What Is An Agitator In A Washing Machine

Have you been hoping to buy a washing machine with a top loader, not an agitator? If so, how then will you remove stains from your clothes with ease?

Well, that is why I have written this article – to explain in detail what an agitator is in a washing machine!

Most traditional washing machines indeed use a top loader to separate stains. However, a top loader isn’t as effective as an agitator.

An agitator in a washing machine aggressively twists your cloth back and forth to remove stains effectively. However, it damages your clothes by reducing the quality because it does this aggressively.

Notwithstanding, gone are the days where you fight to wash out stains in your clothes using your hand to do the washing. Therefore, buying a washing machine with an agitator is precisely what you need.

Are you still craving more information about an agitator in a washing machine? Then it would help if you read through this article to find out.

What Is An Agitator In A Washing Machine

What Is An Agitator In A Washing Machine

When doing laundry, you will see a specific spot at the center of your washing machine. The space you see at the center of the washing machine indicates where the agitator will be seen.

An agitator in a washing machine is a device that is specifically made to minimize roughness and prevent your clothes from tangling.

It is not like the regular top loader you usually see or use. Instead, the agitator does the work more evenly without squeezing the clothes.

The agitator twists turn back and forth the clothes to help remove stains. Moreover, there are two types of agitators that you can find in a washing machine. They are – regular agitators and low-profile agitators.

The regular agitator rubs against clothes to remove dirt or stain in the clothes. Meanwhile, the low-profile agitator uses a vane that rotates in the washer to create a strong current.

The essence of the strong current is to thoroughly clean and remove stains from your clothes.

Some people mistake a top loader for an agitator simply because they work the same way. However, an agitator is more sensitive when rotating and twisting your clothes.

Let’s quickly look into the difference between a washing machine with an agitator and without an agitator.

A Washing Machine Without An Agitator

A washing machine without an agitator has been in existence for a long. Hence, the washing machine with an agitator is introduced for washers to be more familiar with the new style.

Most washing machines now come with an agitator that is more effective and unique. Moreover, many washing machines now have intelligent features that can wash, clean, and stretch your cloth with no trace of roughness.

Compared to the washing machine without an agitator, I can say that it washes clothes more gently than the one with an agitator. However, because it washes clothes gently, it doesn’t scrub the cloth cleanly.

Moreover, a washing machine without an agitator will be hard to find now because technology has improved.

That said, it will be ideal if I go ahead to tell you what the agitator does in a washing machine.

What Does A Washing Machine Agitator Do

An agitator in a washing machine has one important benefit of using it. One of them is that it twists and rubs against clothes to help break apart stains and dirt.

Specifically, it moves in diverse ways to maintain optimal cleaning. You can achieve this via unique/smart steps such as rinse and spin cycle, wash/agitate action, spray action, and wash basket action.

Rinse and Spin Cycle

Once you have loaded your laundry inside the drum or washer on the tub, the washing begins. However, the time and length begin to calculate once you set up the spin and timer cycle.

During the rinse process, the washer refills with water and therefore repeats the process of the wash cycle without detergent.

On the other hand, the spinning cycle is the last action in the wash cycle. First, it activates the connecting belt, which allows the transmission to take place. Then, it spins the clothes clockwise and removes the excess water.

Wash and Agitate 

This, on the other hand, sprinkles, churn, spin your clothes, and removes the stains on them. You should know that the agitator is a tall vertical spindle that you will see on the center of the washer.

However, it agitates left and right by pushing the water outside the edge of the tub. All these processes begin after the initial wash cycle is completed.

Spray Action

The spray action soaks your clothes with water, thereby recirculating water from the wash/rinse cycle. This means that instead of wasting the water, it reuses the water to soak your garments.

Wash Basket Action

The Wash basket effect occurs when the machine rotates to wash and clean effectively in a hard-hitting motion.

Generally, as mentioned earlier, the main features of an agitator in a washing machine are to twist back and forth, rub against clothes to help minimize dirt or break apart stains.

Finally, your cloth will be clean and ready when the machine is turned off.

It will still be a bonus to cheap how the agitator in a washing machine works.

How Does Washing Machine Agitator Work?

Agitators mimic the traditional way of washing laundry by performing a great job faster and evenly.

The agitator is seen inside the middle of the top load washer, made with blades or fins. There is also an auger-style blade agitator which rotates and promotes the flow of the laundry, twisting back and forth.

That said, an agitator in a washing machine performs effectively in laundering your clothes in this modern era. It is good at what it does but not so perfect because of the high speed to wash your clothes.

However, when it comes to performance, they are too aggressive while performing the task of washing your clothes. Therefore, it is fair to say that they are not gentle on clothes but effective.

So as they are working effectively, they are also damaging your clothes by reducing the quality of the clothes. On that note, let’s look at the positive and negative effects of using an agitator in a washing machine.


Suppose nothing else entices you from buying a washing machine with an agitator. In that case, it should be because it cleans and removes stains effectively.

  • It is effective when removing dirt and stain easily and quickly.
  • The agitator in a washing machine has vanes and fins that twist your clothes back and forth to ensure thorough cleansing.
  • They are very cheap, unlike the top loaders without an agitator.
  • Most importantly, it has higher water efficiency ratings than the one without an agitator.
  • With an agitator, be rest assured that your washing will be quick and fast. So if you are a busy person, you need a washing machine with an agitator.


  • An agitator in a washing machine tends to catch in garments or clothes at high speed.
  • They are very aggressive in terms of performance.
  • It has limited availability of space where you can add extra garments or clothes, like bedsheets. So you cannot add multiple loads of laundry.
  • Can be very expensive to run most of the time because of the poor efficiency rate.
  • It reduces the quality of clothes.

