How To Snake A Washing Machine Drain?

Need to unclog your washing machine drain? Snaking the drain is a simple and effective solution. By using a specialized tool called a drain snake, you can easily remove any blockages preventing your washing machine from draining properly.

A drain snake, also known as a plumbing auger, is a long, flexible metal cable with a coiled spring at the end. Inserting the snake into the drainpipe allows you to break up and remove any debris causing the clog.

To snake your washing machine drain, start by disconnecting the power and water supply. Then, locate the drain pipe behind or under your machine. Next, insert the end of the drain snake into the pipe and turn the handle clockwise to feed the snake further into the drain.

While snaking, be prepared to encounter resistance as you reach the clog. Rotate the snake back and forth to break up the blockage, and slowly withdraw the snake from the drain. Finally, reconnect the power and water supply to your washing machine, and test to ensure the drain is clear.

Snaking your washing machine drain is an effective DIY method to unclog your machine and restore its functionality. Remember to exercise caution and wear protective gloves when handling the drain snake. If the clog persists or appears to be more severe, it may be necessary to seek professional assistance.

how to snake a washing machine drain

Signs of a Clogged Washing Machine Drain

One of the most frustrating things that can happen when doing laundry is dealing with a clogged washing machine drain. A clog in the drain can cause water to back up and prevent your washing machine from draining properly. This can lead to a variety of issues, from a foul smell to potential water damage in your laundry area. Therefore, it’s important to be able to recognize the signs of a clogged washing machine drain so that you can address the issue promptly. Here are some common signs to look out for:

1. Slow Draining

If you notice that your washing machine is taking longer than usual to drain, it could be a sign of a clogged drain. A clog can restrict the flow of water, causing it to drain slowly or even not drain at all. This can result in water pooling in the drum of your washing machine, leaving your clothes soaking wet and increasing the risk of mold or mildew growth.

2. Foul Odor

A clogged washing machine drain can cause stagnant water to accumulate, resulting in a foul odor. This unpleasant smell can permeate your laundry area and even your clothes if not resolved promptly. If you notice a musty or sewer-like odor coming from your washing machine, it’s likely that there is a clog in the drain that needs to be cleared.

3. Overflowing or Leaking

In severe cases of a clogged washing machine drain, you may experience overflowing or leaking during the wash or spin cycle. When the drain is clogged, water has nowhere to go and can backup into the machine, resulting in overflow or leakage. This can cause water damage to your flooring and walls, and may require costly repairs if not addressed in a timely manner.

4. Gurgling Sounds

If you hear gurgling noises coming from your washing machine drain, it could indicate a clog. When water tries to pass through a clogged drain, it can create air bubbles that cause the gurgling sound. This is a clear sign that there is a blockage in the drain that needs to be cleared.

5. Water Backup in Other Fixtures

Another sign of a clogged washing machine drain is water backup in other fixtures in your home. For example, if you notice water backing up into the sink or bathtub when using the washing machine, it’s a strong indication that the drain is clogged. This occurs because the clog in the washing machine drain can cause a blockage in the main sewer line, affecting multiple fixtures in your home.

6. Excessive Lint

If you find an excessive amount of lint in your washing machine or dryer lint trap, it could be a sign of a clogged drain. When the drain is clogged, lint from your laundry can accumulate and cause further obstruction in the drain. This can lead to issues with water drainage and may require professional assistance to clear the clog.

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In summary, a clogged washing machine drain can lead to a range of issues, from slow draining to water backup and foul odors. It’s important to be vigilant and recognize the signs of a clogged drain so that you can address the problem promptly. If you notice any of these signs, it’s recommended to contact a professional plumber or drain cleaner to clear the clog and ensure your washing machine operates efficiently.

Tools and Materials Needed for Snaking a Washing Machine Drain

Snaking a washing machine drain is a common and effective method to remove clogs and blockages that can occur over time. To successfully snake a washing machine drain, you will need a few essential tools and materials. Here are the tools and materials that you will need:

1. Drain Snake

The most important tool you will need is a drain snake, also known as a plumbing snake or auger. This tool is designed to navigate through the drain pipe and break up or remove any clogs or blockages that may be causing the problem. There are different types of drain snakes available, so make sure to choose one that is suitable for the size of your washing machine drain.

