How To Use Dishwasher With Broken Soap Dispenser?

Dishwashers are a true modern-day marvel. They are designed to make your daily life easier, extremely convenient, and simple. You only need to load your dishwasher with dirty dishware and cutlery; no need to clean them by hand.

But have you ever had to discover that your dishwasher soap dispenser is broken? It can be a huge letdown.

However, there is no need to panic. You can still use it.

How To Use A Dishwasher When The Soap Dispenser Is Broken?

Even if the dish soap dispenser is broken, you can still run the dishwashing cycle. Here are two approaches:

Fill The Dishwasher’s Broken Detergent Tray With Soap.

Don’t worry if your dishwasher soap dispenser is broken; you can still run the dishwashing cycle by pouring the soap directly into the empty detergent tray of the dishwasher.

Pour the liquid or powdered dishwashing detergent into the broken tray without closing the lid to accomplish this. When you close the door, the soap will fall out of the tray, but it will still dissolve in the dishwasher water and clean your dishes.

Place The Detergent In A Bowl Or Cup On The Bottom Rack Of The Dishwasher.

Another option is to put the soap in a pitcher or bowl and then place the bowl in the dishwasher’s bottom rack.

The water circulates through the dishwasher, is mixed with the detergent, and is used to clean your dishes. However, it is not as effective as simply pouring the detergent into the broken tray.

Is It Okay To Use a Dishwasher With a Broken Soap Dispenser?

It is not recommended to continue using a dishwasher with a broken soap dispenser, so you should replace the soap dispenser as soon as possible.

A detergent or soap dispenser is designed to distribute detergent evenly throughout the wash cycle into the main compartment where the dishes are loaded.

A soap dispenser typically has two compartments: one for the pre-wash and one for the main cycle. The compartment for pre-wash is open, while the compartment for main cycle detergent is closed.

If the soap dispenser breaks or malfunctions, the soap will not be evenly distributed throughout the wash cycle, resulting in greasy and dirty dishes.

There are several reasons why a soap dispenser may not be working properly. Before moving on to a solution, the root cause of this problem must be identified.

Why Do Soap Dispensers In Dishwashers Break?

The dishwasher soap dispensers are made of plastic, which is the first thing you should know. Plastic is generally prone to damage, especially when exposed to food and chemicals.

Because of the brittleness of plastic, if you have children or pets, there’s a good chance your dishwasher soap dispenser will be broken by accident at some point. Even it can break during a washing cycle.

How To Use Dishwasher With Broken Soap Dispenser?

The dishwasher soap dispensers, on the other hand, become clogged with food. This is common when the plastic becomes worn down over time and extra bits of grime become trapped inside the mechanism.

Third, if you have an older machine with parts made of poor-quality materials, you may have issues—this can also cause your dishwasher soap dispenser to break down and need to be replaced!

Tips for Learning How to Use a Dishwasher with a Broken Soap Dispenser

  • Before installing or servicing this dishwasher, read the installation and operating instructions. For these safety tips, all references to a “dishwasher” should be interpreted to include both built-in and portable dishwashers.
  • Always unplug the dishwasher from the power source when cleaning, draining, or replacing parts. If necessary, turn off the circuit breaker. Unplug the dishwasher immediately after performing any service!
  • Never try to operate the dishwasher unless its components are properly installed. The soap dispenser, in particular, is extremely sensitive to proper installation and removal.
  • Only use a UL-listed mounting bracket or locking device to secure this dishwasher to a wall or cabinet to prevent tipping. Personal injury may occur if the dishwasher is installed on an unsecured surface.
  • Do not store or leave anything on top of this dishwasher while running because water leaks during normal operation can cause damage. Water and items falling on the floor can also cause personal injury.

Common Problems with Dishwasher Soap Dispensers

Food Buildup

The most common reason your dishwasher soap dispenser won’t open is a detergent residue or food particles buildup around the latch slot. This issue can be avoided by wiping the dispenser and its clasp with a damp paper towel on a regular basis.

A Broken Latch

A faulty latch or spring door could also be the cause of the issue. This minor problem could be easily resolved by replacing these parts with new ones from the manufacturer. Fortunately for you, a simple replacement is available if this is the case.

Electrical Outage

Another reason your dispenser may not open is due to the electronic components of the dishwasher. If this control board is damaged or malfunctions, it may interfere with the internal electrical relay, preventing your soap dispenser’s door from opening. Your best bet is to replace the electronics or have a mechanic come out and repair them.

