How to Unlock A Washing Machine Door Mid Cycle?

In most Front-Load Washing Machines you can unlock the door by pressing the Start OR Pause button within the first 5 minutes of the wash cycle. Once you initiate the pause function, your washing machine will sense how hot OR how high the water levels are. If the water is too hot OR if the water levels are too high you may not be allowed to open the door.

So, if you force-stop or pause the wash cycle in order to unlock the door mid-cycle, then you may have to wait until the washer drains the water out to its safety level.

In today’s post we will cover:

  • How to Unlock A Washing Machine Door Mid Cycle?
  • Several locking mechanisms.
  • Commonly Asked Questions
  • And more…

Let’s get started.

Table Of Content

How to Unlock A Washing Machine Door Mid Cycle?

The Simplest way to unlock the washing machine door in mid-cycle is to use the stop/pause function and then unlock the door. If you are using a front-loader, you may need to wait for a while until the water drains out.

If the washer was running on a hot wash cycle, it may not allow you to unlock the door as the sensor in the washer will keep the door locked.

Having said that if you understand how the washer works, you can actually control it up to a certain extent.

Let’s take a quick look at the different locking mechanisms before discussing the unlocking methods.

Manual Locking Doors

Some top-load washers have a manual door locking system and these doors tend to lock only if you are using hot water to perform the wash cycle.

The manual locking was designed to gain access to your wet clothes in case of a power failure or any unwanted event.

In order to open the manual locking door simply push the stop or the start/pause button and see if the door unlocks.

Alternatively, you can unplug the washer and wait for a few minutes and then try to open the door. 

Several top-loader models that only supply cold water may allow you to open the door mid-cycle, however, this may result in pausing the current cycle in progress, and resumes only after you close the door lid.

Electronic Locking system

Modern washers and mostly the front loaders have an electronic door locking system.

An electronic locking system makes it difficult to unlock the door mid-cycle when a wash cycle is in progress.

You can try to press the start/pause button and wait for some time so that sensors in the washer allow you to unlock the door mid-cycle.

Trick to Unlock A Washing Machine Door Mid Cycle

This is not exactly a trick but it’s more of manipulating how the washing machine works.

By using these techniques you should be able to unlock the washing machine door mid-cycle.

Long Pause

A Washing Machine door can be unlocked by simply pausing the current cycle and leaving it idle for about 8 minutes, this will automatically drain the water off the washer due to no activity and lengthy pause.

With this trick, you can open the door mid-cycle.

If you are using an LG washing machine, it may display an error code “DR” when in an idle state for a long time.

In most cases, the front loaders will not allow you to unlock the door if water is filled in the washtub.

If it does not drain after a long pause or due to any other reason then look for an emergency drain feature in the manual or contact the manufacturer helpline.

Emergency Drain

In order to unlock the door of your washer refer to the user manual, there you may find an emergency drain feature.

Start by stopping the wash cycle and then use the Emergency drain feature to drain the water from your washer.

After the water has drained out, you can try opening the door.

Having said that, not all models have this feature, so the best approach is to check the manual if your washer has this feature.

Manual Draining to Unlock the Door

Depending on your washer type you may manually drain the water by unplugging the drain hoses and with the help of a manual drain lever available near the drain pumps in several washers.

Once the washer drains out, try unlocking the door.

Also Read: How to troubleshoot a portable washing machine?

Final Thoughts

Always pre-plan your laundry before you start your wash cycles so that can avoid this situation in the first place.

Unnecessarily unlocking the door mid-cycle not only leads to wastage of water but also consumes more electricity.

Furthermore, if your washer has the emergency drain feature available use it wisely. It’s not recommended to use the emergency drain feature frequently.

Lastly, do not put stress on the door in case it does not open, and always consult an expert OR reach out to the manufacturer if you are unsure about the technicalities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions that are frequently asked.

Why am I getting a CE error while stopping the washer mid-cycle?

This error code usually appears on LG washing machines. You get this error when there is an excess current flowing in the electrical circuit of the Motor. This error is commonly displayed when there is a sudden power surge, electrical short circuit, or issues with earthing.

Why is my washer’s door stuck even after the wash cycle is completed?

This is common if the wash cycle has recently ended and the sensor switch is taking time to unlock the door based on the temperature in the washtub. You may also inspect if the water has drained out completely from the washer. If the water is not drained out completely, the door may not unlock.

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)