Understandably, washing machines have a function that locks the door closed to prevent spills and leaks. This is handy to ensure children cannot wreak havoc with the device or get injured.
However, it can be pretty frustrating when it locks at inopportune moments when your washing looks done and ready, but you aren’t allowed to access it.
If your Whirpool Duet door is locked and you cannot get into your machine to access your clothing, you may get to the end of your rope.
Fortunately, we’ve collated some of the most probable causes and fixes so you can get your washing machine up and running again.
Additionally, we’ve outlined the best maintenance method to keep your machine in tip-top shape.
There may be affiliate links in this article. You can read more about this in my disclosure.
A locked washing machine door can be a nightmare when you’re just trying to complete your weekly chores. First, try holding down the control lock button for at least three seconds.
If that doesn’t work, run a drain and spin cycle to remove excess water in the machine. Then, reset the machine by unplugging the device and leaving it alone for 5-30 minutes.
You can also attempt to drain the machine manually by repositioning the drain pipe. Finally, if all else fails, you can also try unlocking the door manually.
Fix 1: Try the Control Lock Button.
This fix is a simple hack that can sometimes override the washing machines’ desire to lock and stay that way.
Simply hold the washer’s control lock button for around three seconds. Then, if you’re lucky, the machine will respond and allow you to open the door.
This method works in many cases and is the most straightforward fix possible, so hopefully, it worked for you.
Fix 2: Run a Drain and Spin Cycle.
The washing machine ultimately locks to prevent a massive spillage of water onto your floor. So, if the machine thinks that it is too full of water to allow you to open it, the door will lock.
Although sometimes, the sensors may misjudge the water level, and it may lock unnecessarily.
Regardless, press the washer’s drain and spin button to remove any excess water. After the cycle, the washer should be free from water, and the door should unlock.
Again, this solution is pretty quick and easy, so hopefully, it does the trick for you.
Fix 3: Drain Manually.
If your front-loading washer door still isn’t budging, more annoying solutions may be required. You can try to encourage the machine to drain by hand.
Try to check whether the machine can be drained with some gravity. Place the washer drain hose on the floor, near the drain, and see if some water comes out.
If it does, it might be adequate to encourage the machine to drain.
Fix 4: Reset the Washer.
This is the classic fix for any electrical problem you don’t quite understand- and for a good reason!
For example, resetting the machine might help it reboot and forget why it’s trying to hold the door shut.
To reset your whirlpool duet washer, follow these steps:
- Unplug the machine and leave it for 5-30 minutes.
- Additionally, you can turn the device off at the breaker for an added level of reboot.
- Plug it back in again, and turn on the breaker.
- Finally, check to see if the door has unlocked.
Fix 5: Reset and Unlock Manually.
If the simple fix of turning the washer on and off again wasn’t adequate, you might need to reset the machine and unlock the door manually.
Follow these steps to manually unlock the washer:
- First, unplug the machine from the electrical outlet.
- Next, locate the toe panel, usually at the base of the front of the device, below the door.
- Remove the screws on the button flange.
- Remove the panel. You may need to lift the panel slightly and pull it forward. Double-check that you have removed all the necessary screws if it’s not budging.
- Reach up inside your washer’s front panel and locate the door latch.
- Feel for the tear-drop shape. This should be located on the bottom of the door latch system.
- Pull the tab down gently until you hear a click, which should be around ¼ inch.
- This should unclick the door and open the lock.
Fix 6: Run Diagnostics.
To access diagnostics mode, you must click three keys three times. For example, click “Soil,” “Spin,” and “extra rinse” 3 times.
If you have done so correctly, the error codes will show on display. If the machine displays any error codes, use the user manual or check online for a translation so you can figure out what they mean.
The codes may indicate a bigger problem with the machine that needs addressing.
How to Deep Clean Whirlpool Duet
Hopefully, one of these methods fixed the problem, and you managed to unlock the door. However, to avoid problems in the future, it’s a good idea to undertake routine maintenance to the machine to ensure clogs do not form and subsequent issues don’t arise.
Depending on usage, you should routinely deep clean the machine around once per month. Deep cleaning of the device will prevent nasty smells and dirt build-up.
Follow these steps to deep clean the seals of the Whirlpool Duet machine:
- Combine ¾ of chlorine bleach with 1 gallon of warm water in a clean bucket.
- Open the door of the washer (now that you have unlocked it!).
- Inspect the seal for stains and grime. Then, gently prise the seal away from the machine.
- Dampen a clean cloth with the cleaning solution and wipe the seals thoroughly.
- Apply some solution to the stained and dirty areas and leave it to soak for around 5 minutes.
- Then, grab a clean, dry cloth and wipe the seals.
- Leave the door open to air dry fully.
How to deep clean the exterior of the machine:
- Add a few drops of dish soap to a warm water bucket.
- Dampen a clean cloth or sponge with the solution and wipe down the entire exterior of the machine.
- With a clean, dry cloth, wipe the device. Leave to air dry.
How to deep clean the dispenser drawers:
- Press the release lever and remove the dispenser drawer from the washing machine.
- Remove the separate compartments of the drawers and rinse in warm water until clean. If they are pretty dirty, you can soak them in a bowl for a few minutes, then scrub them with a sponge.
- Put the compartments back into the drawer, and place the dispenser back into the washing machine.
How to deep clean the interior of the washing machine:
- Add ⅔ cup of liquid bleach into the bleach compartment of the dispenser drawer and close it.
- Set the machine to “clean washer”, and press start. The machine will then begin a three-minute cycle to determine if any clothing has been left inside the drum. Then the cleaning cycle will begin.
- Open the door once the cycle has finished, and leave it open to air dry.
Head to the links below to grab some cleaning supplies to deep clean your washer.
Microfiber cleaning cloths, pack of 24:
Some dish soap you can use to refill your current containers instead of buying new ones. Biodegradable formula too!
Some standard liquid bleach:
Washers are notorious for acting up, locking, and making daily chores a little more time-consuming. Fortunately, there are plenty of quick and easy methods to get your washer to unlock the door.
The methods include: holding the lock button, resetting the machine, running and drain and spin cycle, manually opening the door, and entering the device into diagnostics mode.
Hopefully, at least one of these methods worked for you, and your machine is back up and running.
For future maintenance, we suggest regularly deep cleaning your machine to maintain peak performance.
Last update on 2023-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API