We're Hiring!

We are actively seeking Appliance Repair Technicians. Apply Now!

dishwasher soap dispenser is broken

How to Fix a Dishwasher Soap Dispenser Not Opening

During a wash cycle, the dishwasher’s dispenser releases detergent at the right time for optimum cleaning. But a variety of issues can prevent it from functioning properly, resulting in your dishwasher not cleaning dishes. How do you fix a dishwasher soap dispenser not opening? Removing blockages caused by debris and residue may be the solution. Troubleshoot a dishwasher soap dispenser not opening with these likely causes.

5 Common Causes for a Dishwasher
Soap Dispenser Not Opening

As crucial as it is to dishwasher performance, the dispenser functions fairly simply, opening automatically via several common components. Here’s how to know whether an obstruction or part malfunction is responsible for your dishwasher soap dispenser not opening.

1. Dispenser is Obstructed

If your dishwasher soap dispenser opens, but soap stays inside, it’s likely blocked by an obstruction. When loading the dishwasher, make sure bottom rack items don’t protrude from the rack, preventing detergent from dispensing or the door from opening.

Often, obstructions are due to a buildup of grease, food particles or detergent residue around the dispenser. Inspect the dispenser and remove any buildup with a damp cloth or paper towel.

2. Dispenser Door is Damaged

A damaged door can also be a visible indicator of a dishwasher soap dispenser not opening. If a visual inspection shows cracks, melting, warping or discoloration, it may be preventing the door from opening. In this instance, the dispenser assembly likely requires replacement, as individual doors aren’t typically sold separately.

3. Faulty Door Spring or Hinge Pin

Is your dishwasher soap dispenser stuck closed? Its spring and hinge pin may be faulty. Most dispenser doors are spring-loaded to open quickly via this small spring and hinge. If either suffer damage or wear out over time, the door won’t open to dispense detergent.

dishwasher soap dispenser not opening
Image Courtesy of Repair Clinic

Depending on your model dishwasher, you may need to remove the top of the dispenser assembly to inspect the door spring and hinge. If either have broken or appear bent or corroded, the spring and/or hinge must be replaced.

4. Failed Wax Motor

Newer dishwashers use a small electrical wax motor to release the door catch when it’s time for detergent to be dispensed. When the motor’s mechanisms receive an electrical charge, a piston releases the catch that holds the door closed. When a dishwasher soap dispenser is broken due to a failed wax motor, it’s usually because the motor failed electronically and requires replacement.

To confirm electrical failure, the wax motor must show a lack of continuity with multimeter testing. To access the motor for testing, the dishwasher’s internal or external door panel often has to be removed. We suggest that a professional repair service perform this more complex assessment and replacement.

5. Dishwasher Timer is Defective

Other dishwashers use a timer to release a lever that opens the dispenser door catch at the right time in the wash cycle. If the timer fails electronically, the catch won’t release the door, resulting in the dishwasher soap dispenser not opening and releasing detergent. 

Most timers are located in the dishwasher’s interior control panel and can only be accessed by removing the exterior cover. A professional service can best access the timer and perform multimeter testing to confirm that it failed electronically. In this instance, the timer requires replacement.

Your time in the kitchen can be doubled when your dishwasher isn’t working like it should. Call the experts at Appliance Genie to solve any problem with the best dishwasher repair Kitchener!

Save on Maintenance
Choose from three different refrigerator maintenance packages.
Keep Cool


recent posts

how to make your own dryer sheets

Laundry 101: How to Make Your Own Dryer Sheets

Are you looking for a healthier, eco-friendly alternative to conventional dryer sheets? This guide will explore various methods of how to make your own dryer ...
oven door cleaning hacks

Oven Door Cleaning Hacks: How to Clean the Door Inside and Out

Every home chef knows the annoyance of peering through a smudged oven door, trying to gauge if their culinary creation is baked to perfection. Those ...
oven is not cooking evenly

7 Reasons Why Your Oven Is Not Cooking Evenly

Say goodbye to uneven roasts and half-done cakes! Dive into these expert tips to ensure every oven-made delight is cooked to perfection. #KitchenWins #PerfectBakes
lg dryer smells

Why Your LG Dryer Smells Bad and How to Clean It

Fresh laundry should smell delightful! šŸŒ¼ Discover preventative tips to ensure your dryer always leaves your clothes smelling fresh and lovely! Say goodbye to unwanted ...
Jenn Air dishwasher leaking

Jenn Air Dishwasher Leaking Water: 7 Causes and Solutions

Are you dealing with a soggy kitchen floor because your trusty Jenn Air dishwasher decided to spring a leak? Don’t worry; it happens. And you’re ...
Laundry Room Organization Hacks

Elevate Your Home With These Laundry Room Organization Hacks

In this bustling world, staying organized is key, especially when it comes to your home. But let’s be honest, the laundry room is often overlooked, ...