So you have your kitchen set up exactly how you want it, with everything in the perfect place.
Only, when you come to do laundry, you realise that the washing machine actually opens differently to how you pictured. Maybe it collides with another appliance, or can’t open all the way because it’s near a wall.
For the first few washes, you think it’s no big deal, but eventually it might become one of those things that goes onto your list of things to change around the home, like a small quality of life improvement.
Is it possible to change which way a washing machine door opens though?
For most washing machines, it is not possible to switch which way their doors open. By default, most washing machines open towards the left and, due to the electrical locking mechanism which can’t be easily moved, this can’t be reversed. Some models allow you to switch sides, but otherwise it’s not possible.
So, this may seem like bad news, but, depending on the exact nature of the space issues you’re having, it’s not necessarily the end of the world.
We’ll talk about a couple of things that can be done and then, if you’re lucky enough to have a model that can be switched, we’ll go through that process.
Move the Washing Machine if Possible
This will sound very lacklustre, but if you are able to, then moving the washing machine is a possibility to consider.
If it’s a case of the washing machine clashing with other doored appliances, such as a fridge, freezer or dryer then moving them around so they open outward from each other is a good call.
Switch the Dryer Door if Possible
If you have a washer/dryer side by side combo, then check if your dryer can have its own doors reversed.
There are more models of dryer where this is possible than washing machines so it’s worth checking out.
This way you can switch the dryer door if need be and you’ll be able to load from washer to dryer very easily.
Fortunately, a lot of dryer doors are easy to switch around.
How to Reverse your Dryer Door
- Make sure you unplug the dryer first before you do anything close to taking it apart.
- The door hinge will usually have a couple of screws that need to be removed. Then you can remove the door.
- Once the door is off, you can remove the screws from the latch on the opposite side.
- Then simply re-attach the door on the other side and the latch opposite and make sure it closes and locks as it did before.
If in doubt, the instructions for dryers where this is possible will go through each step so that you can be sure you’re doing it correctly.
Unfortunately, for most people, moving appliances around won’t be a possibility or you won’t have a dryer that can reverse its doors.
As mentioned before, there are models of washing machine that can have their doors reversed, so if you’re fortunate enough to own one of them (or you’re thinking of buying one) then the next steps will show you how you can do that.
How to Reverse your Washing Machine Door
These are general steps on how to do this, but they should be applicable for most machines. The instructions for your machine will have specific guidelines if you’re unsure.
As with the dryer door switch, make sure you unplug the washing machine from the mains before doing anything to the inner workings.
Chances are you will also need a square bit screwdriver for some of the screws in the door.
1. Open the door and remove the hinge screws
Opening the washer door will reveal the screws that hold the door hinge to the washer. Make sure you open it wide enough so that you can get into them easily with your screwdriver.
Once you remove the screws, set them aside in a safe place where you can find them again!
2. Remove the terminal cap from the hinge plate
This is a small black plastic cover which covers the wire plug and sits in the hinge plate.
Slowly pull the door back from the washer and slide the black cap out from the hinge plate to allow you to separate the door from the machine entirely.
Set the washer door down on a towel to protect it while you work on the rest.
Now you can separate the terminal cap from the rest of the wiring by pressing down on the tab of the wiring harness (like an ethernet cable).
3. Remove the door lock screws
Now go to the other side of the door opening and remove the two lock screws and save them with the other screws.
The lock can now be slowly pulled out. It’s still attached by another wiring harness, so make sure you don’t pull too fast.
As before, press down the tab on the wiring harness and remove this from the lock. Now the lock itself is completely detached from the washing machine so save this as you will definitely need it later!
4. Switch the hole cover to the other side
Where the door used to lock will now have a removable cover.
Pull this up and use it to cover the hole on the opposite side where the hinge used to attach.
5. Reattach the lock
Now the lock can be attached to the other side (make sure you flip it over).
Attach the yellow wiring harness to the lock and then use the screws you saved to attach the lock back to the washer.
6. Remove the door screws
Now you can remove the screws on the inside of the door itself and set them to one side.
This will let you remove the glass inner door from the plastic bracket.
Rotate this glass section 180 degrees and reattach it to the plastic bracket with the screws you just set aside.
You want the wider section of the glass to be at the bottom of the door, so make sure it’s this way round before screwing it in.
7. Reattach the door
Now you can start reattaching the door to the machine.
Connect the yellow wire harness to the black plastic terminal cap on the side of the washer that is now free.
Slide this terminal cap onto the hinge plate on the door and screw the hinge plate onto the washer with the screws from the beginning.
Now test the door to make sure it opens and closes as it should and that the lock engages properly, you don’t want any leaks!
And there we have it. Unfortunately, it’s going to be the case a lot of the time that nothing can be done about a washer door that opens the “wrong” way.
If you’re able to shift stuff around, then great, but otherwise it might have to be something you just learn to live with.
On the plus side, if you’re on the hunt for a new washing machine, then now you know which ones to look for and how to reverse the door if you need to!
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