How Does A Washing Machine Agitator Work? (Explained)

The use of agitator washing machines is increasing day by day. We often see that most people don’t know how an agitator works and what is the main purpose of the agitator in the washer.

The agitator rotates left to right with the help of an internal mechanism. It contains large fines which cause motion in waster. Clothes in the drum rotate up and down with agitator motion and its results in an effective wash.    

It becomes easier to choose between an agitator washer and a non-agitator washer when we know the benefits and the way of their work. Let’s dive into the ultimate guide on how a washing machine agitator works.

How Does Washing Machine Agitator Work

How Does A Washer Agitator Work?

There are two types of washing machines: Agitator and Non-Agitator. Washers with agitators are more effective in washing. You may have noticed your machine drum has one object in the center which looks like a plastic pipe design. This object is in the center of the washer drum called Agitator.

We put our clothes and water into the washer drum, when we make a wash cycle, the agitator becomes active and starts to reduce dust from clothes. Your dirty and muddy clothes get cleaned effectively with the help of an agitator washer.

Agitator has a shaft that is located inside to down to the drum. Its shaft has a pulley attached to it. The washing machine has belts inside its bottom body which rotate the agitator with the help of belts. Most agitators have two belts on their shaft pulley. 

The pulley rotates left to right and the agitator also does the same because the agitator is attached to the shaft. The agitator will not work if the motor inside the washer is not working.

You just have to set the wash cycle on your agitator washing machine. The washer will start rotating the agitator automatically.

Fact: Usually, Washers with agitators are less expensive than non-agitator washers.   

Working Of Washing Machine Agitator

Usually, people only know the primary purpose of an object works, but it’s not enough to know about its complete working process. Agitator working contains many different parts which play various roles in the washing drum.


The agitator rotates from the left to right direction which is called agitator motion. Before using an agitator we have to put water and clothes in the drum. 

The agitator creates a motion in water when we turn On the machine. Motion Water rotates clothes and clothes start going up to down and down to up. This process washes clothes more effectively.


The only agitator is not responsible for creating motion in the drum water, it also contains many other technical parts which help it. 

The agitator has a shaft, pulley on the shaft, belts inside the bottom body, and a motor to rotate the agitator from left to right. You can find belts on its shaft pulley.

Motion Source

As we discussed, the agitator rotates and makes a motion, but what is the source behind the agitator rotation? The answer is simple: A motor. Washing machines have one to two small motors which rotate an agitator inside the drum. 

Belts connect the motor to the agitator pulley inside the machine. Motor and agitator shafts have pulleys and belts on the pulleys. When we turn On the machine, the motor starts rotating and it starts rotating the agitator.

Purpose Of Agitator Work

The main purpose of an agitator in the washing machine is to wash clothes effectively. Sometimes people complain that washing machines with agitators ruin clothes, but it’s not always true without knowing the real reason.

If you want to wash your clothes effectively and smoothly you may like the agitator washer. Experts said, “use an agitator washing machine before making any decision of purchasing it” which means you will go for it if you like it working.

Is It Better To Have A Washer With An Agitator?

It is good to have an agitator washer, you can easily and properly wash your clothes in it. But the only reason people don’t like washers with agitators is because of less washing space. The agitator covers some space in the machine drum. If your family is together then it will take more time to wash your family clothes.

Keep in mind an agitator may speed up pilling on your fabric when you overload the washer drum. If a cloth has pilling already then avoid washing it with too many clothes because it may rub your clothes with an agitator. 

The main reason why people prefer non-agitator machines is that they have more space than washers with agitators. If there is no agitator, there is more space to wash clothes in the washer drum.

If you never used an agitator washer before then take a demo before investing in it. However, agitator washers are gaining popularity all over the world. But if you find it in a simple model washer, You will not find an agitator in simple washing machines.

An agitator makes it easy to wash clothes properly, you will realize your clothes are more clean and fresh after washing them into the agitator washer. Don’t decide to use it before using it in reality. If you like to operate it then you will never get bored with it.

What If Washing Machine Agitator Not Working?

If you noticed your washing machine not working then you need to follow some steps to identify the main cause of it.

Your washing machine has one or more technical issues if its agitator is not working. If you have technician experience, you can find it by opening the cover of the washer from the backside. Make sure belts are on pulleys and the motor is working properly.

If a motor stops working, an agitator will also stop working because the motor is the main source of its rotating motion.

If you’re not a technician and don’t know how to fix technical things then don’t try to fix it yourself. Approach a technician and ask about the issue, a technician will identify why your washing machine agitator is not working. 

Every machine brand has its own machine operating instructions, don’t use the machine washer side if the company mentions guidelines related to the problem.

Final Thoughts

A washing machine agitator works with the help of technical parts. It rotates left to right which creates a rotating motion in the water, clothes in water rotate up to down and down to up continuously as water rotates.

You can operate an agitator washing machine easily by knowing manual instructions. If you want to see how the agitator rotates in the drum, use your washer without clothes and water and see into the drum.