How to Tighten the Agitator on a Washing Machine

Agitators in top-load washing machines are used to help move the clothes inside the tub through the soapy water. This helps the cleansing agents inside the water to reach deep inside the fabric in the laundry to remove dirt, grime and odors. Most agitators are attached to the agitator shaft by an agitator bolt. Over time, these bolts can become loose. When that happens, you can fairly easily tighten the agitator on a washing machine yourself.

Step 1

Unplug the washing machine from the outlet. This will help prevent accidental shocks.

Step 2

Lift the lid of the washing machine and prop it open.

Step 3

Look for the agitator screw cap cover. This is usually a flat, plastic disc pressed into the top of the agitator. Insert the edge of a flat-head screwdriver between the top of the agitator and the screw cap cover. Gently pry the cover off the agitator. Some agitators may have a softener dispenser on top of the agitator in place of the cap. These screw off counterclockwise.

Step 4

Locate the agitator bolt inside the agitator. Slip a socket wrench over the end of the bolt. Hold the agitator steady with one hand while tightening the bolt with the socket in the other.

Step 5

Replace the agitator cap or softener dispenser.

Step 6

Plug the washing machine back in.

Step 7

Run a short load in the washer. Check the agitator as the machine runs and make sure that it is tight. Unplug the machine, remove the agitator cap and retighten as needed.