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How to Fix a Whirlpool Washer With a Burning Smell

Alexis Lawrence

With detergent and fabric softener, doing laundry should create a pleasant smell in your home. If a component of your washing machine breaks, the washer may produce an unpleasant odor, such as a burning smell, when it runs. To get rid of the smell, you have to fix the Whirlpool washer.

Check the Drum

Many Whirlpool washing machines run on a belt. The washing machine motor makes this belt rotate, which in turn causes the drum inside the washer to rotate. If the drum becomes stuck while the belt still rotates, the rubber rubbing against the outside of the drum produces a burning smell. When a burning smell occurs, check to see if the drum of the Whirlpool washer is stuck by opening the washing machine lid. If the drum was already still when you opened the lid, the drum is stuck.

Release the Drum From Inside

The main causes of a Whirlpool washer drum sticking are overfilling the washer and clothing articles being wrapped around the drum. Remove some of the clothing items and put them into a clean laundry basket so you get access to the center of the drum. Look for pieces of clothing wrapped around the center of the drum, such as straps or strings. To prevent these articles from wrapping around a drum, wash them in a mesh laundry bag or tie strings or straps on items together.

Check the Drum From Outside

If you remove items from the washer that were wrapped around the drum and the burning smell continues, check the belt on the washer. Before attempting to check the belt, turn the washer dial to the wash cycle’s end, turn the unit on so that the water drains out and then unplug the washer. Remove the screws from the washer’s back panel, take off the panel and inspect the belt around the bottom of the washer drum for tears, holes or misalignment.

Fixing the Belt

If the belt does not line up with the groove on the motor, push the belt back up onto its track. If the belt has holes, tears or fraying, replace the belt or have the belt replaced by Whirlpool technician before attempting to use the washer again. If you do replace the belt yourself, ordering a belt for your specific Whirlpool model number directly from Whirlpool ensures a proper fit.