What To Look For When Buying A Used Washer And Dryer

Replacing white goods can be a really costly affair. If your washer or dryer suddenly pack up and you don’t have an emergency fund to cover the cost of a new one, or you don’t want to fork out all that cash, then a used washer and dryer can be a great way to source a replacement at a reduced cost. But it’s important that you know what to look out for when buying a used washer and dryer. If you’re not careful, then second hand could actually end up costing you far more.

Savvy shopping is something I’m always banging on about. We work hard for our money, so the last thing we want to be doing is wasting it on faulty goods. Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t buy second-hand, far from it! But, you do need to take some to familiarise yourself with what to look for when buying a used washer and dryer.

What To Look For When Buying A Used Washer And Dryer

What To Look For When Buying A Used Washer And Dryer

There are a few things you need to look out for if you’re thinking of buying a second-hand washer or dryer. As with any second-hand purchase, it’s important to really know what you’re looking for and what questions to ask before you actually start to look at any goods.

Load capacity

This goes for both old and new machines. One of the first things you need to think about when you’re buying a washing machine or a dryer is the load capacity. If you’re a large family like us, then you’ll inevitably need a larger capacity machine than somebody living on their own. Buying a smaller machine because it’s cheaper is just a false economy – you’ll need to do more washes/dries more frequently meaning it will cost you more money in the long run.

Washing machines generally range from 3kg right up to 9kg capacities, so there’s a really big difference between the higher end and the lower end. Make sure you know what you need and you know what you’re buying.


In many circumstances, I wouldn’t necessarily opt for branded over unbranded products. But when it comes to buying electrical and white goods, I like to be extra cautious.

Whilst everything on the market will have been tested A LOT before it comes to market, branded items tend to be far more reliable than the lesser known ranges. It is also far easier to get hold of parts for branded products should your appliance need any repairs doing down the line. Companies such as www.appliancerepairlondon.co.uk are far more likely to be able to fix your appliance if it’s a well known and widely sold make and model.

When you’re buying second-hand white goods, they have already been used before you start, so you need to be even more careful than you would when buying something brand new.

Always opt for branded where possible when it comes to buying used washers or dryers, you’re far less likely to have any issues if you do. If you want to make sure you have extra coverage in the event something goes wrong with your used appliance, consider picking up a home warranty plan to cover some of the costs.


The age of the machine you’re buying is really important. Washing machines and dryers get used a lot, often at least once a day, so the older they are, the more likely they are to start to hit problems.

Avoid any machines over 5 years old if you can. Ideally, you want to be looking for a second-hand machine that’s less than three years old if you can. If these really are out of your price range, then checking the condition and the usage of the machine is really important.


No matter what the age of the washer or dryer, you need to pay careful attention to the working condition of the machine. If possible, you want to see the machine actually working, particularly if you’re buying from a private seller. Whilst this obviously won’t be possible every time, it’s a good idea to ask!

There are a few key things to look out for when you’re trying to figure out whether the machine is in good working order. You really don’t need to be an expert to take a look, so make sure you take the time to check these things.

  • Check the inner seal for signs of damage/mould
  • Check the interior for obvious signs of rust or damage
  • Look in the drawers for evidence of water/detergent damage or soap scum build up
  • Pull the machine out slightly to check for evidence of leaks
  • Listen to the sounds the machine makes when it’s working


Looking at the age and condition of the washing machine or dryer will give you some idea of how well it’s been looked after by the previous owners. But, it’s also a good idea to find out how often the washer/dryer was used too. A machine that’s been stood unused for any length of time might not be a great purchase. Similarly, a machine that’s been used twice every day for the last 6 years might also not last much longer. Ideally, look for machines that have been used regularly, but not excessively. Obviously, you’re going to have to trust the seller when you ask about this, although it might be easy enough to tell when a machine has been used a lot or not at all!


Do your research and know what kind of price you should be expecting to pay for the age and condition of the machine you’re looking at. You don’t want to be paying over the odds! At the same time though, you don’t want to be lulled into buying something just because it seems like a really good deal.

Still want a second-hand machine?

In an ideal world, you’ll have an emergency fund stashed away which will give you the ability to buy a brand new replacement for your broken washer or dryer. But, if that’s not the case, or new just isn’t an option for you then, then hopefully you’ll now have a good idea of what to look for when buying a used washer and dryer.

What To Look For When Buying A Used Washer And Dryer

If you don’t have an emergency fund, then now is the time to start building one. I’ve worked from home for over ten years now, both as an employee and building my own business from scratch and I have a load of ideas to help you make extra money from home here.