Are washing machines waterproof on the outside?

Washing machines are designed to be waterproof from the inside; here one needs to understand how much waterproofing or resistance does a washer has on the outer body.

The Outer part of a washing machine is not waterproof, as the operating parts that are attached to the outer body, such as the display panel and the electrical connections are prone to damage.

If you do a simple google search, you will find tons of complaints related to outer metal bodies getting rusted and panels getting damaged due to water contact.

The display panel and other connections on the washing machine may get damaged due to repeated exposure to water.

In some cases, manufacturers almost explicitly advise not to place the washer in moist conditions. This clearly shows that not all washers are waterproof from the outside unless it clearly mentions that in the instruction manual.


Now that you know, that not all washing machines are waterproof let us take a quick look at what does waterproof mean?  Is it ok to keep the washing machine in a moist environment? And How to take care?

What does waterproof mean on a washing machine?

Waterproof on a washing machine means it is completely waterproof from the inside. Usually, there are two drums installed inside the washer; the inner drum is where you put the clothes and fabric along with water and detergents for the washing cycle. And, the outer drum, which is completely waterproof.

The outer drum covers the inner drum from leakages and releases the wastewater through the drain hose.

Also Read: 6 Things you must know about washing machine bearing

Is it OK for a washing machine to get wet outside?

While operating a washing machine there is always a possibility of water spilling, which results in wetting the outer part, hence it is OK in such a situation as this is normal and nothing to worry about.

Almost all washers have good water resistance capabilities and they can easily handle mild water spilling.

Can a washing machine be left outside?

Yes, you can place the washing outside as they are designed to withstand the external elements. Having said that, constant exposure to heat and ever-changing weather will certainly reduce the lifespan.

Most often washing machines are placed outside the house in a few situations such as:

  • If you reside in a flat (a building apartment/high rise tower) the most common places to place the washing machines are the balconies. Most often these are kitchen-connected balconies.
  • If it is a bungalow (row house/duplex or a triplex) then there are designated spaces like a laundry room allotted within the house and the most common space turns out to be the terrace.
  • In very rare situations you may have to place it outside the house when the above spaces are not applicable or suitable for you. This is again a rare instance when you do not have any other choice but to place the washer outside the house.

Placing the washer outside the house is ok if this placement is temporary.

But if you intend to keep the washing machine permanently outside the house, it may not be a wise idea.

Keeping the laundry machine outside simply exposes it to the sun, rain, and other elements that will break down your washer over a period of time.

Also Read: 11 Things you must know about High-Efficiency Detergents

Can we keep the washing machine in the bathroom?

Yes, you can keep the washing machine in a bathroom provided you don’t violate the manufacturer’s policies. Some manufacturers are extremely unfriendly when it comes to placing the washer in the bathroom. In fact, some even clearly advise not to place it in moist areas.

Having said that, if you are still placing the washer in the bathroom, make sure you follow the below best practices:

  • You should have a suitable power socket and a waterproofed conceal connection in your bathroom.
  • Always ensure, there is a minimum water spill caused through a shower or any water usage in the bathroom area. Always prefer a corner of the bathroom, preferably away from the shower.
  • For further protection, you can always use a waterproof cover.
  • Using a suitable washing machine stand is advisable to prevent the surface with enough ground clearance.

Also Read: How to Troubleshoot a Portable Washing Machine?

Will rain damage the washing machine?

Yes, the rain will damage your washer in long run, especially if it’s completely exposed. No matter how expensive your washing machine is, it is prone to weather elements such as direct exposure to sunlight, rain, storms, and other weather conditions. 

Constant exposure to rain will result in rusting, as a lot of washers are made up of metal bodies. Furthermore, The operating display panels are prone to damage due to excessive contact with water.

Also Read: How to Clean Mold from Washing Machine?

Should I cover my washing machine?

Yes, keeping your washing machine covered is a good practice. It prevents dust and dirt particles from settling on the surface of the washing machine (outer body). It minimizes the chances of unnecessary scratches on the outer body and retains a classy appearance.

Lastly, always use a waterproof and dustproof cover as most of the outer parts of a washing machine are made up of metals.

No doubt these metal bodies are painted using some special coatings mainly for rust resistance, excessive and regular contact with water on the outer body of the washer may end up in rusting issues.

Also Read: How to clean a portable washing machine?

How to protect the washer in such conditions?

The best way to protect a washer from the outside elements is by keeping it covered when not in use. Waterproof and dustproof covers are useful to avoid water and dust contact on the outer part of the machine.

A washing machine stand is also, recommended if you are placing your washer outside, in order to protect the base surface which can easily get damaged due to repeated water exposure beneath.

Furthermore, a good cover not only helps to protect the washer from the outside elements but also prolongs its lifespan.

Lastly, try to following below best practices to keep your washing machine protected from external elements:

  • It is recommended to wipe off the washer with a dry cloth after every wash on the outer parts, no matter where the washer is placed around your house or compartment.
  • Another concern is the panel and the switches which are placed outside for operating purposes, there is always a possibility of water getting through the panel and hampering the display functionality. Possibilities of electrical short-circuit are very certain in these situations. Therefore try using a waterproof cover to protect the display panel.
  • Always place your washer in a place where you can easily clean it. Hygiene is an important factor, therefore make sure it’s repeatable.
  • Make sure you can easily move the washer.

Also Read: Can Vinegar damage a washing machine?

Final Thoughts

Not all washing machines are waterproof from the outside. It will be appropriate to use the word water resistance instead of the term waterproof. The outer body of the washing machine is either made up of hard plastic material OR an anti-rust metal coating.

While the plastic material and Anti-Rust coating help to resist water, it does not make the washer completely waterproof as there are chances that the switch and display panel may get affected due to constant exposure to water.

Lastly, always take expert advice on the placement types before making a buying decision as most manufacturers discourage placing the washer in a moist environment.

Also Read: How to clean a washing machine agitator?

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at)