How to Open a Washing Machine Door Mid Cycle

How to Open a Washing Machine Door Mid Cycle

Have you ever popped your jeans in the washing machine and completely forgotten that in your back pocket is your winning Lotto ticket? Yep, we’ve all done something similar! 

It can feel like a life-or-death situation. But one thing is for sure, the washing machine door has to be opened!! Or you could literally be washing a couple of quid down the drain… 

Here’s how to open a washing machine door mid cycle and rescue your precious Lotto ticket.

Things to Think About…

Opening a washing machine door mid cycle can be quite tricky. And because there are so many different washing machines on the market today, and they all work slightly differently, it’s hard to give you a ‘one size fits all’ solution. 

Here are some things to consider before you try to open the door on any kind of washing machine: 

  • Read your user manual – every washing machine has its own features and designs, so you’re better off checking the handbook of your model before you try opening the door. Most manufacturers allow you to download manuals from their websites, just in case you’ve thrown it out. 
  • Call your washing machine’s manufacturer up for help – this may take some time but nobody knows your washing machine better than its manufacturer! 
  • Although you could be tempted to pull or ram something into the door to get it open, don’t do it – there are ways of opening washing machine doors, so use them. 
  • Act fast – you need to get the door open within the first 5 minutes of a cycle starting, if possible. 
  • Grab some towels and put them around the base of your washing machine – just in case any water spills out. 
  • Your washing machine door will not open immediately – you may have to wait a few minutes for the water inside to completely drain away before the door unlocks. 
  • You may see a flashing ‘lock door’ light on the washing machine when the water is being drained away. When the light stops blinking the water has been drained away and the door can be opened. 
  • Older washing machines function differently to new models – check to see if your washing machine has a manual or auto lock door.  
  • You will not be able to open the door if the temperature of the water inside the washing machine is too warm – this is a basic safety feature. 



If you desperately need to open your washing machine door and you’re mid cycle, here’s what you need to do:

turning washing machine dial to off

Solution 1

Turn the dial on your washing machine to the ‘off’ position. This will tell the machine to ‘end the current cycle’. You need to wait while all of the water drains away and only then can you open the door. 

Solution 2

In a real emergency you can stop the power going to your washing machine. Pull the power plug out of the machine and it will stop completely. 

You should be careful when using this solution because the water inside the machine may not have drained out.

If you open the door using this solution, you should put towels under your washing machine to soak up all the water that could come tumbling out when you open the door. 

pressing washing machine start button

Solution 3

Press the ‘Start/Pause’ button on your washing machine and wait for the water to drain out. Then you can open the door.

Solution 4

In some cases, a washing machine can have a built in ‘emergency drain feature’ that you can press mid cycle. If you’re lucky enough to have this, use it! 



Opening up a washing machine door isn’t always good for your machine, so here are some preventative measures to consider when preparing a load ready for washing:

checking jeans pocket

  • Check your clothes before you put them into the washing machine – make sure all the clothes or items you want washed are in the right piles. 
  • Check the pockets on your clothes before you start a wash – empty your pockets of everything.
  • If you find yourself constantly forgetting to add items to your loads, you could buy a new washing machine that has a built in ‘Start Reload’ feature. Check out these Bosch Reload washing machines that are designed to be opened up mid cycle, so you can add and take out various items as and when you like.


Final Tips…

  • You will need to resume your wash cycle after you’ve opened the door and pulled out/put in your forgotten garments. The washing inside the machine will still be dirty if you’ve opened the door halfway through a cycle, or the contents of the machine could be a tad soapy. 
  • Some new washing machine models come with ‘child lock’ features. So, if you’ve got a machine that has this you may need to disable these locks before you can open the door on your washing machine. 

You need to check out your user manual for this because different models have various ‘child lock release codes’ built into them. To get you started, check out these ‘Common Child Lock Release Buttons’ from Samsung. 



Knowing how to open a washing machine door is incredibly useful because you never know when you’ll need to add an extra sock, or take out a piece of clothing that’s gotten mixed up in the wrong washing pile. 

However, you should always look at your washing machine’s user manual before you start trying to open the door because every model varies. And don’t ever start tugging at the washing machine door mid cycle, this is a recipe for disaster.  

Happy washing!