Modern front-load washing machines have automatic locking mechanisms. When the locking mechanism is engaged, the door on a front load washer cannot be opened until the wash cycle is over. 

However, the lock on a front-load washing machine can sometimes get stuck. So, how to open a front load washing machine when door is locked?

These locking mechanisms prevent the water from leaking and stop people, especially children, from opening it during the wash cycle.

Let’s find out more about the locked door!

How to Open a Front Load Washing Machine When Door Is Locked

How to Open a Front Load Washing Machine When Door Is Locked

If your front-load washing machine has an automatic lock that engages once the wash cycle begins, you should know that it will stay locked until it is done. The lock disengages once all the water is emptied of the washing machine’s drum

Therefore, once the wash cycle is done and the water empties, you will need to wait a few minutes to open the door.

However, the lock can sometimes get stuck for different reasons, like the door handle of the washer not working or faulty wiring in the locking mechanism.

If your front load washing machine’s door gets locked, you can try some methods to open it, such as:

  1. Releasing the lock by gently tapping the door handle.
  2. Open the lock with a card you no longer need.
  3. Use a cord to release the locked door.
  4. Access the lock from inside the washer.

The Possible Methods Explained

Releasing the lock by gently tapping the door

The doors of most washing machines are released two minutes after a cycle is finished, thanks to a thermal lock.

If you try to open the door, but the handle feels stiff and is not moving, then it is likely that the lock is the issue. You can try fixing the issue by turning off the machine for five minutes and opening it up again.

If this does not solve the problem, you can use the palm of your hand to gently tap the door over the location of the lock.

This trick can sometimes cause the lock to open and close; just be careful not to hit the machine too hard.

Read more: Why Is My Washing Machine Drum Dropping?

The Possible Methods Explained

Open the lock with a card you no longer use

Another method for unlocking a door with an inward-facing handle is to slide an old credit card, or any other sturdy card, into the space between the door and the frame, where the lock and hook are located. Once the hook releases and the door opens, you can insert the card.

Remember that washing machine door locks frequently include a ridge that can obstruct the card. With the door closed it, could take some maneuvering to get the card over that ridge. However, after you do, you should be able to push the hook free.

Use a cord to release the locked door 

If your door is stuck and your washing machine has a door handle inside the door rim, the hook is likely being pulled toward the door. In this situation, a nylon line or cord, like a trimmer line or a chicken wire, can be used to remove the hook. 

Then, pass the cord around the door frame, which should be tied so you can pull on it without sliding from your grasp. After that, pull firmly on the line to release and unlock the door lock.

Access the lock from inside the washer 

Your washing machine’s lock can be accessed inside the washer with an outward-pointing handle. Take off the washing machine’s top to access the locking mechanism.

Before performing any work inside the machine, remember to wear protective gloves. If you touch or press the door handle, the door hook should move and release.

You can manually unlock the door from the inside by moving the tip with a screwdriver.

Also read: Can You Transport A Front Load Washer On Its Side?


As you can see, there are several methods to try out if you wonder how to open a front load washing machine when door is locked. If one fails, you can try out another that will unlock the washer’s door. 

So, because front load washers today are equipped with automatic locking mechanisms, it is incredibly important to know what to do if it gets stuck.