Why Won’t My Washing Machine’s Door Open And What To Do?

Can’t you open the door of your washing machine to get out your garments? What a frustrating situation! What’s more frustrating is that it didn’t happen when you were loading the machine. Of course not! 

A door of a washing machine full of clothes

And now what? How can you handle a situation like that? A washing machine’s door that won’t open can be as frustrating as a cleaner that is not spinning. Was it your fault in the first place, or is it something wrong with the door? A problem with the door lock, a blockage in the pressure system, a faulty interlock? What shall you do? So many questions that seek an answer!  

First of all, don’t lose your temper! And keep yourself out of breaking open the door! In the end, you’ll see that it isn’t such a severe problem. In fact, it’s something that requires your interference. Thus, we have some reasons why you can’t open the door and a few DIY ways to master the problem.

What to do when your washing machine door doesn’t open

Whatever the cause of the blocked door is, you have to be very careful how you handle it. I suppose you don’t want to do any further damages resulting in more expenses. Now, whether you have a top-loader or a front-loader, the first thing you have to do is to make sure that you aren’t facing drainage problems. Many washers won’t open the door if there’s water in the drum. Thus, check out if there’s water in the drum, and try to drain the appliance. 

If the door still remains locked, then there might be an issue with the pressure button. This prevents the machine from emptying properly. To resolve this, turn off the mains power. Let the device cool down for about 10 minutes and then turn it on again. Now you can try to unlock the door. 

Another thing to check is for any damages to the door handle. Move the handle up and down and try to pull it so that it opens. It’s very fragile, so make smooth moves. Oh! Don’t forget to turn off the power before you try it.

A woman trying to open a washing machine's door

Possible reasons your washing machine’s door is stuck

Washing machines keep the door locked during the washing cycle to ensure that it won’t open during the process. It’ll unlock a few minutes after the end of the cycle. If it doesn’t do so, then you should check for possible reasons and find a way unlocking it.

Here are some possible reasons to check:

Drainage issues

After the end of the cycle, you shouldn’t see water inside the drum. But, if you still see, your washer might be experiencing drainage issues. That might be the reason why the door doesn’t open. You can try, though, to unlock it by draining it. Run the washer on the spin or drain cycle to get rid of the excess water. 

The most likely cause can be a blockage in the filter. So you need to find a way to clean it properly without causing any damage. If you checked the filter and nothing is blocking it then, run the machine on the spin or drain cycle to get rid of the water. You may also disconnect the washing machine from the pipes and empty it into a bucket. Most of the time, the machine is connected to the pipes under the washbasin. Or you can clean the drain of any obstacles from the pump filter drain tube, located at the front of your machine. One last thing you can try if nothing of the above works, is to use the drain hose to empty the water in a bucket. Just make sure that you have turned off the washer. No matter that case, it’s always important to keep your washer clean, and you can easily manage it using white vinegar, or even bleach.

A washing machine full of water

Faulty pressure switch

Another reason could be a faulty pressure switch. This button recognises the water level in the drum and tells the washing machine when the drum is empty or not. But, if there’s a problem with it, then the door won’t open. You can try to open the door, though, by yourself but it there’s not much you can do. Start by turning off the mains power. Then, let the door lock cool down and after a while, attempt to open it. 

Faulty interlock

An interlock is a mechanism in the washer that locks the door when the machine starts. For unlocking the door after the cycle ends you’re going to need 2-3 minutes. Once the door closes, then a latch pushes the lock onto a bar and activates an electrical part. That part is what locks the door and also lets the power go through the interlock to the rest of the device.

If you’ve been using the washer a lot, it might have overheated, causing the circuits on the interlock to overheat too and then stop working. Check the door. If it’s too hot, wait for a while to cool down before trying to open it. 

A broken door lock mechanism

There are times that the handle, the catch or part of the door mechanism has some kind of damage. Like a broken part for example. And that’s why the door of your washing machine won’t open. To deal with this problem, you’ll need a screwdriver and some wires. 

Lift the top to have access at the back of the door catch and push the catch to release the door, or wrap the edge of the door with a wire and pull the latches to open it. Whether you’re going to use a screwdriver or a wire, depends on the direction the handle is facing. 

Door latches issues

If you face trouble opening the door on a top load washer, then check the latches. Usually, top loaders have two at the back of the lid. They might have worn down over time, mostly if they’re made of plastic. If the hinge pins are broken, you can try to replace them

To access them you need a flat, thin object. Slide it under the hood on the top and detach the locking mechanism on both sides. The hinges are underneath the lid. You can now remove the hinge pins through the screw at the back of the lid. But if these hinges are completely damaged, then you’ll have to call a washer repair expert to replace them.

Someone trying to fix a damaged washing machine's door

How to open the jammed door?

As already mentioned, while trying to fix and open the door, you have to be very careful not to create more damages. You have to make smooth moves and never apply force on the door as it’s very fragile.

Now, if you own a front load washer which the door handle faces into the circle of the door, then try to apply pressure on the door catch to open it. Wrap a wire or a synthetic string around the edge of the door. Then cross the strings of the wire towards the door latch. Now, pull the strings and open the door. 

In case the handle of the door faces in the opposite direction, then unscrew the top and remove it. You’ll be able to access the back of the catch. Just push the catch or use a flathead screwdriver to release the door. 

A jammed door might be at first glance a serious problem, but in the process, it turns out to be something anyone can tackle. You can take some preventative measures though! Why? To ensure the good operation of your machine, like checking the pockets of your clothes for any suspicious objects that may block the filter and the hoses and cleaning the machine’s filters regularly

What’s more, stop overloading the washing machine not to put extra pressure on its compartments.  Ιt takes a little patience! Just give the washer time to cool down, and everything can be solved. However, since washing machine models differ, make sure to call a professional if you have difficulties with the above ways.

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