2. Protective Gloves

It is important to protect your hands while snaking a washing machine drain, as you may encounter debris or other substances that can be harmful. Wearing protective gloves will not only keep your hands clean but also prevent any injuries.

3. Bucket

Having a bucket nearby is helpful to catch any water or debris that may come out while snaking the drain. This will help prevent any mess and make the cleaning process easier.

4. Safety Goggles

Wearing safety goggles is recommended to protect your eyes from any splashes or debris that may be released while snaking the drain. This will ensure your safety and prevent any potential eye injuries.

5. Screwdriver

A screwdriver may be needed to remove any screws or fasteners that are securing the access panel to the washing machine or drain pipe. This will allow you to easily access the drain and perform the snaking process.

6. Pipe Wrench

If your washing machine drain is connected to a PVC or metal pipe, a pipe wrench may be required to loosen or tighten any connections. This will allow you to disconnect the pipe and gain access to the drain for snaking.

7. Plunger

A plunger can be useful if the clog is not severe and can be dislodged by suction. Before using the drain snake, you can try using a plunger to see if it can clear the clog and restore proper drainage.

8. Towels or Rags

Having towels or rags on hand is important to clean up any spills or messes that may occur during the snaking process. This will help keep your working area clean and prevent any damage to the surrounding surfaces.

9. Drain Cleaner (optional)

If the clog is caused by grease or buildup, you may consider using a drain cleaner as an additional step before snaking the drain. However, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and precautions when using drain cleaners.

With these tools and materials, you will be well-prepared to snake a washing machine drain and resolve any drainage issues you may be experiencing. Remember to follow proper safety precautions and consult a professional if you are unsure or uncomfortable with performing the task yourself.

Step-by-Step Guide to Snaking a Washing Machine Drain

If you’ve noticed that your washing machine is not draining properly or if water is backing up, it’s possible that the drain pipe is clogged. One effective way to clear a clog in your washing machine drain is by using a plumbing tool called a drain snake. A drain snake, also known as a plumbing auger, is a long, flexible cable that can be inserted into the drain pipe to remove any obstructions.

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Step 1: Gather the Necessary Tools

Before you start snaking the washing machine drain, gather all the necessary tools. You will need a drain snake or plumbing auger, rubber gloves, a bucket or towel to catch any water, and possibly a wrench to remove the drain trap if needed.

Step 2: Prepare the Area

Make sure to protect the surrounding area by placing a towel or bucket underneath the drain pipe. This will help to catch any water or debris that may come out during the snaking process.

Step 3: Locate the Drain Pipe

The drain pipe for your washing machine is typically located near the back of the machine. Look for a curved pipe or a standpipe that is connected to the wall or floor. This is where you will insert the drain snake.

Step 4: Insert the Drain Snake

Put on your rubber gloves to protect your hands from any dirt or debris. Insert the drain snake into the drain pipe and push it in as far as it will go. As you feed the snake into the pipe, rotate the handle clockwise to help the cable navigate through any clogs.

Step 5: Break Up the Clog

Once the drain snake is inserted into the pipe, you need to break up the clog. This can be done by either turning the handle of the drain snake in a clockwise motion or by applying gentle pressure as you push and pull the snake back and forth. This motion will help to dislodge and break up the clog.

Step 6: Remove the Drain Snake

After breaking up the clog, slowly remove the drain snake from the pipe. Be careful not to pull it out too quickly, as this may cause any debris to splatter. Keep rotating the handle as you pull the snake out to help capture any remaining debris.

Step 7: Test the Drain

Once the drain snake is removed, test the washing machine drain by running a cycle with water. Check to see if the water is draining properly and if there are any signs of backup. If the issue persists, you may need to repeat the snaking process or consider calling a professional plumber.

Step 8: Clean Up

After successfully snaking the washing machine drain, clean up any remaining debris or water. Dispose of any waste properly and ensure that the area is dry and free from any mess.

