Not too long ago, my worst nightmare came to life. I have always been perplexed about leaving my valuables in the pockets of my to-be-washed jeans all my adult life. This is why I always made a point to triple-check before placing clothing items in the washing machine.

Alas, it took one absent-minded day for the worst to happen. I left my phone in my jeans and only realized it after I had turned on the washing machine! For someone who always dreaded it, I was quite unprepared for the ordeal. 

I didn’t know how to stop a washing machine mid-cycle and had to frantically resort to online recommendations. How To Stop A Washing Machine Mid-Cycle? If you, too, are going through such a situation (my sympathies are with you!) or just wish to be prepared, read ahead to learn ways of stopping the washing machine!

How To Stop A Washing Machine Mid-Cycle?

4 Ways to Stop a Washing Machine Mid Cycle

4 Ways to Stop a Washing Machine Mid Cycle

For those of you wondering how to stop a washing machine mid-cycle, there are four ways you can do it. This includes the following:

Pause It!

Look at the start button of your washing machine. Does it also say that the button can be used to pause a cycle? If so, stopping the machine will be very easy for you!

You ought to press the Start/Pause button once and then wait for a few minutes. The washing machine takes its time to drain away all the water from the drum before it unlocks its door and lets you take your laundry out. 

Once you have taken out the desired item, you can press the same button to resume the washing cycle. 

Turn the dial to zero

For washing machines that do not have a swift ‘Pause’ feature, the dial needs to be altered to stop it. Depending on your model, turn the dial either to the point depicted as zero or “off.” This would indicate to the washing machine that the washing cycle has ended. 

After that, all water will be drained away from the drum, and the machine’s door will get unlocked for you to remove or add items. After you are done, you must re-enter the washing settings and adjust the dial to your desired number of cycles to continue.

Pull the plug

This is what I did in a sheer panic of not being able to find the right instructions soon enough – simply plug the plug! However, I would suggest you only do this in case of extreme emergencies since this is not the ideal way to stop a machine mid-cycle.

After all, this method does not drain any water and can cause the machine to malfunction. So, unless there is a serious emergency that cannot wait for the proper procedure, don’t resort to this way.

Press the emergency dial

A much more extreme measure than pulling the plug is pressing the emergency drain dial. Not all washing machines are equipped with this. If yours doesn’t, skip to the next section!

Pressing the emergency drain button of the machine would immediately drain all water inside the washer. However, because of how quickly the feature kicks in, without considering exactly what position the washing machine is in its washing cycle, it can cause damage to the device in the long run.

Therefore, only use this feature if all other methods fail or when you need to drain water immediately due to grave danger.

Protip: Use the manual!

While any of these four ways generally work, I would suggest you read your washing machine’s manual if you have the time and resources. After all, different washing machine models have varying safety and emergency features.

Rather than making decisions on a whim, it is better to resort to the official user manual to see what the manufacturers suggest you do in case of emergencies. In case you don’t have the manual anymore or if it is not of any use, you can feel free to use the methods mentioned above.  

What happens if a washing machine stops mid-cycle?

Even if you know how to stop a washing machine mid-cycle, the question arises of whether or not you should do it. You must first understand what happens if a washing machine is stopped mid-cycle before you make this judgment.

When you stop the machine mid-cycle

The machine will react by slowing down and halting the washer operation. But, depending on the type of machine, you won’t be able to access your clothes immediately.

If you use the first two methods of stopping the washing machine, water will be drained completely before opening the door if you have a front load washer. Hence, if you wish to continue with the washing machine, you must reset it to begin a new washing cycle.

While a front load washer will drain the water on its own, a top load washer will require you to alter the drain dial manually. You should always drain the water before opening the door, even if it can be opened right after the machine stops.

When the machine stops itself mid-cycle

In case your washing machine stopped on its own, the probability is that there might have been a machine malfunction that caused it. For starters, faulty motors, pumps, timers, or control boards can cause the appliance to stop before its stipulated time.

Another common issue occurs in the water inlet valves where an obstruction can disrupt the flow of water into the washer. Without enough water, the machine will stop mid-cycle. You will have to clean the valve properly before operating the washing machine to solve this issue.

Risks of stopping a washing machine mid-cycle

If you take the right steps, stopping a washing machine mid-cycle is not always a risky action. However, since you are not supposed to be stopping it until its washing cycle completes, doing so can sometimes lead to certain issues.

Locked door

At times, the washing machine door may malfunction. Doors are automatically unlocked in front load washers once the water has drained out. Therefore, if, for some reason, the water drainage feature is not activated when you pause the cycle, the door will remain locked.

This can be a very significant nuisance for those of you who are stopping the machine from rescuing your valuables from soapy water. I would still suggest you not use too much force in trying to open the machine, as it may do irrevocable damage to the device.

Spilled water

In case you have a top-load washer, you can simultaneously stop the cycle and open the door to remove your clothing items.

But, since the washing machine is full of water, you are a risk of spilling the soapy water everywhere. As washing machines tend to be in proximity to electrical outlets, this can pose a potential safety hazard.

Wet clothes

In case you decide to end the washing cycle mid-way rather than momentarily pause it, the risk associated substantially increases.

For starters, since the cycle was not completed, the laundry would not be dry. Instead, they would be soapy and dripping with water. When you remove such clothes, they can drip around the area, causing the floor to get slippery, thereby increasing the probability of falls and accidents.  

Not to mention that the clothes you take out will still be dirty since they have not undergone the required number of cycles to be properly cleaned.

There is no reason to end a washing cycle mid-way!

Damaged washing machine

Stopping any device in an unconventional way can always lead to damage. While this risk is not involved if you use the first two mentioned methods of stopping a machine, it can occur if you pull the plug or use the emergency drain feature.

In both cases, you might end up risking the longevity of the machine as sudden halts can impact the motor and pumps of the machine.

How To Stop A Washing Machine Mid-Cycle 1

Final Verdict: Is it Good or Bad to stop a washing machine mid-cycle

How To Stop A Washing Machine Mid-Cycle? Whether or not it is bad to stop a washing machine mid-cycle depends on how you do it.

Most modern washing machines are already equipped with a safety feature. So, even if the machine is halted before its cycle is completed, the built-in safety feature protects the device from damage.

In other words, in most cases, no damage will occur to your machine if you stop it mid-cycle.

However, these safety features cannot kick into action if you decide to pull the plug on the machine. Also, while using this method, there is a significant risk of disconnecting the plug incorrectly, which in turn can either cause the plug to get damaged or the wire to trip.

Therefore, don’t take the risk I took. Use safe methods of stopping the machine.

For those of you wondering – my machine is still working fine. But, this doesn’t mean that the risk was worth it! I was a naïve user without clear guidance. Now that you know the right ways to proceed stop your machine properly!

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