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How to Release a Stuck Washing Machine Door

Steve has been writing on this site for 10 years now and has in the past written on many subjects. He now concentrates on helping people.


If your washing machine door seems stuck after it has finished a wash cycle, don't panic and call out an engineer—or worse still, go out and buy a new machine. It should be relatively straightforward to free it if you follow the information in this guide.

Our machine decided to be awkward late at night after a wash cycle. It's a good idea not to leave laundry in the machine if it is wet, otherwise you will end up washing it again.

Safety First

  • Before doing any work on an electrical appliance, please be sure to disconnect it from the main electrical supply by unplugging from the socket.
  • Remember that household appliances have sharp edges on sides and corners. So it's important that you protect your hands by wearing gloves as appropriate, and be sure to cover your arms by wearing a long-sleeved jumper.
  • Having a pair of goggles is always worth having close by should you find that you need them.

Tools Required

The tools you will need to do this job will depend on the make and model of your machine. I found that I needed a set of torx head Allen keys so that I was able to remove the top of the washing machine.

  • Flat screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Star screwdriver
  • WD-40

How to Fix a Stuck Washing Machine Door

The order in which you have to do things may vary slightly depending on your model of machine. By using these steps, along with the accompanying video, you should get a good idea what is required.

Potential Culprits

If you are unable to release the door after the wash cycle has finished, it could one of three things.

  • The door handle has broken.
  • The electronic release catch has failed.
  • The door catch has seized.

Diagnosing the Problem

Try these steps to figure out what may be the culprit.

  • If the door handle is stiff and won't operate, it could be the problem.
  • Try striking the front of the door handle to release the lock mechanism.
  • Try activating the hook in the handle with nylon line around the back of the door, and pull towards you to release the hook. This needs to be heavy breaking strain, such as strimmer wire.
  • Try pushing a credit card between the door and the cabinet.
  • The last method would be to do it from the inside of the unit by removing the lid. Use a long screwdriver to flip and release the catch.

If you do need to remove the top of the machine, it will likely be held on with two to four screws. Once removed, the top will probably need to slide forwards or backwards before you can lift it clear.

One of the methods listed should work for you to release the door. Feel free to watch the video below to see the above methods explained more fully.

Putting Things Back Together

If you managed to take photos of how and where everything fits, the refitting of everything should be pretty straightforward. Make sure you take your time as you build things back up. That way there won't be any need to strip things down again.

Before putting any new parts back on the machine though, check them first to make sure you have the identical part. Having access to your machine will allow you to clean any areas that are soiled. If you have had to take the top off the machine, it might be a good idea to put it back on loosely first and give the machine a short cycle to do. This way you don't have to go to the trouble of undoing the top should there be an issue after fitting any new parts.

Know Your Limitations

If after reading this guide and video you don't feel confident to complete the job, then my advice would be to call in a competent person or service engineer to do it for you.

When taking on these types of jobs, it is always important to accept that you may not have the skills or tools to do the job. Knowing your limitations will help you make the right decision and potentially prevent you from making matters worse, which may result in avoidable expense.

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Leave a Comment and Share This Article

Hopefully you have successfully diagnosed what the problem was with your machine door sticking. If you found this guide helpful, pass it on to anyone you know will benefit from it. I find it very satisfying being able to fix things without costing more than the parts that have failed.

The aim of most of my articles is to say you money on labour costs by helping you to do the jobs yourself.

Feel free to leave a comment below if there is anything you feel would improve the article. I am always happy to receive feedback.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2021 Steve Mitchell


Mark Bennis from Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom. on March 23, 2021:

#1 top tip

Take photos before you start taking things apart

Use the photo when putting back together. I like this! A great hub and one I will remember, thanks.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on March 23, 2021:

This is great to know.

I haven't had this happen & hope it never does.

Great tip on unplugging it first.

I've been known to shock myself a few times. Last one was with screwdriver touching metal on top of dryer...

Great information.

Steve Mitchell (author) from Cambridgeshire on March 23, 2021:

Thank you very much.

Fozia Naz from Pakistan on March 23, 2021:

I have read your article about stuck washing machmachine door. Amazing thing in your article is you have worked really hard to achieve the attraction of readers and admiration for your work. Hope for the best carry on to get good rewards thank you so much for making a contribution to the hubpages.

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