dishwasher repair

How to Fix a Stuck Dishwasher Soap Dispenser – Appliance Repair

Is your dishwasher acting up, do you need appliance repair? Dishwashers are among the most complex mechanical appliances in the modern home. Consider the racks, the spinning sprayer arms, the extending posts, and the filtered drains. Some dishwashers even have their own built-in garbage disposal. Among all the moving parts that could go wrong, the soap dispenser assembly is always in the top five. The delicate latch and close association with very viscous detergent both increase the chance for malfunctions around the soap dispenser.

Sometimes, it’s a small broken plastic tine, essential to the latch function. Sometimes, soap dries around the latch and crusts it in place. Sometimes, the internal mechanism just stops receiving the ‘open’ signal from the automatic timer.

Today, we’ll explore the basic ways to test and fix your dishwasher soap dispenser assembly and how to avoid appliance repair.  

Manually Operate the Latch

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Start by testing the manual function of the latch. Is it crusted or clean? Does it look broken, melted, or properly whole? Close the soap dispenser door and see if it clicks to latch shut. Then test with a tap to see if it stays shut. 

Press on the release and see how the release mechanism performs. Does it spring open or sluggishly release the latch? Is it difficult to press the release at all? This will give you a lot of information about why the dispenser could be malfunctioning requiring appliance repair, or rule out possibilities.

Pry Open with a Small Implement

If you can’t get the dispenser open manually, grab a small implement like a slot screwdriver or putty knife. Use this to chip away any water residue or old detergent and press the release with the implement tip. See if this helps to manually operate the mechanism. If effective, use the implement to break away residue.

Fill and Soak in Hot Vinegar Water

Sometimes, the crust holding a detergent latch is water residue – minerals from the local water that are left behind when water passes or dries. It’s the same stuff as water spots and the white chalky residue on sinks and bathtubs. The good news is that vinegar breaks it up easily.

Mix hot water and vinegar, heavy on the vinegar. Open your dishwasher door and fill the detergent cup with the vinegar mixture. Then flood the latch and the assembly to help break up the mineral buildup. Vinegar can also help to dissolve some detergents.

Scrub with a Stiff-Bristled Cleaning Brush

Whether you are working with minerals or dried detergent, the right cleaning brush is essential. A stiff-bristled cleaning brush can scrub away the particles without damaging the plastic deterrent housing underneath. Nail brushes are a good place to start for cleaning small spaces.

Replace the Dispenser Assembly – Appliance Repair

If operating, soaking, and scrubbing the dispenser don’t solve your problem. you might need a new detergent assembly. This is not a problem. The install is both approachable for DIY and is a repair that technicians will visit to perform on your dishwasher professionally. You can simply order a replacement soap dispenser, pop the old one out, switch the wires, fit the new one in, and have a dishwasher soap dispenser that works.

Replace the Dispenser Controls

Finally, you may need to replace or repair your dishwasher control system. The central control panel tells the dishwasher when to open the soap dispenser latch. If the signal doesn’t send or doesn’t make it or isn’t heard, then the soap dispenser won’t open and then dries to become stuck. This can also help you track the problem from the possible root to the dispenser endpoint.

Does your dishwasher need professional appliance repair? Would you like more detailed DIY repair guides? Contact us today!

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Posted in Appliance Repair.