shatter under constant heating up and cooling down.

Another theory is that it’s caused by people overloading the washing machine. However, it would be nice if the door glass was strong enough to cope with such inevitable stresses. I have written an article specifically covering that subject here – exploding door glass who’s fault is it?

Which washing machines are affected?

Many brands have been mentioned across the price range. Cheap, middle, and even some top-end brands have been affected. So it’s not necessarily only the cheapest brands. See the tally of reports on the right column (after the comments on mobile devices).

What’s the solution?

Until a definite cause is proved it’s difficult to know what needs to be done. The main expectation is that the door glass maybe needs to be made thicker. There’s no proof that the glass is too thin as yet. If manufacturers placed a plastic cover in front of the door glass it would definitely prevent any injuries. This would make it double-glazed.

It’s likely to be difficult to fit one retrospectively. So it would probably need to be designed like this from the off. This was actually done around 20 years back by Hoover on models like the Eco Logic, Soft Wave and New Wave. However it was done for thermal protection and insulation. To my knowledge, and in my experience, the shattering door glass was not an issue back then. I didn’t come across any shattered door glass until around 2008.

What can you do to limit any danger?

Enough reports of the glass shattering whilst the washer isn’t even on have been made to be taken seriously although this still appears to be rare.

Don’t let kids play around washing machines until this issue is hopefully resolved.

Some door glass appears to break into relatively safe rounded chunks, but some (see photos of broken glass ) have broken into more sharp and jagged pieces, which definitely look dangerous.

Remember, there are only (presumably) a few hundred cases out of millions of washing machines and only a small percentage of them claim the washer wasn’t running at the time.

So the odds of it happening at all – never mind someone being in front of it at the time – should be very low. If you are concerned enough to need to do something you could try hanging a thick towel over the door when the washer is not in use. That would prevent or limit any glass flying out. Keep children and pets away from it especially when it’s running.

Take care of your washing machine and treat it gently

Many of them aren’t built as well as they used to and can’t take much “abuse”. Don’t overload the machine by cramming it so full that the whole laundry just turns around in one big lump. Don’t under-load it either – Loading a washing machine).

Also make sure you check all pockets for coins and other obstructions before washing.

Don’t put laundry in with metal buckles or buttons which could hit the door glass.

Some new washing machines do have a plastic barrier in front of the glass

I’ve seen two new AEG washing machines that both have a protective plastic see-through plate in front of the door glass (which is the solution I’ve always described). However, they were both washer dryers.

So it’s more to do with thermal insulation again than protecting against shattering door glass. As AEG have only had 1 reported incident on Whitegoodshelp (so far) it seems unlikely they would have introduced this “shield” for safety. It’s likely to just be coincidental.

(More views on this subject from another engineer : Ken Watt runs UKWhitegoods and is an experienced appliance engineer. He has written an article giving his views here – Washing Machine Door Glass Failures)

Photos and tally of broken door glass

Broken door glass photos I have a separate page where I feature some of the photos of shattered door glass I’ve received. On this page there is also a list of all of the incidents reported to me in order of which brands are most affected. Photos are currently here – photos and tally of broken glass.

There are also plenty of comments on this article below to read and research if you scroll down. If you have any information or would just like to register an incident with me please add a comment or contact me

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205 thoughts on “Washing machine exploding door glass danger”

  1. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Hello Angela. Consequential loss is when you are forced by law to compensate someone who suffered a consequential loss due to something that was your fault. If a customer is claiming consequential loss then that’s a matter for the small claims courts and the consumer law. No one decides whether to comply to that are not. They are either liable under consumer law, or not. It’s a bit disappointing when companies do this, especially a company like Miele who strive for the highest standards. The amount of money that it is likely to cost them to compensate you is peanuts to them. I don’t understand why they would rather lose a customer and gain extra bad publicity.

  2. My beko washing machine door exploded on me last week it totally shattered into big and small pieces I just literally left the kitchen when I happened luckily my little boy was sat in the living room and no one was hurt. I’ve never been so shocked in my life with the loud bang that it created. I have photos on my phone as my friends and family didn’t believe me.

