How to Remove Agitator on a Kenmore Washer

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Things You'll Need

  • Flat head screwdriver

  • Socket wrench (if necessary)

  • Safety gloves


A jar opener or lid gripper are helpful for removing twist-type agitator tops.

A good pair of safety gloves can help give you a better grip on a stuck agitator.


For very stubborn agitators, you can buy agitator removal tools from specialty plumbing supply shops.

Getting a broken agitator off is a job most homeowners can do.

Kenmore washers are sold by Sears and come in a variety of models and styles. The top loading Kenmore washers all clean laundry by means of an agitator that spins in the washer tub, keeping the laundry circulating. Because they are made of plastic and exposed to so much water and so many temperature changes, sometimes these agitators crack or break. In that case, you'll have to remove the agitator on your Kenmore washer in order to make way for a new one.

Step 1

Turn off your washer and unplug it from the wall. Lift up the hood to reveal the washer tub and agitator.

Step 2

Remove the agitator cap. Depending on your Kenmore model, this can be done in one of two ways. First, try to unscrew the cap counter-clockwise. If this doesn't work, look for the line that separates the bottom of the cap from the top of the agitator. Gently press a screwdriver into this joint and pry off the agitator cap.

Step 3

Remove the agitator bolt. As in Step 2, how you do this depends on your Kenmore model. Some Kenmore washers have a hex bolt that holds down the agitator. Remove this with a socket wrench. Other models use a plastic screw with a square insert in the center. Remove these type of screws by inserting the end of a large, flat bladed screwdriver into the hole and turning counter-clockwise. You can also use the square end of a socket wrench.

Step 4

Put on the safety gloves. Take your hands and place them beneath the agitator, one on each side. Keep your head away from above the laundry tub and turned to the side. Then tug on the agitator. Keep your head turned so the agitator doesn't hit you in the face if it suddenly pops off. Because of the action of water, temperature and detergent, sometimes these agitators can get stuck and be quite stubborn to remove. There are a couple of tricks you can try if this is the case. First, take a small block of wood and hold it over the agitator hub. Tap this a few times with a hammer. This should loosen the hub. Another trick you can try is to plug the washer back in and run a cycle on the hottest temperature. Allow the washer to fill up halfway, then stop it. Try to remove the agitator. Hot water causes metal to expand and hopefully this will wedge your agitator off the hub.

references & resources

Nathan McGinty

Nathan McGinty started writing in 1995. He has a Bachelor of Science in communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University, London. He has worked in the technology industry for more than 20 years, in positions ranging from tech support to marketing.