GE Dishwasher Won’t Unlock? Find The Solutions Here

ge dishwasher won t unlock

We all take dishwashers for granted until they aren’t functioning correctly. So how do we handle it when the GE dishwasher won’t unlock? Not being able to get into your dishwasher can leave you washing dishes by hand or even losing some of your dishes to the washing machine!

If your GE dishwasher won’t unlock, we’re here to help. Read on for some of the common causes of this problem and how you can quickly fix it. 

GE Dishwasher Various Locking Problems

There isn’t one single issue that can cause your GE dishwasher to lock. Instead, several problems might arise that cause the problem, and you’re likely wondering how to unlock the GE dishwasher. Here are some of the most common issues.


Are you asking, “Why is my dishwasher stuck on lock?” One thing to know is that several issues can occur at once! If you solve one of these problems but the door still won’t unlock, simply move down the list. If it isn’t working by the end of this troubleshooting list, you may need to call a repair professional to find the problem and handle it accordingly.

1. Door Lock Problems

One of the most common causes of your GE dishwasher not unlocking is something wrong with the lock. For example, the machine might have been damaged during operation, leaving the lock too damaged to function.

Putting things in the dishwasher that can cause a hazard, such as foreign objects or loose cutlery, can cause such damage. These items may move around during operation and damage the lock, door, and other components.

You also may have a problem unrelated to damage, such as a software glitch. Regardless of the cause, you should check your door lock first.

The door hinge and door latch

2. The Door Hinge and Door Latch

The door hinge and latch may also have something stopping them from opening, and something may be between the door hinge and the door latch.

Check to ensure your door doesn’t have anything stopping it from opening. For example, loose cutlery or other items can get caught in the door hinge, making it difficult to open the door.

The latch also may be failing to release for some reason. At times, you may need to use brute force, though it shouldn’t be necessary. For example, carefully inspect your dishwasher for a physical reason stopping it from opening.

3. Soap Dispenser Not Locking

Your soap dispenser door is an important part of your dishwasher’s cycle. If it isn’t closing or locking properly, some models of dishwashers may refuse to start so the soap door won’t sustain damage during operation.

If you can get into the dishwasher, check the soap dispenser and ensure it locks properly. There may be calcium buildup, especially if you live in an area with hard water. Ensure the soap dispenser is locked, and then close the door.

If the soap dispenser was the issue, your locking mechanisms should work fine again. If it wasn’t, you’d need to keep troubleshooting with this item crossed off your list!

4. The Control Lock Function

Your dishwasher has features that prevent it from unlocking. The “Control Lock” function is one of the most important, which can indefinitely lock your dishwasher until toggled off.

This feature is great for homes with children that may walk up and open the dishwasher. Using it can prevent them from interrupting the washing cycle or from getting their hands on dangerous items like knives and cutlery.

Check to see if your dishwasher has this feature. If it does, ensure it isn’t enabled. Should it have been accidentally enabled, there’s a high chance it’s what was causing your dishwasher not to open.

GE Dishwasher Won’t Unlock: Solutions

GE Dishwasher Won’t Unlock: Solutions

Now that we know some of the many reasons your GE dishwasher won’t unlock, you’re probably wondering, “how do I get my GE dishwasher out of lock mode? Here’s a quick four-step guide on what you can do to fix the issue and a brief list of other things to check!

Step 1: Place An Allen Wrench In A Vice Grip

Getting the proper leverage and grip on an Allen wrench is difficult. Because of this, you should get a pair of vice grips and close them around the handle of an Allen wrench. You don’t need too big of a pair of vice grips, as you’re mostly just using them for a better grip.

Your Allen wrench shouldn’t be too large, either. For example, if you purchased your dishwasher, it likely came with an Allen wrench that should be a good size. Otherwise, a standard 5/12 is fine.

Step 2: Locate the Latch

Once you have your tools, find the latch. The latch is usually towards the top, where the door closes and latches with the rest of the dishwasher.

Step 3: Pull Up the Latch

Place the Allen wrench against the latch and pull up. Doing so should manually raise the latch away from its locking mechanism.

If you can’t locate the latch, research your model to see where it is. Once located, raising the latch is as easy as finding it!

Pull Up the Latch

Step 4: Pull On the Door

With the latch raised, pull on the door. If you’re successful, the door should open. If not, try to raise the latch again. Should the latch continue not to rise, you may have a damaged latch or similar issue requiring an expert’s attention.

Make Sure the Power Source Is Connected

Another issue that some may not think of is that the power to the dishwasher may be disconnected. Ensure the appliance’s power cord is undamaged and connected to a working outlet. If there’s no power, the door may have locked itself shut for safety reasons.

Make Sure the Water Source Is Connected

Similar to the power source is the water source. You might need to move the dishwasher to ensure that its water hoses are all still connected. If your device doesn’t have its water source connected, the software may force it to remain closed until fixed to prevent malfunction or other poor operating.

Make Sure the Water Source Is Connected

Take a Look At the Control Panel

The control panel can give you plenty of hints on what’s wrong. The control panel may even provide some GE with dishwashers with an error code! 

If there are no lights or working buttons, you likely aren’t getting power to the device. Check your power source and try again. Should it continue not to have power and you cannot unlock the GE dishwasher control panel, you will need to have it repaired or replaced.

GE Dishwasher Lock Light On

Is your GE dishwasher lock light on? This light turns on to indicate that the door remains locked. Something could block the sensor, or your dishwasher remains locked.

Consider cycling power or resetting your dishwasher. If the problem remains, seek a professional’s help.

GE dishwasher lock light on

How Do I Open My GE Dishwasher With a Dial?

On some models of GE dishwashers, the dial will unlatch the door when the dishwasher finishes cleaning. You can use this feature to open your dishwasher by setting it to end its cycle. When the cycle “ends,” the door should open automatically.


When your GE dishwasher won’t unlock, the problems add up as quickly as the dishes. Thankfully, the solutions usually aren’t too complicated. If in doubt, always contact a professional to look into the issue.

For more information on home appliances, visit the rest of our site. Read on for a brief FAQ on some remaining questions!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you reset a GE dishwasher?

Most models of GE dishwashers will have a button that lets you reset. Simply hold this button down, and it will reset most functions. Make sure that the dishwasher is closed before attempting this!
If this doesn’t work, cycle power to the dishwasher. You can unplug it if the power source is nearby. Otherwise, use your circuit breaker to cut off power for 30 seconds before flipping it again.

Why is the dishwasher not draining?

Make sure that your dishwasher is hooked up properly to a drainage hose. You may have something clogging the drain if it’s still not draining. Put on a pair of gloves and check the drain to make sure nothing is over it.
Calcium or mineral buildup may occur if you live somewhere with hard water. Clean your dishwasher regularly to keep these minerals from building up and clogging your functions.

What to do when your GE washer lid won’t unlock?

The first thing to check is if the “Control Lock” feature is active. Next, look at the control panel and make sure this feature isn’t locking the dishwasher.
If the problem remains, follow the steps above to use an Allen wrench to open the latch, if possible. Otherwise, you may have something physically stopping the lid.
In some models, you can remove the panel entirely and easily reach the latch. Make sure that you’re familiar with your device before you begin removing screws! When in doubt, always contact a professional to help with the task.