Home AppliancesWasher

What Does “RL” Mean on Washer?

What Does “Rl” Mean On Washer?

Error codes on any appliance indicate that something is not right. This is no different for washing machines.

A common error message that appears on most washer models is RL. This error code is an acronym for ‘Remove Load.’

During a clean washer cycle, it flashes on a washer’s control panel to indicate that clothes or items are in the washer’s tub.

The error is to alert you to remove the clothes/ items before running the clean washer cycle. By removing the items, the error should disappear, and you can run the clean washer cycle.

  • Washing machines display the error code RL when attempting to run a clean washer cycle, but clothes or other items are in the washing tub.
  • The error can also appear due to a faulty spin bearing or a malfunctioning control board.
  • To clear the error, consider resetting the appliance, removing the load from the washing tub, or rotating the drum and removing any item stuck between the spin basket and the outer tub.
  • Also, consider running the clean washer cycle without the belt to establish if the spin bearing is the issue.
  • If the spin bearing is faulty or the control board is malfunctioning, you should engage a professional to fix the problem.

This guide explains what RL means on a washing machine and how to troubleshoot the error.

What RL Means on Your Washer

What Rl Means On Your Washer

As the introduction highlights, RL in full ‘Remove Load’ is an error code that most washing machine models display when attempting to run a clean washer cycle, but there are clothes or other items in the washing tub.

A clean washer cycle refers to a washing machine function meant to clean the washer to boost efficiency by removing any built-up limescale, mildew, detergent, or contaminants from the inside walls of the washing machine. 

The washer’s drum must be empty when running a clean washer cycle. Therefore, filling the drum to the highest water level and temperature would be best.

If you attempt to run the clean washer cycle, but the appliance detects an item in the washing tub, it will display the error message RL.

The error can also appear if the spin basket bearing is faulty, restricting the washer’s drum from rotating during the cleaning cycle.

Also, if the control board is malfunctioning, it can display the error even though there are no clothes in the drum and the spin bearing is intact.

How To Clear the RL Error

Consider doing the following to clear the RL error from your washer’s display:

1. Remove the Load From the Washing Tub

Remove The Load From The Washing Tub

This is the first step you should take when attempting to clear the RL error.

Thoroughly inspect whether there are small pieces of clothing, such as socks, that you may have forgotten in the drum and remove them. After removing the load, restart the washer and attempt running the clean washer cycle again.

If the error persists, attempt the rest of the tips in this guide.

2. Attempt Rotating the Drum

Attempt Rotating The Drum

When the washer runs a clean cycle, it spins the washing tub. You should therefore be able to rotate the tub with your hands. If you cannot rotate it, it indicates something obstructing motion or the spin bearing is damaged.

Inspect the space between the spin basket and the outer tub and remove any items or clothing that could have stuck there. After removing the items, try running a clean washer cycle to see if you have resolved the issue.

3. Run the Clean Washer Without the Belt

Run The Clean Washer Without The Belt

If the error code persists, attempt to run the clean washer cycle without the belt. This will help you establish if the problem lies between the washing machine drum and the outer tub.

If the error doesn’t display after you remove the belt, it indicates that the spin bearing is damaged and no item is stuck between the washing machine drum and the outer tub.

When the spin bearing is damaged, the washing machine drum cannot rotate freely, hence the RL error message.

In this case, you must call a professional to replace the spin bearing. You can also contact your appliance manufacturer’s customer care if the warranty period for your washer is still active.

If the RL error persists even after you’ve removed the belt, it indicates that there could be a problem with the washer’s control board. You must contact the manufacturer’s customer care or hire an experienced technician.

4. Reset the Washer

Reset The Washer

You can also resolve the RL error code by resetting the washer. However, the error will still reoccur until you fix the root cause.

Consider the following steps when resetting your washing machine:

  • First, disconnect the washer from its power source by unplugging it from the wall socket.
  • Leave the appliance for about five minutes to allow the retained electrical charge to discharge. This will reset the washer.
  • After five minutes, connect the appliance and attempt to run the clean washer cycle.


You can promptly fix the RL error by removing any load in the washer’s basket before running a clean cycle. Resetting the appliance can also resolve the issue; however, it’s a temporary solution.

If the error persists, it is best to contact the appliance manufacturer because you could be dealing with a damaged spin bearing or a faulty control board.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Fix the RL Error Myself?

Yes. In most cases, you can fix the RL error by yourself because it is mainly caused by the presence of objects in the washer’s basket. You can clear the RL error by simply removing the object.

However, in cases where the RL error is due to damage to the spin bearing or control board issues, you should bring in a professional.

Can I Run a Clean Washer Cycle When the Tub Is Loaded With Laundry?

No. You cannot run a clean washer cycle if the washing tub is loaded with laundry. However, your washer will automatically detect the laundry and display the error code RL.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *