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”

  1. Hi, yesterday (28/06/15) my 20 month old Beko WM74156LW washing machine exploded glass everywhere on a final 1500 spin. It also has one of the hard plastic oblong things attached inside the drum broken off from it, I don’t know if that has unattached itself during spin and smashed the glass, or if it has been pulled off with the force of the clothes twisting together whilst poking out of the broken glass, definately not overloaded, or underloaded. Brand new tee shirts for holidays ruined in shreds. Awaiting an engineer coming out Friday to investigate. Will keep posted with outcome.

  2. Further to my comment on 29/06/16 regarding Beko door glass shattering.
    I have had my machine replaced, so proves they have admitted liability, beko have also offered me £25 as a goodwill gesture they say, for the damage if £165 worth of clothes, this I am not happy with, as I do not have accidental damage insurance to claim myself, and why should I have to anyway, it was their faulty machine that caused the damage, I am taking this further, and help or suggestions would be appreciated. Many thanks

  3. jackie rossouw

    I have an AEG front loader washing machine we use this machine for our clothes only (we have a LG top loader that is abused with all the pets linen etc) in other words our AEG was handled with kids gloves. My machine is 9 years old but its predecessor (also an AEG) managed to get to well over 16 years before we-retired it from service and donated the machine to a friend of mine.
    The AEG self destructed at the beginning of this month (May 2017). I heard this continual crashing sound coming from the scullery and I raced indoors thinking it was my epileptic dog having a seizure. There was glass, hot water and steam all over the scullery floor and I had to switch off the machine at the wall. We were incredibly lucky that no one (human or pet) was walking by when the machine exploded ! I was quite dumbfounded by my find.

    I have contacted AEG to report this matter frankly an exploding glass door is shocking and an unacceptable safety hazard. The initial reaction from the AEG representative I spoke to was-but it is 9 years old and after a promise of sending someone to our house to investigate or take away the machine for testing this was 2 months ago and now I hear they are just going to replace the door! Surely there is glass in the drum area and one cannot just replace the broken door. I wanted feedback on the cause of this self destruct because I am not going to throw money at expensive repairs only for the door to explode again.
    Clearly AEG do not care about safety / quality service (the only reason we bought the AEG product in the first place).
    Why have a glass door anyway? Really this needs to be revisited.

  4. We have just had the door of our Beko machine shatter. It was 3 years old bought late 2014 …Model WM7043CW 1400rpm 7kg load.

    The glass shattered whilst it was spinning.
    We were just lucky that none of us were in the kitchen when it happened as it sent glass across the room.
    There are fine shards and particles of glass in all the washing and lots of the clothes are shredded as it was spinning with the glass in it.
    Quite a frightening thing to experience and the had never heard of this as a potential problem until googling it yesterday when it happened to us.

    Thank you for this site. I have also left a message on Which website on a similar article about these problems.

    Beko are sending an engineer this week, but not sure what will be the outcome or where we stand legally. The warranty was out as it is 3 years old but obviously this is an extreme malfunction not just a normal breakdown and a full wash of clothes ruined.

    I dread to think what would happen if a small child were nearby at the time.

  5. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Thanks for adding your experience Alison. It’s a shame it’s still happening although reports have definitely dropped off heavily this last year.

  6. Miele just under 12 months old, heard a bang went into laundry room and floor flooded, glass exploded, thankfully plastic outer covering this, Miele came 2 days later and removed my bed linen & towels into a black bin liner as just covered in glass small splinters complete with dark grey marks (oil maybe?) all glass bagged up and put in drum, photos were taken of machine and washing inside by the engineer, new machine arrived a few days later, but Miele refuse to compensate me for my Laura Ashley bed linen and towels, advice please
    Many thanks

  7. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Hello Angela. It’s always disappointing to hear about a Miele door glass incident. Did you say there is a plastic outer covering on the door preventing the glass from shattering outwards? If so that’s a good improvement, one I suggested years ago.

    Regarding your bedlinen and towels, this would be known legally as consequential loss. If Miele have accepted responsibility, and you can argue that by replacing the washing machine they have, then I’m pretty sure they have a responsibility to compensate for any consequential loss as well.

    I would get back in touch with them and use that exact phrase. This should show that you have taken some advice and that you know the legal technical term. A manufacturer can’t accept responsibility for an incident, and compensate by replacing the product, but refuse any liability for the damage that the product did.

    If on the other hand they are claiming that you are responsible for the glass breaking, either totally or partially, then that would be a different matter. But if that was the case, why have they given you a new washing machine?

  8. Hi Andy
    Thanks for your reply and help, Miele agreed replacement on the phone when the engineer called them from my house, as it was totally not my fault, so guess I have a battle ahead as they stated in an email that Miele as a company do not cover consequential loss, but they have clearly accepted liability I’ve told them this but they have stood firm
    Wish me luck

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