I've been struggling to understand this issue for a while. It's come to my attention that it's forbidden (according to some opinions, at least) to start a laundry / dryer load on erev shabbos, and let it go by itself into shabbos. I would like some clarification as to why this is the case. If you're allowed to leave the lights on through shabbos, which are constantly being powered, why should we not be able to leave our laundry machine going into shabbos, which will run for far less time than will the lights? I am aware that certain groups allow a laundry machine to be going into shabbos, my question only related to those groups who hold that this is forbidden.

  • This is not clearly forbidden, and there may be room for leniency in case of need (see here and here). There may also be more room for leniency if the washing machine or dryer is in an out of the way location where the noise will not carry to other people (see related idea here). CYLOR for practical guidance.
    – Fred
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 8:09
  • Also... Welcome to Mi Yodeya, user2016831, and thanks for bringing your question here! Hope to see you around.
    – Fred
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 8:15

1 Answer 1


Probably the issue is hashmaat kol (leaving a noisy device running on shabbos that is considered a profanation of it's sanctity). - https://www.naaleh.com/hashmaat-kol-noise-on-shabbat-v5n9

  • judaism.stackexchange.com/q/52444/5323 for more info.
    – MTL
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 6:39
  • It also has to be assumed that the machine is not one that needs actual turning off and that the act of opening the lid will not cause a melacha. Also, is opening the lid preparation from Shabbat to Hol and are you (under suitable circumstances) allowed to hang the washing? So the washing has to stay in until Motsash? Is there any point?
    – Epicentre
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 10:23
  • Thanks for your answer, it has clarified the reason behind the issue.
    – user8832
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 18:21
  • @Epicentre All valid points, except the answer to your final question is still often "yes" for logistical reasons (e.g. you won't have time to run an additional load after Shabbos, or you need certain items of clothes available shortly after Shabbos and it would take too long to both wash and dry them); assuming you have a normal machine that turns off automatically, you could theoretically leave the laundry in the machine and then dry it after Shabbos.
    – Fred
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 21:48
  • @Fred - The machine we bought recently beeps at the end of the run and you have to select off or open the lid to stop it. That's what made me mention it - Shabbat full of beeping ........
    – Epicentre
    Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 7:17

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