Dishwasher Door Unlocking During A Cycle? Tips To Help

Professional Fixing a Dishwasher Door

Dishwashers are great appliances that make the lives of millions easier.

However, they’re also faulty in some cases and do cause some issues. I understand how having your dishwasher keep opening during a cycle can be very annoying, especially if you have tons of dirty dishes to do.

Luckily, you came to the right place for answers. Below, I’ve prepared a list, including the most common causes behind a dishwasher door that opens during a cycle and some easy ways to address them. I’m sure that, by the end of this article, your dishwasher won’t pop open during a cycle ever again.

Keep reading to get your dishwasher back to normal!

Why trust us? This article was written in collaboration with two appliance repair experts: James Blackford & Andy Fulencheck. We have over 25 years of combined appliance repair experience – please see our profiles to learn more about our backgrounds.

Fixing a Dishwasher Door That Keeps Unlocking During a Cycle

There are many reasons why your dishwasher door is popping open during a cycle, and in my experience, most of them are related to damaged components. Here’s a detailed list of potential faulty elements to help you pinpoint the culprit and do a proper dishwasher door repair.

An open dishwasher loaded with dishes
If your dishwasher door unlocks during a cycle, a few things might be causing this.
(And some of them can be easily solved!)

A Faulty Latch

The first possible explanation is that the door latch is broken or faulty.

Each dishwasher door has a latch inside that lets the computer know that the door is fully closed and locks it while the dishwasher is running.

If the sensor that lets the computer know that the door is shut is faulty or damaged, it can cause the door to open, to stay locked, and a wide range of other issues. If the dishwasher stops working and the door comes open during any cycle, the dishwasher will stop, and it will also stop running water.

If you think you have a dishwasher with a faulty door latch, I recommend investing some time into the latch replacement process. If the door latch breaks while you use the dishwasher, the door will likely open, and the cycle will stop.

Other parts that may go out are the latch itself, the springs, hinges, and other parts of the door that are moving and in constant use.

A Misaligned Strike Plate

The strike plate is the part in which the door latch is actually going to catch. If the strike plate is not even and lined up properly, it can open while the dishwasher is used. The most likely cause for the dishwasher door opening is that the appliance is not level. A dishwasher that is not level not only has an increased chance of the door opening but a whole host of other problems. A dishwasher that is not level is more likely to cause a door that does not latch fully or is very easy to unlatch, even while the dishwasher is in use.

If your dishwasher is not level, it can throw off the sprayer arms, the motor, the pump, and more, and it can also cause the door to not latch properly and open while the dishwasher is being used. If that happens, properly leveling your dishwasher is the best course of action.

Leveling your dishwasher will help you ensure that it will work well, that it will not wear out, and that the door will remain closed and locked so that the cycle will complete and there will be no issues.

A detailed diagram of the structure of a dishwasher
Parts of a Dishwasher that could malfunction.

A Faulty Door Seal

Another problem you might be dealing with is that the door seal on your dishwasher does not work properly, or the door cannot close completely when you shut it. The door seal works to help make sure that the door closes and seals and that there is no water coming out of the seal. If the seal is faulty, if there‘s a hole in it, or if it is old or cracked, it can cause the door to pop open, in which case, you’ll want to replace it.

Since this is a simple replacement, I recommend doing it yourself rather than spending time and money calling someone to take care of it. If you look at your dishwasher door seal and there does not appear to be any damage or any visible issues, you can always wipe down the seal and wipe down the door and the area where the seal rests. Ensure no debris or other obstructions prevent the door from sealing shut.

If you want to get any replacement part – or see how much one would cost – click to enter your model number in the search bar below. Our partners at AppliancePartsPros stock almost every part with free guides on how to install them.

Door Springs and Hinges

Door hinges could be another reason why your door is popping open. The hinges are just as important in keeping the door closed as all the other parts. If the hinge goes out, it can cause the door to pop open and not close properly. If the hinges are broken or damaged, you’ll want to get them looked at for repair or replacement by a professional.

Other possible causes could be a hinge support spring has broken or come off. Brands like Whirlpool also use a spring/pulley system to assist with door closure. It’s mainly to prevent the door from dropping quickly, but it does make the door feel heavier overall. If these have failed, the door may have issues staying closed.

Sometimes, adventurous kids like to stand on the door of an open dishwasher – which can damage the hinges by overextending them.

A diagram of where a dishwasher's door spring is located
A dishwasher door that won’t close or keeps unlocking may be due to door springs that have worn out.

A Weak Latch or Something Knocking Into the Door

When loading your dishwasher, you should take care to make sure your washer is loaded properly. You want to ensure there are not too many things in the dishwasher, that they are all in the right position, and that they cannot move around much. You want your dishes to stay in the same place while they’re washing and not move around too much. If they are moving around a great deal, they can cause a rattling noise, knock the door open, or even prevent it from being closed properly from the start.

If your door latch is not strong or not secure, it can also cause problems. You want to ensure your door latch is secure and that it will not be easily knocked open by a stray dish knocking around while the wash cycle is going. With any issue with latches, you want to make sure you are taking time to make sure your latch is good and that there are no problems with the latch and no problems with things moving around in the dishwasher.


That about covers it!

When your dishwasher door keeps popping open during a cycle, what should be a simple kitchen task can become an engineering challenge.

Luckily, as I hope this article has helped you better understand, addressing the most common causes behind a dishwasher door that opens during a cycle is mostly simple and quick. Taking the time to check door latches, ensuring that the dishwasher is loaded properly and that all your seals are working correctly can make such a difference.

Thank you very much for sticking with me all the way to the end. If this article proved useful and interesting, please check out our other incredible resources below and consider subscribing to our newsletter.

Happy dishwashing!


James Blackford
James Blackford
Appliance Repair Expert
James Blackford is an Appliance Repair Expert with over 16 years of experience. After spending over 15 years working as an Electronic and Appliance Technician for Sears, James is now a Master Technician for SquareTrade and runs his own appliance repair business in New Mexico. Read more