2 Potential Problems If Your Dishwasher Detergent Door Won't Open

Dishwashers are a must-have for busy home cooks. You can have all of your dishes cleaned with a splash of detergent and the push of a button. But the detergent step doesn't always go as planned. Sometimes, the cup that holds the detergent pod or liquid fails to open during the cycle so the detergent isn't used to wash the dishes.

There are a few potential solutions to this problem. If you can't get it fixed on your own, call a reputable appliance repair service.

Detergent Clog

There are a couple of ways that a detergent buildup can clog your dishwasher and prevent the dishwasher door from opening.

If your unit has a spring-loaded detergent clog, the buildup might have occurred on the springs. Consult your owner's manual to learn how to remove the door without breaking the springs. Clean the springs thoroughly with hot water and a small dish brush.

Reassemble the door and perform a test run of your dishwasher with water inside the detergent door. If the door opens during the wash, the detergent door will be open at the end of the cycle and the water inside will have fallen out into the unit. If the door still hasn't opened, continue troubleshooting.

Consult your manual to learn how to remove the sprayer located inside your dishwasher. Turn off the water supply to your unit before removing the sprayer. Clean the sprayer with the hot water and dish brush and then return it to the unit. Perform another test run with water in the dispenser.

Cracked Dispenser

Even small cracks to the underside of a detergent dispenser can cause the lid to catch and fail to open. While you have the dispenser door removed checking for soap buildup on the sprints, carefully examine both the door and the dispenser basin for cracks.

When the door is reattached, test its functionality with your hand. Does it slide easily, lock into place, unlock, and slide back open without force? If the door seems to get stuck while it's sliding, you might have a crack that's causing enough resistance to cause problems. In that case, it's often easiest to replace the entire dispenser unit.

Does the latch seem difficult to release to open the door? It's possible that the latch itself is broken. The entire dispenser will need to be replaced.

Mechanical Problems

Issues with the dishwasher's automatic timer or motor can experience problems that will interrupt the signal that would trigger the dispenser opening. If you don't have experience with electrical issues, leave these fixes to an appliance repair technician.

For more information, contact Appliance Service Station Inc. or a similar company.