Replacement Dishwasher Soap Dispenser

Fortunately, replacing a faulty dishwasher soap dispenser is a relatively simple repair you can complete by following the steps below. Not only will repairing it save you money in the short and long run, but you will also have a fully functional dishwasher again.

1. Unplug Everything

The first step is to unplug your dishwasher from any power source, empty any remaining dishes, and pull the dishwasher away from the wall to give yourself plenty of room to work.

2. Take Out the Screws

Next, with the dishwasher door open, remove the Torx screws from the inner door panel. To keep the outer door panel from falling and being damaged, remove the remaining two screws while holding it with one hand.

3. Disconnect the Interface

By slightly separating the outer door panel and control panel from the inner door panel, disconnect the user interface control wire harness from the control panel. Remove the exterior door panel and the control panel next.

4. Remove the Insulation

After that, locate the dispenser assembly and remove any insulation around it. Remove the mounting bracket screw from the dispenser and pull the mounting bracket off. You can suspend it from the dispenser’s wire harness. Pull the dispenser out of the door by releasing the locking tabs.

5. Examine and Clean

With the dispenser removed from the dishwasher, you can thoroughly inspect it for flaws. You can do it now if it needs cleaning, which may be sufficient. However, if you discover any problems with the dispenser, it is time to replace it with a new one.

6. Dispenser Should Be Replaced.

Reverse the removal process to replace the dishwasher’s soap dispenser. Replace the dispenser, ensure it fits properly, and re-engage the locking tabs that keep it in place. Reinstall the mounting bracket and tighten the screws to ensure they stay in place. Connect the dispenser’s wire harness, making sure the correct wires are connected.

7. Change the Interface

The next step is to return everything to its proper place. Connect the user interface control wire harness by positioning the outer door panel and control panel close to the inner door. Attach the inner door panel to the user interface control wire harness, then the outer door panel and control panel.

Finally, replace the mounting screws, taking care to account for everything that was moved.

What Makes A Dishwasher Soap Dispenser Open?

A spring-loaded door latch operates the dishwasher soap dispenser. This mechanism is wired into your dishwasher’s control board. When the dishwasher’s cycle reaches the point where it needs to release soap, the control board signals the soap dispenser to pop open.

How To Use Dishwasher With Broken Soap Dispenser?

The door of the soap dispenser does not fully open on nearly all dishwasher models. The door collides with one of the dish racks, allowing it to open only slightly. This allows the cleaning tablet in your dishwasher to dissolve as it comes into contact with hot water slowly.

What Should You Do If Your Dishwasher Soap Dispenser Fails to Open?

The accumulation of detergent residue or food debris around the latch opening is the most common cause of your dishwasher soap dispenser refusing to open.

This problem can be avoided by wiping the dispenser and its latch with a moistened paper towel on a regular basis. This prevents buildup and allows the dishwasher soap dispenser latch to open freely.

A broken latch or spring door could be the source of the problem. This minor issue can be easily resolved with a low-cost replacement of these parts from the manufacturer.


Can you throw a pod in the dishwasher?

Do not simply place a tablet or pod in the dishwasher.

Don’t just throw it in there. Instead, place dishwasher tablets or pods in the detergent dispenser compartment. If you place the tablet directly in the unit, it will dissolve before the wash cycle starts.

Can you put soap directly in the dishwasher?

No, only use dishwasher detergent in your dishwasher because it is specifically designed for your dishwasher to clean dishes without the use of suds or bubbles.

When does the soap dispenser open in the dishwasher?

When a dishwasher receives a signal from the control board after reaching the cleaning stage, the soap dispenser opens. A spring-loaded door latch operates the dishwashing soap dispenser. This mechanism is built into the control board of your dishwasher.

When the dishwasher’s cycle reaches the point where it needs to discharge soap, the control board alerts the soap dispenser to pop open. At this point, the utensils are sprayed with warm water. Depending on the wash cycle mode, the cleaning step may differ.


If you own a dishwasher, you are probably aware of how inconvenient it can be when your soap dispenser stops working. Because plastic is not the strongest of materials, it frequently snaps, breaks, or fails to close.

The good news is that there are numerous ways to avoid this issue and continue using your dishwasher without spending money on new parts or hiring someone else to repair it. Before panicking, try cleaning it to ensure no gunk is inside.