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When Does the Soap Dispenser Open in a Dishwasher?

Whether you’re using a dishwasher or willing to buy one, you want to know this important home appliance from depth to get the best out of it. Which creates queries and confusion about this everyday device.

Out of all the things about a dishwasher that many people feel inquisitive about, there is often a question pops up that when the soap dispenser opens inside the dishwasher.

By reading further you can get the answer of this particular along with much relatable information that might be peeping from your mind.

When does the soap dispenser open in a dishwasher?

The soap dispenser of a dishwasher opens as soon as it gets a signal from the control board after reaching its cleaning stage. This is when the utensils are soaked with warm water spray. The cleaning stage can be different due to various modes of wash cycles.

The timing of the cleaning stage in a dishwasher isn’t the same or fixed for every machine as it depends on the wash cycle as well as the washer’s model.

For instance, in the GE dishwasher, the soap dispenser opens and releases soap automatically in each pre-wash and main-wash cycle.

Bosch has dishwashers that too open during the cycles by the triggering of a solenoid. Considering what option you are choosing for the wash, the soap dispenser opens without any manual touch after the primary rinse.

The dishwashers from SMEG feature around nine wash modes and the opening of the soap dispenser in this machine is similar to most washers. It opens as soon as the dishes get their first two rinses.

Maytag dishwashers usually run cycles starting from 20 minutes and it can extend to 1 hour. The soap dispenser pops up in between a pre-wash and the final rinse.

Actually, all these dishwashers’ soap dispensers function in the same way after the utensils are pre-washed for five minutes or more.

A dishwasher includes multiple cycles like normal, quick, etc. Every cycle’s work efficiency and duration are different than others. So, the cleaning stage’s position also changes considering the wash cycles.

What makes the soap dispenser open in a dishwasher?

A dishwasher’s dispenser is operated by a spring-controlled door latch that’s connected to the dishwasher’s control board. When the cycle is ready to enter the soap cleaning phase it gets a signal from the control panel.

The spring-controlled door then strikes the dish rack and the dispenser opens to let the soap out.

No matter how long or short the cycle is wash modes are, the soap dispenser is opened whenever the cycle touches its cleaning stage milestone and ready to soap wash the utensils by releasing soap.

Why isn’t my dishwasher soap dispenser not opening?

One of the major problems most users face is the soap dispenser of the dishwasher not opening. There could be several reasons behind this. We’ve tried to focus on the common ones below so that you don’t catch a wrong guess:

Build up of Soap:

Most of the time it’s the soap build-up that restrains the dispenser from opening. Since the soap dispenser is always full of detergent it’s likely to grow the soap residue.

Though the modern dishwashers are designed to clear out the detergent completely from the compartment, old or badly designed ones hardly have any way out for the soap. Thus, the dispenser gets blocked with soap and eventually doesn’t pop up when needed.

Broken Spring:

Soap dispensers’ door is run by spring. Mainly the spring controls the door of this small part and lets it pop. If your dispenser isn’t opening then this spring can be the real reason.

Often the spring breaks due to carelessness or by accident making the soap dispenser out of order.

Faulty or broken latch:

A faulty latch that’s worn away or deformed can cause trouble to the soap dispenser. Also, if the latch is too old, worn out, or has already broken off, the joints aren’t properly fixed and the dispenser can’t open.

What do you do when your dishwasher dispenser won’t open?

If you find your dishwasher dispenser isn’t opening here are a few attempts you can take to solve it:

Unplug the machine:

If you find the soap isn’t releasing even after restarting the machine, unplug the dishwasher from the electric source for an inspection.

Observe the dispenser:

You have to inspect the machine very well inside and out to find out the root of the disturbance. Try to locate the dispenser on the door and check it closely.

Point out any damage or debris:

See if the dispenser has any scratch, crack, or deformation inside or outside. Also, look for soap build-ups that can be a reason behind it.

If it’s only the soap residue or debris try cleaning it out. If it’s a damaged dispenser, you have to replace it with a new one. But if you see no visible issue then better call an expert as soon as possible.

How do I fix my dishwasher soap dispenser?

Most of the time soap dispenser of a washer stops opening due to minor issues. If you can detect and solve those in time, you might not have to spend a large amount on a new dishwasher.

Here we have explained the issues that mainly occur and interrupt your machine with their possible solution step by step. You can sort out a few issues at home and take expert advice if needed by working according to the following steps:

Cleaning soap dispenser:

Cleaning the soap compartment can fix your dishwasher soap dispenser if the cause of the trouble is dirt and soap residue. It’s likely to be the main cause most of the time.

You have to wash the dispenser with warm water, vinegar, or some liquid wash and then wipe out the dirt with a fort cloth.

Replacing the rinse aid cap:

If your dispenser is not clogged check the rinse aid cap. A melt or cracked rinse aid cap can stop a soap dispenser’s function. You can simply replace it by knowing your machine’s model in the manual.

Replacing door spring:

Next, you’ve to look if the door spring is damaged. A faulty door spring can cause a dispenser issue but this can be fixed as well easily. Remove the damaged spring and replace it with a new one that fits.

Repairing the wax motor:

If none of the above shows any trouble, it could be the wax motor.

You will need to check the wax motor with a multimeter and remove it if there is no electrical circuit. Before you take it out make sure you unplug all the wires.  After setting up the new one re-connect the lines correctly.

Replacing the timer:

If your machine’s in trouble because of a broken timer, then just replacing it can resume the work. You have to remove the old one from the control board safely at first and then fix the new one. Restart the machine to make sure there is no electrical misplacing.

Repairing the Bi-Metal Release: 

If you own an older machine and see no problem with the other parts then the bi-metal switch can be your culprit.

Many older versions of dishwashers’ soap dispensers don’t open because of the alignment problem in their bi-metal switch. If it’s faulty, it can’t open the detergent dispenser door. You have to make the alignment right to resume the machine.

How do you prevent a dishwasher soap dispenser from clogging?

To make sure your soap dispenser doesn’t clog every now and then, you have to clean it regularly.

Using warm water and clean cycles after each wash can clean the residue as well as the debris. The use of cleaning agents once or twice a month keeps the dispenser clear as well.

Final Thoughts:

The soap dispenser of the dishwasher opens after it reaches a certain point of its cleaning cycle. Most of the time it pops up to release soap after the dishes are pre-washed and sprayed with hot water. But the exact time varies in different models of dishwasher.