  3. Tally on the Electrolux washer glass explosion. Happened as it was not on/running a load as the last load was done 8 hours earlier.

      1. Doris Feltham

        The glass in the door of our front load washer suddenly shattered. Thankfully, no one was in the room when it happened. It was not running at the time.
        Model EFLS517SIW0
        Produced in No 2017
        We purchased in Dec 2017
        Incident occurred in Jun 2023

        Electrolux response
        “ Was anyone hurt? Any property damaged?”
        When I said no, response was “we will give you a 20% discount on a new glass.”
        I appreciated the discount but I really want to know if anyone is tracking incidents and if Electrolux is determining why the glass is shattering.
        Since I do not put belts or other items that could bang against door in the washer, that could not be the cause.

  4. Dawn Parkinson

    My Bosch washing machine exploded yesterday while I was cooking in the kitchen . It was not operating at the time. I had sometime before put a small dark load with the intention of more items later in the day . I can only describe it like an explosion followed by the sound of shattering glass. I didn’t know initially where it had come from. My machine was purchased 28th March 2022 so is less than a year old .It shattered into many sharp dangerous pieces. I took photos and then took along time clearing up the mess and shards of glass. I got it from John Lewis . They said contact Bosch . The Bosch representative I spoke to clearly did not believe me and said I must have overloaded the machine even though I had explained that the machine was not on when it happened. They are sending an engineer to determine the cause and say I will have to claim on my house insurance if it is classed as accidental damage . I am furious that they are suggesting it is my fault.

    1. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

      Hi Dawn. It’s frustrating because all the manufacturers say exactly the same thing. First they say they’ve never heard of the problem, and secondly they say you must have overloaded it, or you must have left something metal inside the washing machine. To be fair, my impression is that it is quite a rare incident these days. It seemed to happen a lot several years ago when I first wrote these articles, but then petered out. Maybe manufacturers improved something?

      But what I can say is that I have been repairing washing machines since 1976, and this never used to happen.

      I’ve seen many washing machines so badly overloaded, and so badly out of balance (this is before they invented out of balance control) that washing machines literally jumped up into the air, and walked across the kitchen. Sometimes as far as the attached hoses would allow them. I’ve seen them bash great big dints in both sides of the washing machine’s casing and damage cupboards.

      I’ve also seen great big scars on the door glass where the revolving drum lip had caught relentlessly on it during spin, and cut big marks into the door glass. I’ve also seen countless washing machines with pen knives, large coins, large buckles etc. stuck inside the washing machine. These objects caused extensive damage to the inner drum and the outer tub, but never damaged the door glass.

      Washing machines door glass used to be extremely thick, and strong. I can only speculate that at some point in relatively recent history, manufacturers changed the type of glass that they use to what is called safety glass. Safety glass is created under high tension, and designed to shatter into many small pieces if it breaks. The idea is that in a breakage, glass will shatter into small “safe” pieces.

      However, my experience shows that safety glass was completely unnecessary. I only ever had to replace a couple of washing machine door glasses in 30 years. As far as I recall they were all due to unusual incidences such as someone dropping something heavy onto the open door of a washing machine, causing it to crack (not break).

      So why would they start to make them out of safety glass all of a sudden? Possibly there could have been some legislation that forced it. Or maybe they reduced the thickness of the door glass in order to cut costs, and realised that they had better now make it out of safety glass because it is now vulnerable to being broken?

      This is obviously just speculation. I do not know the answer. An important thing to understand is that safety glass seems to have an ability to spontaneously explode. It’s happened for many years on the glass on oven doors. It can even happen on double-glazed window units. It happened to me. We had a double-glazed unit in our conservatory roof which just spontaneously exploded one (very) hot day after 9 years.

      A major problem seems to be that it’s extremely difficult or even impossible to ascertain exactly what caused any glass to spontaneously explode. Manufacturers who use this type of glass just seem to accept that this is what it does, it’s one of those things, it’s rare but it just happens. However, this is not really good enough when we the consumers suffer financial loss because of it. No one says when you buy these products that the glass can sometimes spontaneously explode for no apparent reason and that this is normal, and just one of those things.

