Home alone, I didn't have anyone nearby to say "fix it!" to. So I had to figure it out for myself, which I was dreading - I don't have a knack for anything mechanical, and I had no idea where to even start. So if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, you can follow my lead.
The tools of my trade.
1. Open the hall closet where (along with just about everything else) the appliance booklets are stored. Have a quick glance but get tired of looking for them. Shut the hall closet and open the internet. Google your appliance name and download the book.
2. Eagerly read through the book, only to find that it doesn't identify the error you're experiencing. Arg!
3. Google your appliance name and E90. Read the comments about how sucky your brand of washing machine is; discover that the fix is pretty easy. All it will take is finding the blue wires that go into the control panel, wiggling them around and spraying with WD40, and wiggling them around again.
4. Go look at washing machine. See no blue wires, because obviously they are inside the machine; see no way to actually get into the machine. Take out the deterget tray, find two screws. Think they might be the answer.
5. Return to hall closet, look for screwdrivers. Look, and look, and look. Eventually get a chair to stand on and find them shoved into the back of the top shelf, thanks to your 6'6 husband who forgets that not everyone can see that shelf so easily.
6. Unscrew the only two screws you can see on the whole washing machine. Try to pry off the front panel. Fail. Wonder how on earth everyone else on the internet just automatically knows how to take apart a washing machine.
7. Return to internet. Post query - how the hell do I even get to the wires?! Thankfully get almost immediate response, slap self on forehead for not thinking to look at the back of the washing machine (in my defense, it is really, super duper heavy and the back is hard to see). Struggle with moving washing machine by yourself. Eventually succeed, finding a massive pile of dirt underneath the washing machine, thanks to a few hundred industrious ants.
8. Look at screws at the back of the washing machine, which your screw drivers are not capable of removing. Return to hall cupboard, stand on chair, and search through the mess of tools; find a set of spanners. Struggle with those, but eventually succeed in removing the top of the washing machine.
11. Find two more screws, which are also not screwdriver-able. Try spanners, which don't work because of the confined space. Get leatherman, remove screws. Struggle for 10 minutes with the control panel, but eventually succeed in removing it - though without any knowledge of how you've done it, and thus, an inability to replicate this feat in the future.
13. Struggle to re-attach control panel; eventually decide it's too much trouble and it's close enough. Screw top back on. Feel sweaty, but pretty chuffed with yourself for fixing the washing machine - and all the while wearing a dress, no less. Bask in the green light of success.
14. Realise this is not that big a deal, really, but write a blog post about it anyways!