washing machine door

Washing Machine Door is Locked! Help!

My Washing Machine Door is Locked and I Don’t Know How to Open It?

Ever locked your car door with the keys inside? Or worse, locked yourself out of your house? While not on that kind of scale, it’s incredibly frustrating when your washing machine door is locked and you can’t get at your wet clothes inside.

Why in the world does a washing machine do this? And how can you get your washer door open again?

The why and the how

Don’t give into your frustration if the washing machine lock is broken and the door is jammed. Don’t try to force the door open either with tools or by yanking it until something snaps. You could turn a relatively minor problem into a disaster that the replacement of a number of (potentially expensive) parts. You could even damage the machine beyond repair, and then you’ll be really angry – with yourself.

There are several potential reasons doors stick. Let’s take a quick look:


  1. There is still water in the machine

    Washers don’t open when still full of water. This is great because it saves you a deluge if your machine suddenly has drainage problem. If you have kids, it also saves you a flooded floor should curious fingers open the door while in use.

    If there is no water in the machine and the washer has successfully gone through all the cycles, then Peter Tyson, from Peter Tyson Appliances, says that it’s likely that either the door mechanism or the actual lock is faulty.

    Some washers have a pressure switch, which keeps the door closed for as long as it detects water in the drum. In some cases, there is no water in the drum, but the lock remains activated. You’ll need to turn off the main switch so the lock cools and deactivates. It only takes a few minutes before you can open the door.

    Once again you will need to check your washer for drainage problems. If it’s draining properly then the pressure system may have failed. It’s probably best to call a professional technician to fix the fault.

  2. The door lock is faulty

    There could a problem with the interlock and this causes your washing machine door to be jammed. According to Tyson, it’s best to go through and rule out other potential faults before you go to the trouble of replacing the lock. Otherwise you just waste your time and your money.

    The interlock could also be faulty. This typically happens in certain circumstances only; the most common of which is when the machine is overworked and overheats as a result. Switch off the machine at the wall and play the waiting game. If you’re unlucky, the interlock will take hours to cool sufficiently for the door to open. Your washing might smell a bit funky from being left in a damp machine, so be prepared to do a quick rinse and spin, perhaps even a quick wash.

    An article on Gotech Repairs has some good tips on how to jimmy open a washer door that’s stuck.

  3. There is a fault with the door lock mechanism

    The mechanism comprises the door catch and the handle. If either the washing machine door latch is broken or the handle is damaged, or a component of these parts is broken, the door won’t open.

    The parts tend not to go phut suddenly; they start to give notice a fair while before they chuck it in and keep washer door firmly locked.

    You’ll need to open the door and look at the innards to find the fault and replace the part.

    Everything Homes Lifestyle Blog has a great article on how to open your washing machine door if the handle is broken.

  4. The hinge is broken

    In an article on WhiteGoodsHelp, Tyson says that in the good old days washing machine hinges were designed to last for decades. Alas, most modern washers aren’t as sturdy and it’s actually quite common for a hinge to break. Fortunately, the solution is easy enough and you should be able to replace the hinge yourself, without having to call a professional repair technician.

    You can access the hinge via the top of the washer. There are usually two screws and/or bolts that you’ll have to undo. They’re usually easy to see and easy to remove.

    Sometimes, however, you have to remove the washer door seal to reach all the screws. This is a good time to check the washing machine door seal and replace it if necessary.

    You should also be able to access the hinge from the back of the machine. So if you’re not getting any joy from above, take the back way.

  5. The child lock is on

    We mentioned above the benefits of a washing machine door lock when there are children in the home. Some washers have specifically designed a child lock mechanism; the lock could be engaged and then it’s just a matter of unlocking the door. The instruction book will tell you how to do this. It will also tell you how to deactivate the washer door lock, so you don’t have to keep fiddling about to get your clothes out.

    As with all things appliance-related (or broken-appliance-related) only tackle DIY solutions if you are confident that you won’t make the problem worse. If you attempt to fix any problems yourself and it does go pear-shaped, it’s possible that your insurance won’t approve your claim.

    Rather get a professional (preferably professionally accredited) technician to fix the lock on your washing machine for you. Your insurance is likely to cover the cost of the repair.

Posted by Jason Darkins in Appliance Insurance Articles