In summary, snaking a washing machine drain is a relatively simple process that can help to clear clogs and restore proper drainage. By following this step-by-step guide and using a drain snake, you can save time and money by avoiding the need for professional plumbing services. Remember to always take proper precautions and consult a professional if you are unsure or if the issue persists.

Preventive Measures to Avoid Future Drain Clogs

Dealing with drain clogs can be a frustrating and messy task. Not only do clogged drains cause inconvenience, but they can also lead to expensive repairs if left untreated. To save yourself from the hassle of dealing with drain clogs in the future, it is important to take preventive measures. Here are some effective preventive measures that can help you avoid future drain clogs:

1. Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is the key to keeping your drains clog-free. Make it a habit to clean your drains on a regular basis. This can be done by simply pouring boiling water down the drain once a week. Boiling water helps in breaking down any oil or grease buildup in the pipes. Additionally, you can also use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to flush out any debris or residue that may be causing blockages.

2. Use Drain Screens

Using drain screens is another effective way to prevent future drain clogs. Drain screens are small mesh screens that are placed over the drains to catch hair, food particles, and other debris before they enter the pipes. By using drain screens in the kitchen sink, bathroom sinks, and showers, you can significantly reduce the chances of clogs occurring. Regularly clean the drain screens to ensure they are free from any debris.

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3. Avoid Pouring Grease

One common cause of drain clogs is the improper disposal of grease. Grease can solidify inside the pipes and create blockages. To avoid this, never pour grease down the drain. Instead, collect the grease in a container and dispose of it in the trash once it has solidified. This simple step can go a long way in preventing drain clogs.

4. Proper Use of Toilets

Toilets are not designed to handle anything other than human waste and toilet paper. Avoid flushing items such as baby wipes, paper towels, or feminine hygiene products, as they can easily cause clogs in the toilet drain. Educate everyone in your household about proper toilet usage to prevent future clogs.

5. Regular Plumbing Inspections

Regular plumbing inspections by a professional plumber can help identify any underlying issues that may lead to drain clogs. They can spot early signs of blockages, cracks, or other damage in the pipes and take necessary actions to prevent clogs from occurring. Schedule regular inspections to catch any potential problems before they become major issues.

6. Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners

While it may be tempting to use chemical drain cleaners to unclog your drains, they can actually do more harm than good. Chemical drain cleaners are harsh and can damage your pipes over time. Additionally, they may not effectively clear the clog, resulting in recurring blockages. Instead of relying on chemical cleaners, opt for natural and eco-friendly alternatives.

7. Proper Disposal of Food Waste

In the kitchen, make sure to scrape food scraps into the trash instead of rinsing them down the sink. Food particles can accumulate in the pipes and cause clogs. Use a sink strainer to catch any food debris that may accidentally go down the drain, and regularly empty it into the trash.

In summary, taking preventive measures is the best way to avoid future drain clogs. By practicing regular maintenance, using drain screens, avoiding pouring grease, following proper toilet usage, scheduling regular plumbing inspections, avoiding chemical drain cleaners, and properly disposing of food waste, you can keep your drains clog-free and save yourself from the hassle and expense of dealing with clogged drains in the future.


How do I snake a washing machine drain?

To snake a washing machine drain, follow these steps:
1. Turn off the power and water supply to the washing machine.
2. Remove the drain hose from the wall or drain pipe.
3. Insert a plumbing snake into the drain opening and push it in as far as it can go.
4. Twist and turn the snake to break up any clogs or debris.
5. Slowly pull out the snake while continuing to twist it.
6. Flush the drain with hot water to remove any remaining debris.
7. Reconnect the drain hose and turn the power and water supply back on.


In conclusion, knowing how to snake a washing machine drain can save you from the frustration of clogged drains and costly repairs. By following the simple steps and utilizing the right tools, you can effectively clear any obstructions and restore proper water flow in no time.

Regular maintenance and preventive measures like using drain screens can help prevent future clogs. Remember to exercise caution and wear protective gear while working with plumbing tools.

With the knowledge and skills to snake your washing machine drain, you can ensure efficient drainage and prolong the lifespan of your appliance. Don’t let a clogged drain interrupt your laundry routine – take action and keep your washing machine running smoothly.