Can You Open A Washing Machine Door Mid-Cycle?

Have you ever loaded the washing machine and started a wash cycle only to realise that with your white wash load there’s a rogue red sock? You know that if you don’t remove that red sock, all of your white items will become a delicate shade of pink.

If you have found yourself in this situation, keep reading. In this article I explain the best ways to deal with this problem and help you to get the washer door open and retrieve that rogue item.

How To Open A Washing Machine Door Mid-Cycle

open washing machine door

Getting a front loader washing machine door open once the cycle has started can be a tricky operation. The problem is harder to deal with because there are so many different washing machines available nowadays.

All with different operating instructions which means it’s hard to give you a definitive solution to this dilemma. There are however, a few things I can suggest that might assist you in your quest for a quick way to open the washer door. Which are;

Consult Your User Manual

Every washing machine has its own unique features and design. Which means the best place to start is by checking the user manual which could offer a simple way to get the door open fast.

If you can’t find your user manual, it’s well worth searching online as most manufacturers have downloadable copies on their websites.

Contact The Manufacturer

If you can’t find your user manual or it isn’t very helpful, you should contact the manufacturer and explain the situation to them and ask for their advice.

Let’s face it, no one will know your washer better than the company that made it. They may have a few tricks up their sleeves that can get you out of trouble fast.

What To Do If You Can’t Find Any Helpful Advice

person changing the program on washing machine

Depending on the make and model of your appliance, there are a number of different solutions that might help you to get the door open in a hurry. These include;

Spinning The Dial To The Off Position

If your washer has a dial control, turning it to the off position notifies the washer to end the current cycle. You will still need to wait for the washer to drain all of the water from the drum before the door will open, but at least the cycle will have stopped.

Once the door interlock cools down enough for the door to open (typically around 2 minutes), you’ll be able to access the drum and remove the offending item.

Disconnect The Power Supply

If the situation is dire, you can simply disconnect the power supply by removing the plug from the socket or flipping the circuit breaker to the off position.

However, this might have stopped the washer, but it won’t have drained the drum of any water. You will need to find a way to drain the drum or risk flooding your home.

You can place a container under the drain filter and then slowly open the drain filter just enough to allow some water to escape. Then once the container is full, close the filter, empty the container and repeat until the drum is fully empty.

Or, if the situation is desperate, you can simply place towels and other absorbent fabrics all around the floor and simply open the door and hope for the best.

Press & Hold The Start/Pause Button

This method usually works but you will need to wait until all of the water has been drained from the drum before you can open the door. This can take upwards of 2 minutes or so but will do the least damage to your washer or your home.

Press The Emergency Drain Button (if applicable)

Some washing machines have a built-in emergency drain button that can be pressed mid-cycle to allow you to gain access to the drum. Consult your user manual to find out if your machine has this feature.

You will still need to wait for the water to drain away before you can access the drum but it is the less intrusive method you can use.

If You Have The Bosch Reload Feature

Many Bosch washing machines have a Reload feature which allows you to press the start reload button and the washer will check whether it’s safe to open the door. If it’s halfway through a wash cycle it will stop and drain the drum and then unlock the door within seconds.

Bosch Reload models include;

  • Bosch Series 4 WAN28250GB 8kg Washing Machine

This model not only features the Reload function but also includes the SpeedPerfect feature which makes cycles up to 65% faster. Plus the Super Quick 30 cycle that leaves small wash loads spotlessly clean in just 30 minutes.

Checkout prices and reviews at

  • Bosch Series 2 WAJ28002GB 8kg Washing Machine

This Bosch model also features the Reload function as well as the SpeedPerfect function and the EcoSilence Drive makes it an incredibly quiet washer too.

Checkout prices and reviews at

Prevention Is Better Than Cure…

laundry room with pile of clothes

That old saying prevention is better than cure was never more appropriate than in this instance. In some cases, stopping the appliance mid-cycle can be detrimental to the machine, so it’s always best to prevent getting into that situation in the first place. You should always;

  • Check the pockets of all items before putting them in the drum of your washer
  • Sort clothes into colour piles and fabric types before washing
  • Don’t forget many washers have a child lock function which could prevent the door from opening

Remember That You Will Need To Resume The Wash Cycle Once The Offending Item Has Been Removed

If the washer was mid-cycle, your laundry will still be dirty after removing the offending item. You may need to restart the washer but check whether the clothes are soapy.

If they are, you might not need to add any more detergent as this could cause overdosing. This could potentially cause your washer to not rinse the wash load properly or even overflow.

Learning the correct way to open a washer door mid-cycle is a useful piece of information. However, you’d be better off paying more attention before and whilst loading the washer to prevent this type of thing from happening.

SEE ALSO: What Is SpeedPerfect Tech? (Bosch Washing Machines)

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you open the washing machine door during a wash cycle?

You cannot open the washing machine door during a wash cycle. This is a safety feature to prevent flooding your home. If you need to access the drum during a cycle, you will need to cancel the wash cycle first and wait for the drum to drain before the door will open.

How can I stop a washing machine mid-cycle?

There are different ways to stop a washing machine mid-cycle depending on the make and model of the machine. You can either turn the dial to the off position and wait for the washer to drain, press and hold the start/pause button and wait for the washer to drain, or disconnect the power supply and then manually drain the washer before opening the door.

Why won’t my washing machine door unlock?

If your washing machine door won’t unlock it is most likely because the drum is still full of water or the sensors detect or at least think there is water still in the drum.

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