Dishwasher Won’t Cancel: Here’s How to Troubleshoot

If you’ve discovered that your dishwasher won’t cancel its cycle, you’re probably frustrated and seeking a quick, reliable fix. Fortunately, resolving this issue is often straightforward.

This step-by-step guide will walk you through the troubleshooting process so you can get your dishwasher back in working order.

Dishwasher Won't Cancel
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Step-by-step Troubleshooting Guide

Do the following to troubleshoot your dishwasher…

1. Check the Control Buttons

The first thing you should do when you find that your dishwasher won’t cancel is to check the control buttons on your dishwasher’s panel.

These buttons, especially the cancel button, can sometimes become unresponsive due to various reasons like accumulated grime, food particles, or a minor software glitch.

Cleaning the Buttons

Turn Off the Dishwasher: To avoid any electrical issues, ensure that the dishwasher is turned off and unplugged from the wall socket.

Prepare a Cleaning Solution: Mix a few drops of mild dish soap in a bowl of warm water.

Dampen a Cloth: Dip a soft cloth into the cleaning solution, then wring it out to remove excess water. Your cloth should be damp but not dripping wet.

Wipe the Buttons: Gently wipe the control buttons on the panel. Pay particular attention to the cancel button since that is the one giving you trouble.

Dry the Area: Use a dry cloth to wipe off any moisture from the panel.

Test the Buttons

Plug the Dishwasher Back In: Once the panel is dry, plug the dishwasher back into the wall socket.

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Turn On the Dishwasher: Turn on the dishwasher using its main power button.

Press the Cancel Button: Firmly press the cancel button a few times.

What to Look For

You should hear a distinct click or some kind of feedback that confirms the button is functioning. Some dishwashers may also show a light indicator or make a sound to confirm that the cancel command has been initiated.

2. Reset the Dishwasher

If you’ve verified that the control buttons on your dishwasher are clean and functional, but the dishwasher still won’t cancel its cycle, a reset could be the next logical step.

Sometimes, dishwashers can experience minor software glitches or memory hiccups that affect their functionality. A reset is a simple way to clear the internal memory and potentially resolve any minor issues.

Preparing for a Reset

Ensure the Dishwasher Is Idle: Before attempting a reset, make sure that your dishwasher isn’t in the middle of a washing cycle. You wouldn’t want to cause any other issues.

Safety First: Turn off the dishwasher using its main power button to ensure it’s not drawing power.

Steps to Reset the Dishwasher

Unplug the Dishwasher: Locate the wall socket where your dishwasher is plugged in. Firmly grasp the plug and pull it out of the socket. This action cuts off electrical power to the appliance.

Time Your Wait: Set a timer for exactly 10 minutes. It’s essential to wait for this period to ensure the dishwasher’s internal memory is completely cleared.

Occupying the Wait Time: While waiting, you could further examine other parts of the dishwasher for any apparent issues or simply catch up on other tasks. However, do not attempt to disassemble any parts of the dishwasher during this time.

Plug It Back In: After the 10-minute waiting period has passed, plug the dishwasher back into the wall socket.

Turn on the Dishwasher: Press the main power button to turn on the dishwasher.

Test the Cancel Function

Try a Simple Cycle: Run a quick rinse cycle to give your dishwasher a low-stakes operation to perform.

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Press the Cancel Button: While the rinse cycle is running, try pressing the cancel button to see if it now responds.

What to Look For

After initiating the reset, the dishwasher’s control panel should light up as usual, and you should be able to select cycles and options.

Most importantly, the cancel button should now function correctly, terminating any active cycle when pressed.

3. Inspect the Door Latch

The door latch is an essential part of your dishwasher’s functionality. It not only keeps the door securely closed during cycles but also engages with the dishwasher’s control system.

If the latch is faulty, the dishwasher may not receive the correct signals, including the command to cancel a cycle.

Initial Observation

Unplug the Dishwasher: Before any inspection, it’s always a good practice to unplug the dishwasher from the wall socket to ensure your safety.

Examine the Latch: Before testing it, take a moment to visually examine the latch. Look for visible signs of wear, rust, or damage.

Testing the Door Latch

Open the Door: Gently open the dishwasher door.

Close the Door Firmly: Close the door with a bit of force, being careful not to slam it.

Listen and Feel for the Click: As you close the door, pay close attention to the sound and tactile feedback. You should hear a clicking sound, and the door should feel securely locked in place.

What to Look For

The latch should engage smoothly and securely. There should be a distinct click when it locks, and the door should not wobble or come undone when lightly pulled.

If the Latch Seems Faulty

Identify the Issue: Try to find out what is causing the latch to malfunction. Is it a mechanical issue, or does it appear to be damaged?

Check for Obstructions: Sometimes, bits of food or utensils might get in the way of the latch. Make sure there’s nothing obstructing its path.

Replacement: If the latch is broken or worn out, it’s advisable to replace it. Depending on your level of comfort and skill with home repairs, you may be able to do this yourself or you may prefer to call in a professional. Check your manual for more specific information.

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Re-testing the Cancel Button

Plug in the Dishwasher: Reconnect the dishwasher to the wall socket.

Turn on the Dishwasher: Use its main power button to turn it on.

Test the Cancel Function: Initiate a quick rinse cycle and try pressing the cancel button again.

If the Latch Isn’t the Issue

If the door latch appears to be functioning correctly or replacing it did not resolve the issue, you will need to explore other possible reasons your dishwasher won’t cancel, following the subsequent troubleshooting steps in this guide.

5. Look into the Control Panel

The control panel is the brain of your dishwasher. It houses the buttons, dials, or touchscreen interface that lets you operate the appliance. If the previous steps didn’t solve your issue, a malfunctioning control panel could be the cause of your dishwasher not canceling its cycle.

Getting Manufacturer Guidance

Locate Contact Information: Find the customer support number or email address for your dishwasher’s manufacturer. This is often located in the user manual or on the manufacturer’s website.

Prepare the Model Information: Before contacting support, gather the model number and any other identifying information to help the representative assist you more efficiently.

Contact Support: Reach out to the manufacturer and explain the issue, mentioning that you’ve gone through basic troubleshooting steps.

Scheduling a Professional Inspection

Get a Recommendation: If the manufacturer advises a professional inspection, ask for a recommendation for a qualified technician.

Book an Appointment: Schedule a time for the technician to come and examine the control panel.

Be Prepared: Clear the area around the dishwasher to make the technician’s job easier and quicker.

What to Expect

The technician will likely run a series of diagnostic tests to determine the exact issue. Depending on the findings, you might need to replace the control panel or fix a specific component.


For more articles on dishwashers, click here: Dishwasher Problems and Solutions: Your Ultimate Guide to Hassle-free Dishwashing

Conclusion: Dishwasher Won’t Cancel


In conclusion, a dishwasher that won’t cancel its cycle can be frustrating, but the issue is often solvable through a systematic approach.

From checking the control buttons to inspecting the circuit breaker, door latch, and control panel, each step moves you closer to pinpointing the issue. When all else fails, a qualified professional can provide expert assistance to get your dishwasher back to optimal performance.