Dishwasher Door Locked? Here’s 4 Tips To Unlock It

How to Reset a Bosch Dishwasher In 3 Easy Steps

Are you stuck with a locked dishwasher door?

Don’t worry – this happens all the time.

You can usually open your dishwasher door in several ways, but it depends on your dishwasher. You may need to find a control lock or hold button and use it to unlock your dishwasher door. Or, you may need to find a child lock that could be keeping your dishwasher locked.

Before you can open your dishwasher door, you also have to figure out why your dishwasher is not opening. Luckily, I’ve already done all of the research, so please look at what I discovered to unlock your dishwasher door.

Ready? Let’s dive in!

Why Is Your Dishwasher Door Locked?

Since you’re desperately wondering how to unlock your dishwasher, we need to take a closer look at why the door is locked.

  • There Is a Failure of the Door Handle Mechanism: When you press the handle of your dishwasher door, there is a door handle mechanism that is supposed to engage, opening the dishwasher door. In my experience, I’ve always observed that the handle mechanism fails with time. If you squeeze the handle, and it feels a bit lighter than normal, then that could be a sign that the door handle mechanism has failed. Before messing with the door handle mechanism, you need to consider your dishwasher’s warranty. You do not want to void the warranty if you start messing with the door handle mechanism. 
  •  The Door Latch Is Broken: If your dishwasher door won’t open, there is also a chance that the door latch itself is broken. If the door latch is worn down, then your dishwasher may remain locked in place. As a result, the wash cycle will not begin. A working door latch is important because it prevents the dishwasher from leaking all over the kitchen. If there is something wrong with the door latch, you’ll need to get a new door latch assembly system.
  •  The Door Hinge Is Not Working: Your dishwasher door has a set of hinges. It needs to work correctly if you want your dishwasher to open and close easily. If something is wrong with the hinges on your doors, it may be preventing your dishwasher door from opening. In general, dishwasher door hinges are attached to a spring. Then, they pivot on a pin. The mechanism allows your door to open and close. You should not mess with the door hinges of your dishwasher on your own, as it could carry specific implications for your warranty. 
  •  The Door Striker Is Stuck: There could also be an issue with the door striker. Your door latch links to the striker, closing your dishwasher door. If the striker system is stuck, it may not disengage the door latch. As a result, your dishwasher door is not going to open. To unlock your dishwasher, I recommend you replace the striker. Sometimes replacing the striker can be expensive, so consider your dishwasher’s age before doing anything.

These are just a few of the many reasons why your dishwasher is still locked. You need to address these issues if you want your dishwasher door to unlock. So, what must you do if something is wrong with your dishwasher door? 

Handling a Locked Dishwasher: The First Steps

Unlocking a dishwasher requires patience and following several steps. No matter what dishwasher you have, you need to take your time and look closely at anything that pops out.

To get started, here are some steps I recommend you take into consideration: 

  • Make Sure the Power Source Is Connected: Most dishwashers use an electronic program today. Therefore, you must ensure the power source is connected to your dishwasher. If your dishwasher does not have any electricity, then the door is not going to open. There are some situations where the power source may be interrupted during a cycle. If the interruption happens, the door will lock automatically to prevent the dishwasher from leaking, and you’ll need to check the power source and restart the machine if you want your dishwasher to unlock. 
  •  Ensure the Water Source Is Connected: Next, you must ensure the water source has been connected appropriately. If your dishwasher has no water pressure, it may not be functioning correctly. As a result, your dishwasher will not engage due to a fault with the water source. Please look at the water source and ensure it is connected appropriately to the dishwasher. 
  •  Look at the Control Panel: Finally, you should also look at the control panel. Sometimes, there may be an unintended control lock that has been activated. Look at the control panel and ensure the light switch showing the lock has been activated. If it has, then you need to deactivate it if you want to unlock the dishwasher. 
A diagram of where a dishwasher's control panel is located
Check the control panel and see if child lock is activated

If you have followed the steps and your dishwasher is still not opening, it is time to look at some instructions specific to the dishwasher you have.

Unlocking a Locked Dishwasher: By Brand

Depending on the specific type of dishwasher you have, there are different sets of steps you need to follow. We will go through a few popular brand dishwashers, explaining how to reset the locking system so that you can unlock the door. A few popular brands of dishwashers include: 


If you have a KitchenAid dishwasher, you first need to look at the control panel. Try to find the key that says “Control Lock and Hold.” Once you find the “Control Lock and Hold” key, you need to hold it down for 3 seconds and then release the key. 

If you do not find the button listed above, you need to locate other possible buttons, including “Four-Hour Delay,” “Bottle Wash,” or “Pro Scrub Upper.” If you locate any of these buttons, you should press them, hold them for three seconds, and then release them.

After you do this, the lock light switch should disengage. Then, you can resume your cycle or open the dishwasher door. 


If you have a Whirlpool dishwasher, the steps are similar. You must find the key that says “Control Lock and Hold.” Once you find the “Control Lock and Hold” key, you need to hold it down for 3 seconds and then release the key. 

If you do not find the button listed above, you need to locate other possible buttons, including “Four-Hour Delay,” “Sani Rinse,” “Bottle Wash,” or “Pro Scrub Upper.” If you find any of these buttons, you should press them, hold them for three seconds, and release them.

After you’ve pressed the buttons, the lock light switch will release. Afterward, you can resume your cycle or open the dishwasher door. 


If you have a Maytag dishwasher, you should see the control lock light flash if you attempt to press another button. If you see the light flashing, you need to try to find a button that has a red or green lock icon.

After you find the green lock icon, press that specific button and hold it for 3 seconds. After this, release the button. It should unlock the control panel, allowing you to either finish your cycle or open the dishwasher door. 


If you have a Bosch dishwasher, you need to find a symbol that says “CL,” which stands for child lock. The “CL” symbol is a sign that a child lock is on. You should press and hold the start button for five seconds. Then, release the button, disengaging the child lock. More often than not, an engaged child lock is the most common reason why a dishwasher will be stuck in the locked position. 

If deactivation of the child lock fails, the next thing you should do is find the RPM or “Finished In” buttons. Press them both at the same time for 3 seconds. Wait for them to beep, and the dishwasher door should open. 

These are a few of the most common examples of dishwasher makes and models. If you still have questions about how to unlock the door to your dishwasher, you should reach out to a professional who can help you. 


It can be frustrating when you have a dishwasher that will not unlock. But luckily, addressing the situation is often simple. More often than not, you need to find a certain button, such as the lock button, and hold it for a few seconds. Releasing the lock button should be enough to flush the commands out of the system, allowing you to unlock the dishwasher.

If a part is broken in your dishwasher, you should consider how expensive it is to replace and compare it to the price of your dishwasher. 

I hope you have enjoyed this detailed guide. If so, please look at a few related articles below to learn more and consider subscribing to our newsletter!

I wish you all the best.


I've been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I've since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7+ years. My mission is to help fix your appliances and prevent future issues - saving you stress, time, and money. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more