We've independently reviewed this article to make sure it's as accurate as we can make it.
To find out more about our article creation and review process, check out our editorial guidelines.
Are you stuck trying to figure out why your washer buttons are not working?
You’re not alone! Dealing with unresponsive buttons can be quite frustrating, especially when you’ve got a big pile of dirty laundry to wash.
Luckily, you’ve come to the right place to fix the issue.
If your washing machine buttons are not responding, check the power supply, turn off the Control Lock, perform a reset, and clean the buttons. If the issue persists, please examine the display interface board.
Read on to fix the problem with your washer’s buttons!
5 Fixes For Unresponsive Buttons on Your Washer
In this section, I’ll guide you through five different fixes for the unresponsive buttons on your washer to help you forget all about the issue today.
Are you ready? Let’s dive in!
#1 Check the Power Supply
When fixing unresponsive buttons on a washer, my first step is always to check the power supply.
Washing machines tend to shake and vibrate during the spin cycle, which can sometimes cause the power cord to become loose without us even noticing. Therefore, it’s important to ensure the cord is securely connected to both the washer and the outlet.
While you’re at it, please take a closer look at the power cord. Bending or pressing the cord against the wall can lead to damage, so please inspect it for any signs of damage, such as exposed wires, fraying, or tearing. If needed, replace the power cord with a new one.
If the power cord is firmly connected and not damaged, please check if the power outlet works by plugging in another device, like a lamp. If the other device doesn’t work either, the issue likely lies with the outlet. In such cases, it’s best to consult a certified electrician.
Note: Don’t forget to check if the circuit breaker has tripped. If it has, flip the washer’s breaker back to the “On” position.
Keep in mind that if the lights on your washer’s display are turned on, it indicates that the machine is receiving power, so you should look elsewhere to identify the issue. Keep reading to learn more!
#2 Turn Off the Control Lock
If your washing machine is receiving power, but its buttons are unresponsive, please check if the Control Lock (or Child Lock) is turned on.
You see, the Control Lock is a safety feature designed to prevent accidental operation or adjustments to your washer’s settings, ensuring the safety of children. When the Control Lock is activated, all the buttons or dials on the washer become unresponsive.
The easiest way to determine if the Control Lock is turned on is by checking the display. You’ll notice a lock symbol or a “CL” (or similar) code.
The process of deactivating the Control Lock will vary depending on the specific model and brand you own.
So, if you find that the Control Lock is activated and causing the buttons to not work, please refer to the manufacturer’s manual to learn the necessary combination of buttons you need to press to turn off the feature.
Can’t find your manual? Don’t worry! Check out our free guide on how to find any product’s manual online:
#3 Reset Your Washing Machine
If your washer’s buttons are still not responding, it’s time to perform a reset.
Just like phones or computers, modern washing machines have electronic control boards that can experience glitches or other software errors and cause the buttons to become unresponsive. By resetting your washer, you can clear such temporary issues.
There are different ways to reset your washing machine. However, I find that the easiest method is to unplug it from the wall outlet, wait a few minutes, and plug it back in.
If you can’t move your washer because it’s too heavy, please ask someone for help. You can also head to the circuit breaker box and look for a breaker labeled “Washer”, “Laundry Room”, or something similar. Then, flip the switch to the “Off” position, wait for a couple of minutes, and flip it back to the “On” position.
#4 Clean the Buttons
In my experience, the buttons on your washing machine can also become unresponsive due to dirt, grime, or detergent residue.
Dirt can prevent the buttons from being pressed down fully or sensing a touch. Therefore, it’s important to clean the buttons to restore their functionality.
Here’s how to clean your washer’s buttons:
- Unplug your washing machine from its power source to prevent electrical hazards.
- Mix warm water with a mild detergent in a bowl. Then, dampen a cloth with the cleaning solution. Please make sure it’s not dripping wet.
- Gently wipe the control panel, including the area around the buttons and knobs. Be careful not to press too hard when cleaning the buttons.
- Use a cotton swab to clean around the edges of each button.
- Dry the buttons using paper towels or a dry microfiber cloth. Ensure they’re completely dry, as moisture can keep the buttons from responding.
Once you’ve completed the steps above, gently press down each button to make sure they’re not stuck. Then, plug your washing machine back into the outlet and try starting a cycle.
If the buttons are still unresponsive, please read the next fix.
#5 Check the Interface Board
I’ve seen that around 90% of the time, unresponsive buttons on a washing machine are linked to problems with the interface board.
When you press a button to start a cycle or select a setting, the interface board communicates your choice to the main control board. Then, the main control board manages your washer’s different functions to ensure it does what you want.
Unfortunately, if the interface board malfunctions, it won’t communicate your selection to the main control board, making it seem like the buttons are not working.
Note: If you own a Kenmore, Whirlpool, or Maytag washer, please refer to the manual for detailed instructions on how to enter a “Service” or “Diagnostic” mode, which can help you confirm if the interface board is indeed the issue.
Unfortunately, replacing the interface board can be very challenging and expensive, ranging from around $120 to $600! So, before replacing the interface board, please consult a professional for an accurate diagnosis. Sometimes, the issue lies within the main control board and not the interface board and a misdiagnosis could lead to unnecessary expenses.
Fixing Your Washer’s Unresponsive Buttons
Hopefully, now you know how to fix the issue with your washer’s buttons.
Remember that if your washing machine buttons are not responding, you must check the power cord and outlet to ensure the unit receives power. It’s also important to make sure the Control Lock (or Child Lock) is turned off and perform a reset to clear any software glitches.
Don’t forget to gently clean the buttons and check if they’re stuck. But if the issue persists, call a professional so that they can inspect the interface and main control board.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article. If you ever experience a different issue while trying to use your washing machine, please check out the related posts below.
Have a wonderful rest of the day!