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Washing Machine Only Leaks During Rinse Cycle & in Front

Christie Gross

A leaky washing machine can be a source of frustration, especially if it’s leaking only during the rinse cycle. Although a washer can leak for several reasons, the fact that the machine is leaking from the front, as opposed to underneath or from the back, can help narrow the list of possibilities so you can address it. In many cases, the repair involves changing how you operate your washer or replacing a worn component.

Too Much Detergent

Ensure an article of clothing isn’t caught in the door and creating an opening for water to escape.

It’s wrong to think that adding more soap to your washing machine than the instructions on the detergent’s packaging states will get your clothes cleaner. Adding more soap than what a load size can handle causes the washer to make more suds than the rinse cycle can eliminate. As a result, water might start to leak from the front-load washer’s door or the top of a top-loader and run down the front. Stop the washing machine if it’s leaking suds-filled water. Let the washer sit for about 15 minutes to give time for suds to dissipate before restarting it. If the suds still remain after about 15 minutes, add a mixture of 1 cup household vinegar with 1 quart water to your washer to reduce the suds.

Inferior Door Seal

Ensure that the front-load washer’s door seal (gasket) is clear of debris after each wash load; otherwise, debris can prevent the door from sealing properly. Life’s Good (LG) recommends to consumers to thoroughly dry the washer’s door and its seal dry to avoid debris, such as pet hair, lint and soap residue from accumulating behind it, which can cause the door or seal to leak at any point of a wash cycle, including the rinse. Inspect the seal for damage and replace it if needed.

Water Collecting in Dispensers

A front-load washing machine has dispensers, often in the front, that hold detergent, fabric softener and bleach until the washer automatically releases them during the appropriate cycle. Clean them regularly, as the dispensers can accumulate residue that will cause water to leak from the top and trickle down the front of the washer when it fills with water during the fill and rinse cycles. Many washers have removal dispensers that you can detach to clean. Scrub them with a sponge and rinse with warm water.


Although all washing machines that aren’t on a level surface can vibrate during the spin cycle, front-load washing machines are especially prone to vibration, as they spin at even greater speeds than top-loading washers. If you washer vibrates intensely when it spins, it can create an opening for water to leak from the door, as water fills the washer for the final rinse cycle. Place a level on top of the washing machine to check whether it’s out-of-balance. If it’s unstable, use a wrench to tighten or loosen the bolt for each of your washer’s leveling feet until the level shows the washer is stable.