Can You Stop Washing Machine Mid-Cycle? (Read This First)

By - Hs Saini

Updated -

It is not common to decide to stop the washing machine midway through the wash cycle.

However, sometimes, emergencies call for halting the washing instruction before the expected time.

These situations include forgetting to empty the clothes pocket, adding or removing more clothes, adding more laundry detergent, etc.

You may wonder if you can stop the washing machine from time to time and make these adjustments.

Yes, you can stop the washing machine mid-cycle, but the washing machine door will not open until the water in the washer is completely drained. The door will then activate the unlock process. This is a standard procedure for front load washers. However, you can also stop a top load washer mid-cycle, and you can open the lid immediately it halts the washing.

Is It Bad to Stop Washing Machine Mid-Cycle?

Stopping the washing machine before the stop time is not bad. You can do this in case of an emergency, or you need to make some adjustments.

Most washing machines are usually built with a safety mechanism to protect both the appliance and the user in situations like these.

When you decide to turn off the machine, all you have to do is pay attention to the details.

Although the process of stopping the appliance is not difficult to understand, incorrectly doing it can affect some essential parts of the machine. 

For example, if the device is disconnected incorrectly, you could destroy the plug or cause a wire or two to trip.

You can also puncture necessary pipes and inlets or damage the control board or washing machine door while trying to stop the machine forcibly.

That’s why it’s essential to understand the process or call in a professional for help if you’re confused.

What Happens If You Stop a Washing Machine Mid-Cycle?

In the case of a front load washer, the washing machine door loses its ability to open or close during washing, except the water in the drum is completely drained after stopping the wash cycle.

You must reset the wash cycle to continue with the laundry. 

Although a top load washer will end the wash cycle, the water will not drain unless you set the drain dial.

You can remove the lid and make whatever adjustments are needed.

You can always continue the wash cycle. Some top loaders will work even when the lid is opened.

The washing machine door lock is a safety measure to prevent you from opening the washer during the wash cycle.

On some appliances, it acts a bit like a circuit breaker.

So when the machine gets too hot, the door jams to prevent you from opening it. The best thing to do is let the water drain properly, and the door should open on its own.

In some cases, as time goes by, the washing machine malfunctions as this are common in every appliance.

The machine starts to break down and automatically stops in the mid-cycle.

These can happen due to various reasons like a problem with the pump and motor, faulty wash timer and control board. 

Also, the water inlet valves may be incorrect, or obstruction may block the valve. The purpose of a water inlet valve is to serve as a channel into the washer for water.

Failure of the inlet valve will result in the washer waiting for the water to enter it. This causes it to stop mid-cycle. 

You may need to clean the built-up material from the water inlet. Otherwise, you’ll want to test the valve with a multimeter to see if the water inlet valve has continuity.

If there is no continuity, you will need to replace it with a new one.

What Happens If You End a Wash Cycle Early?

Ending the wash cycle early will not affect the washing machine, but the clothes inside the device will be wet and soapy.

This can drip around and make the floor slippery when removing the cloth.

You will need to place towels, a drop cloth, or a tarp on the ground under the washing machine to collect the water. 

This can turn into a messy job. The clothes will still be dirty because they haven’t gone through the time and cycle required to clean them.

To avoid this, the washer must complete the entire wash cycle.

To prevent electric shock, you should also avoid letting the water contact the live outlet to which the washing machine is connected.

It can be severe and can cause death. However, you can end the wash cycle at any time.

For example, if you want to complete the process on the washer quickly, you can turn off the appliance by pressing the power switch.

How to Stop Washing Machine Mid-Cycle?

Although there are two types of washing machine loaders, they can both be stopped by the same process.

The only feature that sets them apart is the need to drain water in a front load washer.

There are four ways to stop the washing machine midway.

  1. Press the Start/Pause button on your washing machine. Wait a few minutes for all the water in the washer’s drum to drain before automatically unlocking the washing machine door. 

Once this is done, you can open the door. However, you can immediately open the top loader’s lid, press the start/pause button, and the washer shuts down.

The lid opens automatically. Now you can add or remove items. You can also change the wash cycle. 

Close the door or lid and press the START/PAUSE button to resume the cycle or start a new cycle. Some top loaders can automatically restart the wash cycle if the cover is placed correctly.

  1. Turn the washer dial to the “0” or “Off” position, whichever position indicates the end of the washing cycle. A front load washer will drain water from the washing drum before opening the washing machine door. 

Meanwhile, you can lift the top load washer’s lid after you have stopped the washer. Then, you can make any adjustments to the machine or clothing items inside the washer.

When you close the door, the cycle will not start again automatically. Therefore, you will need to re-enter your washing instructions to continue washing your laundry.

  1. You can pull the washing machine’s plug to disconnect the power supply in an emergency.

    The washing machine will shut down immediately; note that the water cannot drain out of the washer, and it can flow out if you open the washing machine door.

    This method is best used only when there is a fault in the machine.
  2. In some cases, the washing machine may have a built-in emergency drain system that you can press to stop it mid-cycle.

    Note that the emergency drain feature can damage the device, so do this only if there’s no other alternative.

If you are still confused about doing this procedure, you will need to contact a professional.


You can always stop the wash cycle, regardless of the type of washer you are using. It will not affect or damage the washer. Every washing machine stops midcycle.

The washer has a built-in mechanism to prevent it from getting damaged by interrupting it. It is also designed to protect you from getting hurt by the washer when you stop the wash cycle.

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