Posted by: sorac | September 9, 2009

Save time! Save money! Fix your own washing machine in 3 easy steps!

I have a Maytag front-loading washing machine, model MFW9700SQ1, which I have owned for almost three years. I have a large family and do an average of 16-18 full loads of laundry every week.

I just saved at least $125 in a repair / service call in about ten minutes, as well as saving myself a week of inconvenience (it was going to take that long to get a repairman to my house) by cleaning out the lint and debris that had collected in the washing machine pump, preventing the machine from draining properly.

Tools required: screwdriver with torx head. Towels. Rubber gloves and dish pan (optional but highly recommended!)

First, you need to remove the bottom front panel of the washing machine. It is held on by three screws – one in the middle and one on each side – that are recessed below the panel. The trickiest part of the job is reaching to the middle screw (Confession: I did not bother replacing that one. The panel seems more than secure enough with just two screws, and the next time I have to do this, my job will be that much easier!). Once the screws are removed, the panel should lift off easily.

The lid for the pump clean-out opening is large, round, and central. It screws off easily by hand with a gentle counter-clockwise motion. Before removing it, place a towel under and in front of the washing machine to catch any water that is backed up behind the debris. If there is water backed up in your machine, you might want to use a dish pan as well.



Here is what I found clogging my washing machine pump: a large rag, a significant quantity of lint, a one-inch-cube of sponge, a broken pencil, the cap from a sharpie marker, a paper clip, a hair elastic, a shoelace, a metal watch-strap fastener, many small pieces of legos, some beads, several barely identifiable coins, and a number of small, plastic, and completely unidentifiable broken objects.


After cleaning out the pump, replace the lid, the front panel, and the screws.


Throw the soggy towels in the newly functioning washing machine and rejoice. Then go get yourself a nice treat with all the money you didn’t spend on a washing machine service call.


  1. I repaired a frost free refrigerator many years ago by vacuuming out a pipe and know the sense of joy you felt from the experience.

  2. sora, you are my hero! 🙂

  3. That is great, Sora! How did you know to look in that part?

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