Dishwasher soap dispenser doesn’t work

Dishwasher soap dispenser doesn’t work


A dishwasher soap dispenser that fails to open or dispense detergent can be frustrating, as it can lead to ineffective cleaning of your dishes. When faced with this issue, it’s essential to identify and address the problem to ensure your dishwasher operates efficiently. In this guide, we’ll explore common reasons why a dishwasher soap dispenser may not work and provide troubleshooting steps to help you identify and potentially resolve the issue.

Common Causes of a Dishwasher Soap Dispenser That Doesn’t Work

  1. Obstructions in the Dispenser: Food particles, detergent residue, or debris can accumulate in the soap dispenser, preventing it from opening.
  2. Faulty Dispenser Mechanism: Over time, the soap dispenser’s mechanical components, such as springs or hinges, can wear out or become damaged, leading to failure in opening.
  3. Improper Detergent Usage: Using the wrong type of detergent, not using enough detergent, or using expired detergent can result in poor dispensing performance.
  4. Water Temperature Issues: If the dishwasher doesn’t reach the required water temperature, it may not trigger the soap dispenser to open.
  5. Control Board Problems: A malfunctioning control board can prevent the dishwasher from signaling the soap dispenser to release detergent at the appropriate time.

Troubleshooting Steps for a Dishwasher Soap Dispenser That Doesn’t Work

  1. Inspect for Obstructions:
    • Carefully open the dishwasher door and check the soap dispenser for any visible obstructions, such as detergent buildup or debris. Remove any obstructions if found.
  2. Run Hot Water First:
    • Before starting a wash cycle, run your kitchen faucet until hot water flows. This helps ensure that the dishwasher starts with hot water, which aids detergent activation.
  3. Use the Right Detergent:
    • Ensure you are using the correct type of dishwasher detergent recommended by the manufacturer. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the appropriate amount of detergent.
  4. Clean the Dispenser:
    • Remove the detergent dispenser from the dishwasher (if possible) and clean it thoroughly, ensuring there are no blockages that could hinder its operation.
  5. Inspect the Dispenser Mechanism:
    • Carefully examine the soap dispenser’s mechanical components, such as springs, hinges, or latches, for any visible damage or wear. If you notice issues, consider replacing the dispenser following your dishwasher’s specifications.
  6. Run a Test Cycle:
    • After performing the above steps, run a test cycle with the dishwasher empty to see if the soap dispenser opens and dispenses detergent correctly.
  7. Consult a Professional:
    • If the soap dispenser continues not to work despite troubleshooting or if you suspect a more complex issue with the dishwasher’s internal components, it’s advisable to contact a dishwasher repair technician for a thorough assessment and repair.


A dishwasher repair soap dispenser that doesn’t work can hinder the effectiveness of your dishwasher and leave your dishes less clean. By following the steps outlined in this guide and ensuring you use the correct detergent, you can often identify and address the problem. Remember to consult your dishwasher’s user manual for specific guidance, and consider seeking professional assistance if the issue persists or if you suspect a more significant problem with internal components.


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