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Can you Stop A Dishwasher Mid Cycle? (Should You?)

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Last updated on August 14th, 2022 at 01:28 pm

Dishwashers have gone a long way in reducing the stress of washing lots of dishes manually. You can quickly load up all the dirty dishes piled up in your kitchen and activate the machine to begin its cycle.

However, you may forget to load up some dishes and would want to put them in, so you may be wondering if you can stop your dishwasher mid-cycle.

Yes! You can stop your dishwasher mid-cycle as it will not cause any harm to the machine. You can open the door or press the power button to do this. Well, if you open the door, the dishwasher will pause its cycle and continue immediately after the door is closed.

Is it Bad to Open a Dishwasher Mid-Cycle?

It is not wrong to open your dishwasher mid-cycle. If you want to load up more dishes or remove some, then you can open the dishwasher. Most dishwashers have timers that automatically stop the cycle when you open the dishwasher door. So it is safe to open your dishwasher mid-cycle.

Nevertheless, you have to close the door for the cycle to pick up where it left off. If you want to take out some utensils for immediate use, you can pause the timer. However, if your dishwasher continues to repeat one particular cycle, you must unplug it from the socket.

Further delay could lead to the complete breakdown of your dishwasher. This action could be due to a few factors, such as a malfunctioning thermostat, a bad heating element, and a faulty timer.

These factors are solely responsible for all the procedures in your dishwasher. However, when one of them ceases to function, the rest are also affected, and it is best to identify the issues on time and rectify them.

I’ll briefly highlight how these factors affect your dishwasher with that established.

1. Thermostat

The thermostat is one of the essential components of your dishwasher as it is responsible for regulating its temperature. For example, your dishwasher might have two thermostats that reduce the amount of heat discharged, so it cools down the system when the temperature is high.

When your thermostat begins to malfunction, it stops controlling excessive heat, and your dishwasher fails to reach the last phase of the cycle. If this continues without repairs, it will eventually affect the entire process of your dishwasher.

To stop this, you can purchase some tools and fix them yourself by following the instructions written in the manual for repairs. Alternatively, you can seek the services of an expert to help you out. Well, fixing your thermostat depends on the degree of the problem. If it is beyond repair, it is best to replace it with a new one.

2. Heating Element

This component controls the heat and air that dries up your dishes. Many manufactured dishwashers come with a heating element that saves you the stress of drying your dishes.

When your dishwasher fails to dry up your dishes properly, there is undoubtedly a problem somewhere. You can proceed to examine your heating element for damages such as decomposition and cracks.

If you observe these damages, you have to repair your heating element. But it is best to replace it as soon as possible.

3. Timer

Most dishwasher has Timers to monitor each phase of the cycle. And observe the time taken for electricity to circulate to each component of your dishwasher.

Your timer begins to malfunction when one cycle repeats several times, affecting your dishwasher as many operations and components are regulated by your timer.

Nonetheless, you need to purchase a new timer and fix it for the smooth running of your dishwasher. The procedure for setting the timer is pretty simple and easy to follow. But to be on the safe side, you can seek the expertise of a professional.

What Happens if You Open a Dishwasher While It’s Running?

Your dishwasher stops its cycle when you open it while it is running. However, it is not advisable to do so. If your detergent dispenser is secured, you can open your dishwasher while running. Unfortunately, if the detergent dispenser is open, hot water might splash your skin and cause severe burns. So it is best to avoid the risk of getting burned by closing your dishwasher.

Many people have conceived the ideology that dishwashers flood your kitchen if it is opened while it is running. And this is because of their experience with washing machines. But this is not the case for dishwashers as it uses water economically.

Surprisingly, dishwashers use less water to wash and rinse your dishes. So it is safe to open your dishwasher as it will not flood your kitchen. Well, you can add a few dishes to your dishwasher, but the detergent dispenser must be closed.

This is done to avoid releasing chemicals that are present in your dishwasher. For instance, chloroform is one of the significant chemicals released in your dishwasher. So when you open your dishwasher in the drying cycle, the chances are that you will inhale the chemical.

And this leads to health challenges such as difficulty in breathing, and if it persists, it could lead to asthma. Well, you can open your dishwasher and add a few dishes if necessary, depending on the stage of the cycle.

Subsequently, you can manually wash the dishes you have used recently to avoid disruption of the cycle. However, it is also important to note that opening your dishwasher in the last cycle stage could lead to unwanted problems.

Regardless, it is best to load up all the dishes before the prewash stage, or you can wait for the dishwasher to run its complete cycle. With that said, I will accentuate the pros and cons of opening your dishwasher while it is running.

Advantages of Opening a Dishwasher Mid Cycle.

  • It saves you the stress and time of washing extra dishes as you can add them in the early stage of the cycle. This also ensures your safety and gets the job done at the same time.
  • The water and heat are regulated internally, so most accidents that cause burns are reduced. The door of your dishwasher helps to draw the water away from coming into direct contact with your skin.

Disadvantages of Opening a Dishwasher Mid Cycle.

  • Hot water will spill and cause severe burns. This often happens when the door of your dishwasher is opened in the late stage of the cycle.
  • You could inhale chloroform which could further escalate the difficulty in breathing and other health issues.
  • Your dishes might fall out and break in the process, especially when the door is opened abruptly.
  • Dirt might still linger on your dishes, and this could lead to the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms. And this occurs when your dishes fail to pass through the drying phase of the cycle.
  • Your dishwasher might start malfunctioning if it is opened repeatedly. This usually affects the timer, which further affects the operations of your dishwasher.


Although you can stop your dishwasher mid-cycle from loading up some dishes, it is not advisable to do so. Instead, you can do yourself some good by allowing your dishwasher to run its complete cycle before loading up another set of dishes. And this will go a long way to prevent certain injuries and unforeseen health challenges.

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