      When I have researched it, though, I have seen references to manufacturing faults. It’s possible that during manufacture, some flaw or error is introduced, which results in door glass failure sometime in the future. It’s also possible that some force from a metal object could damage the door glass and either cause it to break instantly, or introduce a weakness that causes the explosion some time later. Possibly due to change in temperature.

      My experience is that any company faced with having to replace any of this glass that has exploded always acts the same. They say it’s nothing to do with them, and you have to pay for it. We would probably need some glass experts to advise on this issue.

      In my case, when my conservatory roof spontaneously exploded, I argued with the company that fitted it, that many sources on the Internet that say a manufacturing fault can cause it. Or that it can happen if it is fitted poorly, and under some sort of pressure. The company replaced my conservatory roof double-glazed panel, and did not charge me.

      1. Dawn Parkinson

        Thank you so much for writing this reply . Thank you for taking the time and also your expertise in this matter. The engineer is coming today to determine the cause and it really helps to have some background knowledge on this especially if there is disagreement.
        Kind regards
        Dawn Parkinson.

  5. Bosch door exploded – absolutely gutted happy to send pics – luckily had a plastic outer piece so safety covered in part but devastated about clothes which will be ruined – have booked engineer visit as under warranty but not sure they can ‘fix’ as machine us full of glass now – shocking

  6. Our Miele w1 washer door shattered, glass was contained in unit and outer glass of door didn’t break. Appears to have continued spin cycle , shredding clothes. There was only sportswear and a night gown in the unit. Have called miele but so far no response from their repair service. What should our expectations be? Do we need a replacement machine because of all the glass shards or is it repairable? We bought unit in 2021 and bought the three year warranty.

    1. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

      Hello Jay. Unfortunately it’s not possible to predict what a manufacturer will say or do. As my article suggests, most manufacturers tend to blame the user. So if they say it is caused by the user, they are unlikely to be very helpful. However, if they say it is caused by overloading, I would ask them why their washing machines are not designed to cope with the simple case of overloading, which virtually everybody does at one time. If they say it is caused by some metal object, such as a belt buckle or even a coin, I would also ask them why their washing machine, a premium brand, is not strong enough to cope with that?

      At the end of the day, it is not a strong position to be in because we can’t really prove that it is a design fault, even if that is strongly suspected. Some manufacturers have apparently done free repairs or replacement machines. The best advice I can give is to carefully read this article, and all the comments, which all give people’s personal experience of this issue. Then read this article Broken door glass – who’s fault is it?. That way you will at least have a very good understanding of the issue

  7. Brand new Haier I-Pro Series 3 HW80-B14939 8Kg 1409 spin washing machine. Bought 7th Nov, delivered & installed (by the company) on 15th Nov. Single wash run at low temperature. No metal on clothes / in pockets. While I was out at work yesterday the glass shattered. Nobody was in the house. Nothing has hit the door. My previous machine (also Haier) stood in the same place for 13years and the glass was not the thing that failed.

  8. The glass door on my Beko 1200 exploded this morning part way through a 90 degree wash.
    It was terrifying and I was shocked and shaken. There were shards of sharp glass on the kitchen floor and in the clothes in the machine.
    I then spent most of the day on the phone to Beko. First they wanted full details of the machine and purchase info. Then they said there was nothing they could do as it was out of warranty. I appreciate the machine is 17 months old but this is a safety issue not a warranty one.
    I tried again and was told to send them all the info in an email to customer services.
    I don’t know where to go next as I think I will be ignored.
    Any advice would be gratefully received. Having a washing machine is like having an unexploded bomb in your house

  9. Have a Whirlpool model WFW86HEBW1 which blew out the glass into large shards, small pieces and tiny slivers right at the beginning of a wash cycle, while I was watching through the door at the time. Had just loaded a mattress pad I have washed in it many, many times before. No metal of any kind within.

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