How to Turn Off Dishwasher Mid Cycle

Dishwashers are modern marvels that save us time and effort in the kitchen. They clean our dishes efficiently, but what if you need to stop the cycle before it’s finished? Perhaps you forgot to add a dish, or you realized that a specific item is not dishwasher-safe. In this article, we’ll guide you on how to turn off your dishwasher mid-cycle safely and efficiently without causing any damage.

Understanding Dishwasher Cycles

Before we delve into the steps to stop a dishwasher mid-cycle, it’s essential to understand the different stages a dishwasher goes through during its cycle. Typically, a dishwasher cycle consists of these key phases:

1. Pre-wash

This initial phase involves rinsing off loose food particles and preparing the dishes for the main wash.

2. Main Wash

The main wash is where the dishwasher uses detergent and hot water to clean the dishes thoroughly.

3. Rinse

In this phase, the dishwasher rinses the dishes to remove any remaining detergent and debris.

4. Drying

The dishwasher uses heated air to dry the dishes.

Why Would You Want to Stop Mid-Cycle?

Several reasons might prompt you to stop your dishwasher mid-cycle:

1. Adding Forgotten Items

You might have forgotten to add a dish or utensil that isn’t dishwasher-safe, and you want to include it.

2. Emergency Interruptions

Emergencies can happen at any time, and you may need to stop the dishwasher to attend to one.

3. Energy Conservation

If you’re concerned about energy usage or want to conserve water, stopping the cycle prematurely can be beneficial.

Steps to Turn Off Dishwasher Mid-Cycle

Now, let’s walk through the steps to stop your dishwasher mid-cycle safely:

1. Open the Door Gently

To avoid any water splashing out, open the dishwasher door carefully.

2. Pause or Cancel Button

Look for the “Pause” or “Cancel” button on your dishwasher’s control panel. Press this button to stop the current cycle. Some dishwashers may require you to press and hold the button for a few seconds.

3. Wait for Drainage

After pressing the pause or cancel button, wait for a moment as the dishwasher drains any remaining water. This can take a minute or two, depending on the model.

4. Resume or Restart

Once the dishwasher has drained, you can either resume the interrupted cycle or choose a new one, depending on your needs.

Safety Precautions

While stopping the dishwasher mid-cycle is a straightforward process, it’s essential to follow some safety precautions:

1. Wear Protective Gloves

If you need to remove any items from the dishwasher, wear protective gloves as the dishes may still be hot.

2. Avoid Overloading

To prevent interruptions, avoid overloading your dishwasher in the first place.

3. Read the Manual

Always consult your dishwasher’s manual for specific instructions and safety information.


In summary, turning off your dishwasher mid-cycle is a straightforward process that can be done safely and efficiently. Whether you need to add a forgotten item, attend to an emergency, or conserve energy, following the steps outlined in this guide will help you achieve your goal without any hassle.


1. Can I stop my dishwasher mid-cycle without causing damage?

Yes, you can safely stop your dishwasher mid-cycle by following the steps outlined in this article. Just be cautious when opening the door, and make sure to press the pause or cancel button.

2. How can I prevent the need to stop my dishwasher mid-cycle?

To avoid interruptions, carefully load your dishwasher, making sure not to overload it. Also, double-check that all dishwasher-safe items are inside before starting the cycle.

3. Is it energy-efficient to stop the dishwasher mid-cycle?

Stopping the dishwasher mid-cycle can help conserve energy and water, making it a more environmentally friendly choice when needed.

4. What should I do if my dishwasher doesn’t have a pause or cancel button?

If your dishwasher lacks a pause or cancel button, consult your dishwasher’s manual for specific instructions on how to stop the cycle safely.

5. Can I add more detergent if I stop the cycle and want to restart it?

It’s generally not recommended to add more detergent once the cycle has started. Instead, allow the dishwasher to complete the cycle and then run it again with the additional items if necessary.