The convenience of modern appliances prompts questions about their usage. Among these, the washing machine, a household staple, raises queries about the implications of leaving it in a paused state.

Can I leave a washing machine on pause? I was wondering the same, but then I discovered it, and now I want to share it with you.

So, this article delves into the technical, functional, and practical aspects of pausing a washing machine mid-operation.

Let’s start!

Can I Leave a Washing Machine on Pause?

Yes, you can typically leave a washing machine on pause. Most modern washing machines are designed with a pause or “Pause/Start” button that allows you to temporarily halt the washing cycle.

This can be useful if you need to add more clothes, adjust the settings, or address an interruption. However, it’s a good practice to avoid leaving the washing machine paused for extended periods of time.

If you leave wet clothes in the machine for too long, they can develop a musty odor or even mold growth, which can be difficult to remove. If you need to pause the cycle, try to resume it as soon as possible to prevent these issues.

If you’re unsure about the specific recommendations for your washing machine, it’s a good idea to check the user manual that came with the appliance.

It should provide guidance on how to pause and restart the machine properly and any time limits for leaving it paused.

Can I Leave a Washing Machine on Pause?

Is It Safe to Leave a Washing Machine on Pause?

Leaving a washing machine on pause is generally safe for short durations, but there are some important considerations to keep in mind to ensure the safety of both your machine and your laundry.

Here’s a closer look at the safety aspects of leaving a washing machine on pause:

Short durations are generally safe

Pausing a washing machine for a short period, such as a few hours, is generally safe and shouldn’t pose significant risks.

This can be useful if you need to attend to other tasks or if you want to delay the cycle until a more convenient time.

Energy consumption

While leaving a washing machine on pause for a short time doesn’t consume much energy, the machine remains in standby mode and continues to draw a small amount of power.

This energy usage is minimal compared to the active washing cycle, but it’s something to be aware of from an energy-saving perspective.

Safety concerns

Leaving any electrical appliance, including a washing machine, powered on but unattended can raise safety concerns.

While the risk is relatively low, there’s always a chance of electrical malfunctions, overheating, or other unexpected issues.

It’s advisable to keep an eye on the machine while it’s on pause, especially if it’s an older model or if you’ve experienced problems with it in the past.

Water leakage

Another potential concern is water leakage. If there’s a minor leak within the washing machine or if the door seal isn’t perfectly tight, pausing the cycle with water inside the drum might lead to water seeping out over time.

Regularly inspect the area around the machine for any signs of leakage, and promptly address any issues you notice.

Fabric considerations

Depending on the fabrics you’re washing, leaving them in a paused cycle for too long might result in wrinkles or even damage to delicate materials.

Always aim to promptly remove your clothes from the machine after pausing the cycle to minimize these risks.

Mold and odor

Longer pauses without proper ventilation can create a damp environment inside the machine, which can contribute to mold and mildew growth, as well as unpleasant odors.

To mitigate this, consider leaving the door slightly ajar when the machine is on pause to promote airflow and prevent moisture buildup.

Read more: Can I Leave The Washing Machine On?

How Long Can I Leave a Washing Machine on Pause?

According to most appliance experts, it is perfectly safe to leave a washing machine on pause for short periods of time.

However, if you are planning on pausing your machine for an extended period of time, it is best to turn it off completely. This will help avoid any energy wastage and also prevent your clothes from becoming wrinkled or musty. 

In general, it is always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to appliances. If you are ever unsure about whether or not it is safe to leave an appliance on, consult the user manual or reach out to the manufacturer for more guidance.


Is It Advisable to Pause a Washing Machine Overnight?

It is not recommended to pause the washing machine overnight. One of the problems with pausing a washing machine is that it can cause the laundry inside to become moldy. Mold can be dangerous for your health, so it’s not advisable to take any chances with it.

Additionally, if you have a front-loading washing machine, leaving it paused for an extended period of time can cause odor and structural damage.

Read more: Can I Leave My Washing Machine On When I’m Out?

Can I Pause and Open a Washing Machine?

Yes, you can certainly pause and open a washing machine. In fact, many washing machines have a “Pause” feature that allows you to do just that.

Simply pause the cycle, open the door, and add or remove clothes as needed. Then, close the door and resume the cycle. Easy peasy!


The convenience offered by modern appliances like washing machines has prompted questions about their usage, particularly the practice of leaving them in a paused state. So, can I leave a washing machine on pause?

While pausing a washing machine for short durations is generally safe, there are important considerations. Such pauses are useful for making adjustments or attending to other tasks.

Still, prolonged pauses can lead to concerns like musty odors, mold growth, energy consumption, safety risks, water leakage, fabric damage, and unpleasant odors.

Altogether, I hope this article has helped you learn about pausing your washing machine.