What Should I Do with a Broken Washing Machine?

Misty Amber Brighton

Before you discard a broken washing machine, get an estimate of what it would cost to repair the unit. If it is too costly to fix, you may want to consider taking it to a recycling center. Let other people know you have an old washing machine and tell them they can have the parts from it if they would like. You could also use the machine as a composter or for storage.

A washing machine.
A washing machine.

A broken washing machine does not mean that it cannot be repaired. In many cases, a washer can easily be fixed by replacing the belt. Get several repair estimates in order to make sure you are not discarding the equipment before you truly need to.

Broken washing machines cannot be set out with other household garbage for curbside collection.
Broken washing machines cannot be set out with other household garbage for curbside collection.

Look in your local telephone directory to see if there are any recycling centers nearby. Call the center to see if they accept used appliances. Many places will pay you a nominal amount of money if you recycle a washing machine, while others may charge you a fee for disposal. Scrap metal yards sometimes pay cash for these machines as well.

If you are unable to haul your washing machine away, you may want to give it to someone. You could advertise by placing an ad in a local newspaper or by word-of-mouth. Take the equipment to the curb and place on a sign on it that says "free". A repairperson might be able to use the washing machine parts in another unit, and may be willing to remove it for you.

Think about removing the tub from your washing machine. This piece could be used as a large flowerpot or container for growing root crops, such as potatoes and peanuts. If you have small livestock, such as goats or sheep, the tub could also be used as a feeder for these animals.

A broken washing machine could also be used to store things in. Nearly anything that needs to stay warm and dry can be placed inside the unit. You could remove the drum to allow for more room on the inside if you have extremely bulky items to put in the appliance.

If you have a broken washing machine, you have several choices as to what to do with it. The decision you make can depend on where you live and what your needs are. Reusing or recycling a washing machine can help keep unwanted materials out of your local landfill, which can be good for the environment.

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Discussion Comments


My washing machine's door is broken which prevents me from using it. The latch seems to have cracked so it doesn't hold on to the lid.

Can I fix my washing machine at home?


@burcinc-- Recycling is a good idea. But why don't you keep the drum and use it for a fire pit? My boyfriend did this and it worked great. The drum has holes in it so it provides the perfect amount of ventilation for a steady fire.

It's great for grilling or making smores on a cold winter day. It keeps the yard clean too.


I have an old washing machine that's broken at home. It's going to cost too much to fix it so I've decided to just get a new one.

There are some great ideas here and I wish I could use it as storage. But it's just too heavy and bulky to use it for that. Plus the drum is too small.

I might just have to recycle it.

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