Maintaining your washing machine and cleaning washing machine pipes is essential if you want to ensure that the machine keeps working properly and lasts as long as it possibly can. A broken or malfunctioning washing machine can be an expensive thing to replace, but you may be wary of tackling the job of cleaning washing machine pipes yourself. Well, it’s not as complicated as you think! Below we will look at why it is important to clean washing machine pipes, and the step-by-step process of how you to clean washing machine pipes cheaply and easily with little fuss.

Washing Machine Drain Pipe

Why Clean Washing Machine Pipes?

If you want to keep your washing machine functioning well and avoid having to deal with a build-up of soap and powder debris, dirt, grime, oil, and other materials that come off your clothes when you clean them. You’ll also be able to avoid bad odours in your kitchen and on your washed clothes, potential flooding issues, and having to replace the washing machine sooner than expected.

  • Washing machine pipes are usually located at the back of the machine and they connect to the u-bend under the sink. You can use a screwdriver to remove the pipe trap from the drain which is usually quite an easy process.
  • You may want to have a bucket on hand if you have a clogged drain, as when you remove the pipe some clogged water may escape.
  • If the trap and filter you have removed are covered in gunk, you can pour water on them and use a cloth to remove the build-up.

This is your first step in ensuring that the water begins to flow freely the next time you put on a wash.

3 Ways to Clean Washing Machine Pipes

Next up, are the 3 best ways to clean washing machine pipes.

1 – Drain Snake

Once you have removed the pipe from the machine you can start to feed the drain snake (amazon link – opens in a new tab) down the pipe, once you start to meet resistance that means you have reached the blockage. At this point, you should start twisting the knob at the top of the drainpipe. Moving this around will serve to start breaking up the clumps of dirt, grime, and powder residue that have been blocking the drain.

Continue to move the snake around until you no longer meet any resistance in the drain hose. Then start to pull the snake back out of the pipe. This will bring all the dislodged clumps out with it.

2 – Boiling Water & Baking Soda

If you don’t feel comfortable using a snake drain or want to try an alternative method, you can make up a drain cleaner at home or buy a cleaning option in the store. You can use ingredients such as baking soda, water, and white vinegar to produce your own solution. The acidic nature of these ingredients will break down the clumps of blockages in the pipe. This is usually a safer option for drain cleaning than harsh chemical options.

  • All you need to do is mix up the solution of hot water, baking soda crystals, and vinegar then pour it down the pipe. Then after waiting a sufficient amount of time for the solution to take effect, let the water flow down the drain bringing all of the dislodged gunk and dirt with it.
  • You can choose to pour cold water down the drain as an alternative, although this is unlikely to be as effective as the hot water and baking soda combination.
  • You can test the effectiveness of your efforts by putting on an empty wash to see if it drains properly. You won’t want to put in any of your clothes if the blockage currently leaves the machine smelling unpleasant.

3 – Pressure Washer

Finally, consider renting out a high-pressure water cleaner for the day. This will allow you to attack the blockages with more power and will break down the stubborn build-ups that water, drain snakes, and cleaning solutions haven’t been able to tackle.

There may be a pressure washer service nearby that you can hire if you feel uncertain about using the machinery yourself. They will be experts in using the equipment and get the job done in no time.


The idea of taking on the cleaning and maintenance of your washing machine yourself can seem intimidating at first. But as you can see above the actual steps needed when learning how to clean washing machine pipes are actually quite simple. There are a few inexpensive, quick, and effective ways you can try to fix the problem of water logging, poorly smelling machines, and poor drainage. You will usually find that you can handle the problem yourself at home with a few simple tools and can completely avoid the costly call-out charge of a professional. However, if the tips we have listed above don’t prove effective, then turning to a professional may be the best option.

3 Ways to Clean Washing Machine Pipes Infographic

Plumbing Wizard Tips

“After giving the pipes a good clean, put on a hot wash without clothing or soap just to flush out anything else that may be in there!”

“Signs that you need to look at cleaning the pipes include your clothes still begin dripping wet after a wash cycle if the machine starts smelling and if the machine begins to flood!”

“Regular cleaning and maintenance of your washing machine will lead to a longer life span of the machine and if you take the time to clean the washing machine pipes on your own every now and then!”

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my washing machine waste pipe is blocked?

If your washing machine waste pipe is blocked, water will fail to drain and will be left in the machine after a cycle. You can easily test to see if your machine has a blocked waste pipe by checking to see if the water level in the machine decreases after a cycle. If it doesn’t, then there is a good chance that the waste pipe is blocked.

Can blocked drains affect the washing machine?

If your drains are clogged, it could put a strain on your washing machine and lead to problems. Clogged drains can make it difficult for water to flow freely, which means your washing machine will not be able to function properly. There is also a risk of the waste pipe backing up into the machine which is also not a good sign.

Why is my washing machine drainpipe backing up?

There are a few reasons why your washing machine drainpipe might be backing up. One possibility is that the pipe is too small. This can happen if the washing machine is new, and the pipes aren’t properly sized, to begin with. Another possibility is a blockage in the washing machine drainpipe itself. This can be caused by lint buildup or other debris. Finally, there could be a blockage elsewhere in the plumbing system, which is causing water to back up into the washing machine drainpipe. If you’re not sure what’s causing the problem, it’s best to call a plumber so they can take a look and diagnose the issue.

How to clean washing machine pipes UK?

The way to clean washing machine pipes in the UK is just the same as anywhere else. You can use Baking Soda and Hot Water for simple dirt and grime, a drain snake for more difficult-to-remove blockages and a pressure washer for anything else.


Lee Pearce is not just a master plumber; he’s a veritable Plumbing Wizard. With over 30 years of experience in the trenches of pipes and drains, Lee has become the go-to sage for DIY plumbing, saving homeowners thousands in potential call-out charges. As the founder of Plumbing Wizard, he’s dedicated to demystifying the complexities of home plumbing, offering easy-to-follow advice that stands the test of time and pressure. His online blog is a treasure trove of tips, tricks, and tutorials that empower everyday individuals to take charge of their home’s plumbing health. Lee’s practical wisdom is not just about fixing leaks; it’s about imparting confidence and self-reliance. When he’s not writing or elbow-deep in a plumbing project, Lee is passionate about educating the next generation of DIYers, ensuring that practical skills are passed down and preserved.

More You Might Like