Buying a New Washing Machine? Do NOT Use it Until You Do This.

You waited years for your old washing machine to bite the dust so you could excitedly buy a new one! Then on its first run of your brand new machine shakes so VIOLENTLY it moves across the room.  Here’s how to fix it.



You finally bought a brand new washing machine and instead of purring like a kitten, when you plug it in and run it for the first time it shakes so violently you can feel your internal organs being displaced.

How do I know about this phenomenon?  My liver is currently squashed somewhere around my big toe.

When you buy a new washing machine and it’s delivered by a company that doesn’t necessarily specialize in big appliances you do indeed get delivery of it. Hooking it up? That’s usually up to you. Such was the case when I got a new washer and dryer a couple of months ago.

Which is fine. I’ve hooked up many things.  Dishwashers, refrigerators, a couple of friends with a common interest in Uno. 

So I knew I’d be fine to hook up a washer and dryer. I had hooked up and unhooked my other one countless times when I took it apart to fix it over the years. || Read my post about how to replace your motor’s carbon brushes. ||

I wheeled that washer and dryer into my “laundry closet” and proceeded to do a little dance, make a little love and get Downy tonight. 

The washing machine’s performance was magnificent.  For the first 45 minutes.  When it ended with the spin cycle my laundry closet sounded like it was inhabited by every single animal in the San Diego Zoo.

It turns out, I’d didn’t do the VERY first thing you should do when you get a new washing machine. Because I didn’t know that thing existed. 

The first thing you have to do when you get a new washing machine is: REMOVE THE PACKING BOLTS (also known as transit bolts.)

Don’t know what packing bolts are?  Neither did I. 

A plastic clamp, attached to the washing machine with a bolt.  Looks like it belongs there, right? It doesn’t.  The clamp and bolt are JUST for shipping purposes and need to be removed.

Packing bolts in washing machines keep the drum from moving during transportation.  As you might guess, they also keep the drum from moving while it’s operating.  This is most evident during the spin cycle when your washing machine turns into a monster robot.


How to remove packing bolts from your new washing machine.

  1. Shimmy in behind your washing machine and find the big plastic clamps that look like they belong on your washing machine.  They don’t.  Don’t be alarmed if there isn’t a clamp. Not all washing machines have this, but they WILL all have large bolts, obvious at the back of the machine.


2. Remove the hose from the clamp (if you have clamps) and using a ratchet or wrench remove the long packing bolt holding the clamp in place.

Not all packing bolts and clamps will look exactly like this.  Look up your own model or check your washing machine manual to see what yours look like.

3. Your washing machine came with a bag of parts that you thought were just some fun extras to be stuck in a drawer. They’re not. They’re to put in the holes where the packing bolts originally were.

4. Slip the packing bolt covers into the holes and you’re done. 

Need more of a visual? Here’s a very quick video of how to remove packing bolts.



It’s hard to believe a washing machine could even run with these huge bolts in, but it can. In fact they’ll go completely unnoticed until you hit the spin cycle.

Having a washing machine that’s not level will also cause it to shake and move.  But not like this.

How to know if it’s the packing bolts causing your washing machine to shake.

  1. Is your washing machine new?
  2. Is it shaking so much it seems dangerous?

Then it’s probably the packing bolts causing the problem. That and your refusal to read the manual when it was delivered to you.

Want another tip workshop type tip? If you have an 18volt battery that won’t charge anymore (even though it’s relatively new) this post will show you two ways to get it charging again.

→Follow me on Instagram where I often proudly feature my dirty hands.←


Buying a New Washing Machine? Do NOT Use it Until You Do This.


  1. John Carston says:

    It helped when you mentioned that it is important to consider the performance of the washing machine when you first bought it. My uncle mentioned to me last night that they are planning to have a new washing machine because their old washing machine is broken due to old age and asked if I have any idea what is the best option to consider. Thanks to this informative article and I’ll be sure to tell him that he can consult a well-known washing machine installation company in town as they can answer all his inquiries.