Whatever has a good part also has some negative effects behind it. However, the negative should not always supersede the positive.

Conclusively, I know what is going on in your mind right now is identifying an agitator in a washing machine. Am I right? If yes, then don’t be in a rush to stop reading.

This article will give you a clue to how an agitator in a washing machine looks like.

My Recommendation – Best Agitator for Washing Machine

Suppose eventually, you want to get yourself a washing machine with an agitator. In that case, this recommendation is here for you to make a quick decision.

Therefore, take a look at these four best picks of amazon products for your best choice of agitator in a washing machine.

Whirlpool Washer Agitator

If you are looking for a way to identify an agitator in a washing machine, this is one of them. Here, the Whirlpool agitator is a genuine agitator made with ultra-durable material.

The features I mentioned about rotating back and forth inside the washer are found in this type of agitator.

However, the whirlpool will take responsibility for the movement of the contents in the washer. This implies that the whirlpool will not fail to give you the exact quality of what you want in a washing machine.

Its dimensions are 14.1 x 13.6 x 23.3 inches and weigh 1.95 kg which is not too heavy. So with this weight and dimensions, the agitator can spindle fast without any interruption.

Furthermore, you do not need a battery to power this agitator. It is power-free and can only be seen inside a washing drum. You can not use it separately without installing it inside a washing machine.

AdZzz WPW10110020 Agitator

Unfortunately, this type of agitator with the brand name AdZzz does not have many features. But it can perform the same task just like other types of agitators I mentioned here.

Nevertheless, one of the noticeable things you can see on this AdZzz review is that it is a genuine OEM (original equipment manufacturer) part.

The OEM means the company that manufactures and sells products to other companies. Regrettably, the manufacturer shipped out the agitator to other companies without much information.

But in all, you do not need to worry if the agitator is good. On the contrary, there is positive feedback on how well the agitator performs from customer reviews.

GE Assembly

This is another form of agitator manufactured by GE from China with a model number WH43X10034.

This agitator requires no battery to function and has one year warranty.

Just like every other agitator in a washing machine, this GE assembly also twists turn back and forth your clothes.

It is very easy to remove and install.

Fisher/Paykel Agitator

Fisher agitator is a Fish and Paykel brand agitator made in the USA with white plastic material.

Judging from customers’ reviews who have used this type of agitator, they strongly state that it is the best of its kind.

You can install this without stress, but the only problem is plastic. This means that your clothes may get stuck in the washer when turning back and forth.

But I doubt you witnessed that most often as its measurement is as low as 14 x 14 x 17 inches, and it weighs only 1.43 kg. So isn’t that amazing that you don’t have to worry about your cloth stuck inside?

Positively, the manufacturer says it can fit in in any smart drive washing machine. So you see why you need this for your better experience in a washing machine.

According to them, you can remove the damaged agitator with just your screw by opening up the old one and replace with this Fisher and Paykel model.

More impressively, if you buy this Fisher and Paykel model with the washing machine, which is the same brand, you will enjoy it the most. So I advise you to go for this type with the washing machine.

In summary, it requires no battery for it to function properly. But there are appliance replacement parts that come with it when you purchase.

Summary: What Is An Agitator In A Washing Machine

Summary: What Is An Agitator In A Washing Machine

For decades people have been using top loader washing machines without an agitator. But, unfortunately, the top loaders also do the work of an agitator. But not as evenly as the one with an agitator.

An agitator in a washing machine has been crucial to today’s washers. It gives room for immediate delivery of your laundry.

The agitator moves from right to left in the washing machine, breaking apart dirt and stains. The process then pushes the water in the drum out towards the tub’s edge.

It subsequently moves back to the center of the drum, continues the process, which then rotates the clothes to remove the unwanted stains.

Therefore, for anybody who has an uptight job, you need to get yourself a good washing machine with an agitator. This will enable you to have a good ride to your other business while your washer does the needful.

In this article, I did justice to making sure I touched every bid of what you need to know about an agitator in a washing machine. In all, it is better to use a washing machine with an agitator than a front loader.

However, after going through this article, I strongly believe that you will have no choice but to reach out to Amazon and get yourself one of the best agitators in a washing machine.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why Is An Agitator Good In A Washing Machine?

When it comes to stain removal tests, an agitator in a washing machine performs very fast and effectively. It is advisable that you go for a washing machine that has a good agitator in it. So it works faster and provides cleaning performance evenly more than a front loader.

2. How Often Should One Use A Washing Machine With An Agitator?

Despite being risky at damaging clothes, the top loader washing machine without an agitator is gentle in washing clothes, but not as effective as the one with an agitator. Preferably, if you do not want your clothes to get damaged easily, do not use them always.

3. Clothes Get trapped Underneath agitator, Why?

If you are using a plastic made agitator in a washing machine, it may likely trap your clothes underneath it. In most cases, if the wash plate wobbles too far and allows the clothes to get under the rubber seal, it will trap them. Again, there is something called U-joint assembly, it may be faulty and needs replacement. The u-joint assembly is found around the wash plate.

I hope you found this PowerVersity guide helpful?

If you found it helpful, kindly share your thoughts with the “Leave a Reply” form found towards the end of this page.

Finally, you may want to read other articles like this. Visit our below pages:

What is a Portable Washing Machine

5 Best Portable Washing Machines

5 Best Countertop Dishwashers

Chinenye Mbam
Chinenye Mbam is a Content Writer for PowerVersity.com. She has a B.Sc in Mass Communication. Chinenye loves typing, movies, cooking, dancing, and she is open to learning new skills. Chinenye writes reviews, buying guides, and best pick articles for PowerVersity.com.


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