KitchenAid Dishwasher Stuck On Control Lock – What To Do?

The control lock function of your KitchenAid dishwasher allows you to lock the appliance when it is not in use. However, the dishwasher controls can get stuck on control lock due to technical factors. If you have this problem, keep reading, as we have gathered tips to help you.

If your KitchenAid dishwasher is stuck on control lock, you need to push the actual control lock button and hold it for three seconds to disable the function. Before you do this, open and close the dishwasher door and turn off the sleep mode.  

The control lock button's location will vary depending on the dishwasher model. You can check your owner's manual for reference. Continue reading to learn more about the controls of your KitchenAid dishwasher.

Dishwasher machine close-up. Woman Setting Economy Cycle On Dishwasher, KitchenAid Dishwasher Stuck On Control Lock - What To Do?

Why Is My KitchenAid Dishwasher Get Stuck On Control Lock?

The control lock is a function of a KitchenAid dishwasher that prevents unintended use.

It "locks" the dishwasher to avoid changes during a cycle. You can activate the function to prevent your children or anyone from altering the dishwasher options. Also, if  the appliance is not in use, it prevents the changing of programmed settings.

Once pressed, it will stay on for a while. At the same time, the function disables all other buttons. The light of the control panel flashes three times once turned on.

The cycle status display shows indicators that the control is locked. For other models, the padlock on the panel screen lights red.

While the control lock is on, you can still open and close the dishwasher door.

The appearance and location of the control lock button will vary on KitchenAid models. You should refer to the owner's manual to locate the button.

Depending on the model, the dishwasher might require that you press and hold the following buttons to lock the controls:

  • Proscrub upper
  • 4 hours delay
  • Sani rinse
  • Bottle wash

You can program when to trigger the control lock function, but there are times that it will stay on. If you've had the dishwasher for several years, the controls may develop glitches,  and this is a sign of aging.

The usual reasons for this issue are the following:

  • Errors in programming
  • Faulty electrical connections
  • Defective control panel or dishwasher

Read further to learn how you can solve issues with the control lock.

Open dishwasher with clean tableware in kitchen

How To Unlock A KitchenAid Dishwasher

According to KitchenAid, you can turn off the control lock by disabling the sleep mode. You can disable the mode by pressing the start, resume, or cancel buttons. Opening and closing the door will also work.

Afterward, turn the control lock by pressing and holding the designated button for three seconds. To be sure, press the actual "Control Lock" button and not the "Hold for 3 sec" button. The light should turn off after unlocking the controls.

If you pressed the correct button but the problem persists, you might need to reset the control panel.

Housewife is doing the dishes with dishwasher

Resetting The Control Panel

You can troubleshoot the machine in the meantime before calling a technician.

Resetting the controls of a KitchenAid dishwasher is fairly easy. Take note that the buttons you might see on your model will differ, so it is best to refer to the manual.

There are three ways to reset the dishwasher. Follow the steps of each reset option below.

1. Soft/Simple Reset

Through this type of reset, you clear the control panel memory. The previous settings might hinder the normal function of the dishwasher.

The first thing to do is to turn off the dishwasher and unplug it. Then wait at least six minutes before plugging it back in. Once it's plugged in, turn the appliance on. You can test the dishwasher afterward.

2. Cycle Reset

You will need a cycle reset if you do not wait for wash cycles to complete. Frequent programming of the settings will confuse the machine. Your dishwasher might encounter the following problems:

  • Door errors
  • Stopping at mid-cycle
  • Untimely restarts of wash cycles

To execute the reset, press the "Cancel" or "Cancel Drain" button. Just hold it for five to ten seconds to reset.

After the reset, try to run a cycle with your preferred settings.

3. Control Panel Reset

Resetting the control panel is the solution when you try turning on the dishwasher but it doesn't work. The process is simple.

  1. Before pressing any button, make sure that you fully close the dishwasher door.
  2. Do not turn off the dishwasher during the reset.
  3. You press the Hi-Temp/Hi-Temp Scrub/Hi-Temp Wash button, depending on what is in your model.
  4. Press the Heated Dry/Energy Saver/Air Dry button as applicable.
  5. Press each button alternately five times.
  6. Once done, press the cancel or cancel drain button to begin the drain cycle. The cycle will take about three minutes to complete.

During the reset, the machine undergoes some self-diagnostic tests, such as draining and similar activities. Wait for a few minutes for the process to finish.

The reset sequence will also vary on the dishwasher model, so you must refer to your user's manual. If resetting does not fix the issues, you will need the expertise of a professional to check the appliance.

The technician might recommend replacing the control panel if it's defective. If you replace it, you should only use factory-authorized parts so that your machine works right. You should buy the suitable part for the dishwasher model you have.

The replacement process requires experience, so let professionals from an authorized care center do the job for you.

Can You Use The Dishwasher If The Control Lock Is On?

Large kitchen modern kitchen

Yes, you can use the dishwasher even if the control lock is on. The settings you programmed for the dishwasher remain. What you cannot use are the other button functions not set.

How To Use Child Lock Function Of A KitchenAid Dishwasher?

Details of dishwasher control buttons

Keeping the child lock on prevents the dishwasher from turning on if your children accidentally press the buttons. The machine will not start, and  no settings will change. Nonetheless, you can still open the dishwasher door with this function.

If you are going to use the child lock function, it is easy. Press and hold the Energy Saver Dry/Air Dry/Heated Dry button for five seconds to turn the lights on. If you want to turn it off, do the same procedure.

Other Options On The Control Panel

Aside from the child lock function, there are other buttons you will see on the control panel. Listed below are the option selections for the dishwasher.

  • High-temp wash: Press this button if you need heat during the main wash. The heat cleans heavily soiled dishes better.
  • Energy saver dry: Choose this option if you want to air-dry the dishes without heat.
  • Delay hours: You can also use the dishwasher at a later time or during off-peak hours. The number of hours you can delay depends on the model you have.

Check your owner's manual if you see a different name for the buttons on your appliance.

Maintenance Tips For KitchenAid Dishwasher

Woman Looking At Repairman Repairing Dishwasher

Practicing the proper care of your KitchenAid dishwasher will help maintain the condition of the control panel.

When cleaning the machine's exterior, wipe the control panel with a damp cloth and let it dry. You should not use abrasive cleaners or detergents that will damage the panel.

Besides cleaning it, you should not abuse the dishwasher. If you have varying items to wash that require changing the settings, just wait until the first cycle is complete.

Refrain from pressing the buttons and changing the settings while on a cycle. Let the cycle finish before you program another setting.

Always refer to the owner's manual for the appropriate actions when changing cycles and using functions.

In Summary

Details of dishwasher control buttons Dishwasher machine close-up. Woman Setting Economy Cycle On Dishwasher

You should not panic if the control lock of your KitchenAid dishwasher remains on.

The solution to the problem is simply pressing the control lock button for three seconds. Various models have different button locations and appearances, so you should refer to the manual to locate the button.

The lock may stay activated because of technical errors or improper dishwasher use.

Frequent interruptions and changes in the wash cycles affect the condition of the control panel. The dishwasher may also be old, which can affect its functionality.

If pressing the control lock button does not work, you might need to reset the dishwasher. If the control panel itself is causing the problems, you might need to get a replacement.

You can use your KitchenAid dishwasher without worries if you know how to manage the control lock feature.

Learn more about kitchen appliances from these posts:

How To Remove An Old KitchenAid Dishwasher

KitchenAid Dishwasher Light Flashing – What To Do?

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