  2. leslie zuroski says:

    Funny to get this post today! We just got a new washer last week, ordered online from Home Depot, delivered by 2 nice young men driving an Enterprise rental truck. They clearly wanted to drop off and high tail it out of here, but we were able to talk them into hooking it up for us. Then I gave them each $20. (We were used to Sears people always taking care of the whole thing for us.) Time have changed! Thanks for this information!

  3. JR says:

    A woman friend told me that getting a front loading washer was like moving in with a man. Everything is fine for a few months and then you start wondering; what’s that smell?

    • Karen says:

      Ha!!!! My sister had a smelly front loader. It’s because water sits in the rubber gasket on the front. I always just leave the door open for a bit so it dries out and also wipe the gasket down every once in a while. I’ve had a front loader for 20 years now and never had it smell. ~ karen!

  4. Nicky Rauzon-Wright says:

    You are amazing ! I had for year a washer dryer in my tiny kitchen/family room cupboard and l
    loved it mine were installed by a lovely man who delivered ( no cost) removed the old ones and installed including the hoses .I am lazy and not good a DIY you are as I said AMAZING!

  5. Sheryl Powell says:

    Karen, Not always on the back. When we moved last time, we were told we needed to fasten them ourselves or moving company wouldn’t warranty them for damage. Also saleslady told me they are very easy to damage if the drum isn’t secured. Well we had to order the stupid bolts because we probably didn’t know what they were and threw them away. Then after looking up instructions for our front load machines, you have to take the top off (easy) before sticking the bolts where they showed they went (impossible). We jumped on it, stood on the drum etc to try to squish it down enough to put the bolts in. Movers finally felt sorry for us and just sort of half assed stuck a couple in there. No damage

  6. SCunningham says:

    Oh and reading the manual doesn’t hurt…

  7. Marie says:

    Please tell me the love story of the uno players is real…

  8. Mary Edmondson says:

    My equally compact washer and drier are Blomberg. Mine require some additional hardware to stack them – did yours? I know that hardware is around somewhere but I tend to lose things. Seeing yours stacked makes me want to stack mine too. Which appliance goes on top or does it matter. I haven’t lifted them and suppose one might be considerably heavier than the other.

  9. Mary W says:

    You are the BEST!

  10. Vellios Robert says:

    Great article, Karen, as always.
    Another piece of advise for those who do not live in a home that’s on a concrete slab. For a front loader, I always place a 3/4 to 1″ thick primed & painted piece of plywood on the floor and screw it into the floor studs. Ensures a strong, stable platform for that spinning dervish of a washing machine

  11. Jane says:

    Something totally unrelated to washer installation. Being a translator, on reading “do a little dance, make a little love and get Downy tonight”, it immediately came to mind how a non-English speaker would try to understand this. 😀

  12. Robert S says:

    I have a t-shirt that reads – “real men don’t need instructions”. I guess I’m not a real man anymore because I’ve learned over the years as I’ve got older and wiser (thankfully) to read the bloody instructions first! It saves a lot of time and effort – and money as well if you have to have someone come in a repair what got damaged for lack of reading the instructions.

  13. Stephanie R says:

    Hahahha Female to female here ….. I hooked mine up too, but I’m not as brilliant so out came the manual, out came the bolts and out came the level. Wonderful! Then I asked my mom to pick me up some laundry soap and she forgot to look for that “He” symbol for front loaders …. then out came the soap bubbles from the back of my machine (from where those packing bolts came out) loads of bubbles (pun intended) …. out came the phone to call the 1-800 number to say WTF – only to get laughed at and told “go check your soap”. Ugh

  14. SuzNKton says:

    Oh my! I have never ever seen those bolts except in bright red or orange! And I doubly appreciate that my entire life, when we loved, we had professional moving companies that took care of that kind of thing! But, then again, my washer has always been on a concrete floor, so it would be far less dramatic. But a stacked set would be scary!

    • Grammy says:

      Suz, I hope this doesn’t offend you, but your typo here: “I doubly appreciate that my entire life, when we loved, we had professional moving companies that took care of that kind of thing!” made me laugh out loud.

