How to Take Apart an Agitator From a Washing Machine

If your clothes sit in the washer tub without spinning around, you might have a problem with your washing machine agitator. Agitators are the plastic, top-shaped devices in the middle of the washing tub. These have fins or grooves on them that help move the clothes in the washer through the water. You can take apart the agitator on a washing machine to check the parts or for replacement.

Agitator with fabric dispenser on the top.

Step 1

Unplug the washing machine from the wall socket where it is currently connected.

Step 2

Open up the washer hood and prop it in the open position.

Step 3

Check for a fabric dispenser on the top of the agitator. This is not present in all washers or agitators. Remove the dispenser by grasping it firmly and turning counterclockwise until it comes off the top of the agitator.

Step 4

Look for a cap on top of the agitator, if it doesn't have a fabric dispenser. Remove the cap by prying it off with a flat-bladed screwdriver or the edge of a sharp knife.

Step 5

Unscrew the agitator bolt with a socket wrench and socket. Attach a socket extension to the end of the socket, if you need to reach the screw. Unscrew counterclockwise. Pull the screw out of the agitator.

Step 6

Remove the dog ears on top of the agitator, if present. Some agitators use a two-stage model with a section of the agitator that has fins that swing back and forth, called dog ears, to help agitate the wash. Pull these off the agitator hub by lifting them straight off the hub.

Step 7

Put on a pair of heavy-duty work gloves. Reach underneath the agitator. Keep your head away from the opening over the wash tub. Pull up on the agitator until it slides off the hub.