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 If your washing machine door glass has shattered or exploded please send (in focus) photos so I can consider putting them on this article as examples. Contact me using my contact form and you can then attach the photos to my email reply.

I have a separate page where I feature all of the best photos of shattered door glass. 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 on 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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193 thoughts on “Washing machine exploding door glass danger”

    . ON A 30degree wash for 39 minutes half full with underwear and tee shirts. all shredded and slashed.

    Absolutely scary and frightening if my granddaughter had been here she would be in the vicinity of the machine! She is two. I have been left shaking and freaked out!

    I bought from John Lewis exactly One year ago. They are being absolutely shitty to me. I cant believe how much I trusted them as a retailer. I have lost confidence in this Brand and want a replacement but not another BEKO.

    They only want to replace the door and nothing else and keep saying I have the Sales of Good Act 1979 incorrect. They also keep refering to the very few incidents considering how many units have been sold!!??

    I dont think anything will happen until someone is killed just like the BEKO fridge freezers and the BEKO gas ovens.

    I am so freaked out about this.

  2. Some new washing machines now have a barrier: 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). I don’t know if they have definitely introduced this barrier to protect against broken glass or it’s for another purpose but if buying a new washing machine you might want to look out for ones with a plastic barrier in front of the glass. AEG have only had 1 reported incident on Whitegoodshelp by the way so if they have introduced it for protection that’s pretty impressive.

    However, both washing machines I’ve seen were washer dryers so there is a chance they have only installed it on washer dryers because the door glass gets much hotter on the drying cycle. If this is the case though it does show that it’s not difficult to fit a protective shield in front of the door glass, as I’ve said, Hoover used to do it in the 90s on many models – before the exploding door glass issue.

  3. Good, my name is Jota Alves, to inform you that I have a machine Washing Indesit 10 Klg. The glass broke me is tempered and laminated glass that can cause ireversiveis damage, which deveeria be Tempered glass but not rolled, Indesit is not responsible for this manufacturing defect.
    thank you all going to do a petition to Blame Indesit Company, and remove this and other products from the market.
    Thank you
    Jota Alves

  4. We have a 5 year old LG front loader. My wife heard a pop and my daughter scream in our down stairs. She ran down and found glass and water everywhere. Seems my daughter was walking out of our play area downstairs and just got to the stairs when the washing machine door “exploded”. Luckily she was not hurt or in the line of fire. I use the word exploded cautiously as others have but when you find glass 6 feet from the actual washer what other word would you use? My wife was washing some blanket covers on a regular cycle. The results are listed under the pictures section. I called LG and they were rude and very short with me- ” you are out of warranty so we cant do anything about it”??? I had never in my life even heard of this happening but when we called a repair center to see if it was fixable they said “oh yea just google it we have seen quite a few in the last few years” .

  5. The door glass on my Beko washing machine burst tonight. Glass and water everywhere, the machine continued with the wash cycle after the door glass burst, splattering more glass and water. I’ve had the machine for a few years and am not sure how many but it defiinately is not ancient! Just thankful that nobody else was in the house and near the machine. I was in a state of shock for a while because it did indeed seem like an explosion. All that was in it were two mop cloths, no zips, coins or any other hard object. I’d never heard about all this before it happened, glad to have found this site, I really didn’t think anyone would believe it.

  6. Beko WMB81445LW

    Just like Brenda in April 2015, my 2 year old washing machine “exploded” today on the final spin of a 40 degree cottons wash. Glass everywhere, some clothes ripped to shreds and the rest covered in fine slivers of glass. I have contacted Beko and they are sending out an engineer in a week to have a look. Like others have reported, if there is any glass trapped in the drum or the pump then I will not be happy if they just replace the glass.

  7. I received a comment a few weeks back from Kate but she wrote it on the wrong article. I suggested re-posted it here, but she hasn’t so far, and may not have received my email so I’ll paste it in manually for the record –

    On Friday 27th January I came home to find my kitchen and hallway covered in glass, not into safety glass pieces, but a combination of shards and larger chunks! My washer door has exploded whilst on the spin cycle (1400) speed. It shredded the clothing directly at the front of the drum. Hotpoint did not appear alarmed and said they had never heard of this happening before! * days for an appointment I had to wait and then on the morning of my appointment the engineer phoned in sick so I had to wait another 5 days. The engineer came on the 9th and said he would have to order parts (several) which would not arrive until 17th Feb!!! I was very put out by the way this was being handled and not happy at the thought of the machine being repaired so after a long hard battle, and Hotpoint accusing me of cancelling my appointment on the 4th, my replacement is arriving today I Hope ! 23 days after reporting the issue.

  8. After hearing a news segment on 5 live the other morning about washing machine glass cracking, I had a brief look at my machine to find that indeed, there is a crack from the top of the drum around the edge and underneath. I have contacted LG who are going to look into this for me and I have forwarded them a picture and they have advised me to not use the machine. I don’t know how long this has been like this if I haven’t noticed it before, as the glass hasn’t shattered, just cracked! I might be in for a long wait.

  9. I have looked on my washing machine door (it is has not cracked). However, there is a very small hairline crack in the glass. But more worrying than that, there appears to be some tiny air bubbles in the glass, which of course can only be from manufacture of the glass. Yes it is a Samsung Eco Bubble, but come on, I don’t think that can put air bubbles in the glass :)

    Is it a potential spot for weakness?

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