      I’m drinking a cup of coffee and about to take the dog for a walk, and then I’m suddenly pondering a couple of things I had never thought about. First, how rich you must be to be able to hire a moving company every time you engaged in, um, “loving”. Second, do you have them on retainer, or is it pay-as-you-go? Third, are they on call 24/7 or do you have to schedule appointments? Fourth, I can’t even imagine what exactly they do for you, unless waving around bright red or orange packing bolts gets you in the mood.

      No need to give me the answers, Dear. I know what you meant. It still made me laugh out loud and I thought I’d tease you about it. And my dog still needs to go for a walk…

  15. Sabina says:

    Now I have to wonder…just how many years could a machine run before one learns of this? Asking for a friend…walking into basement…

  16. whitequeen96 says:

    You’re a genius, and I’m so glad you’re there to tell me all the things I don’t know! You’re my encyclopedic, know-it-all friend and a real blessing! I would NEVER have guessed this!

  17. When I went to transition into the spin cycle, I made a couple of revolutions, and then collapsed… equilibrium isn’t that great anymore.

  18. Kim Domingue says:

    Well, I got a helluva laugh out of picturing that washing machine episode! Then I stopped to wonder why I’d never experienced such episode myself. In 40 years of marriage, I’ve worked on many an appliance myself. I’ve only bought three washing machines in that timeframe. Thinking back, I bought all three from places that do the installation for you! My last purchase was my Speed Queen…😍. Good thing I bought her from a place that includes installation in the sale price because she weighs a ton! I can’t move her by myself. Hope you love your new machines as much as I love my Queen of the laundry room!

    • Becky Jo Thompson says:

      Hey Kim Dominique! Thanks for buying a Speed Queen! I make them 😁 I’m glad you like your machine. I work in the plastic department in Ripon, Wisconsin so anything plastic came from me! Well, except the control knobs. Best washing to you and best regards, Becky Jo and department 9

      • Sabina says:

        How cool is that?

      • Dd51 says:

        I had a Speed Queen and I loved it except for the fact that the plastic paddles that swish the water around in the drum broke. Repeatedly. It costs $75 for the tech guy to come out and replace them, plus the cost of the paddles themselves. (They are replaced from the bottom of the machine). After the 3rd time I realized I was on track to pay as much in repair costs as I had for the machine in less than 5 years. So I had to replace the machine. I liked it, but I just couldn’t afford the money and time to fix it 2-3 times a year. Maybe they are made with a stronger material now days.

      • Becky Jo says:

        Wow. That’s awful! I’m really sorry. Those are called flex vane agitators. Super easy to make. The only thing I can think of that would cause them to break, please don’t take this the wrong way, would be washing something really sturdy like heavy jeans? Or possibly over loading the machine? We test a an agitator at the start of every shift when we are in production of them to make sure they are up to snuff. They have to meet requirements for not pulling off the drive bell during motion, , tab strength, vane strength, vane clearance, and width for the softener dispenser to fit. I don’t doubt you, please don’t misunderstand me! I just want you to know, we do quality tests 3 times a day while in production. 🙂 We try hard to keep our customers happy. I’m sorry you had issues. I hope it doesn’t keep you from staying in the Speed Queen family!

    • Annie says:

      I too bought a Speed Queen and absolutely love it! It’s the best machine out there and it is fast. I had a GE front loader and it was awful, it took forever to run and didn’t get the clothes clean
      SPEED QUEENS rule!!

  19. Lynneo says:

    Hey Karen…great to know! Can you please share the make and model of both your machines? My space isn’t much bigger than yours. And I remember in an earlier post that you were dreading having to replace them!

    • Jean says:

      Me, too. They look the perfect size for my laundry nook. Do tell, Karen.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lynneo! I bought the Bosch 800 series washer and dryer. They weren’t what you’d call cheap. Bosch is what I had before and to be perfectly honest with you, they had a lot of breakdowns, lol. But all ones I could fix myself and not nearly as bad as what I’ve heard my family dealing with from their appliances. ~ karen!

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