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KitchenAid Dishwasher Door Not Opening/Closing

I’ve been using my KitchenAid dishwasher and so far I’ve been really happy with it. But, recently the door won’t close all the way.

I’m quite good with fixing appliances and did a bunch of research about how to fix it. So, in this article I’ll explain how to fix a KitchenAid dishwasher door that won’t open or close.

As a general rule, the door spring tension can have changed and needs to be adjusted, or the dishwasher isn’t level. Also a utensil, plate or similar can be blocking the door and not allowing it to close, or the door latch itself is broken.


It’s difficult to know exactly what’s causing the issue, so it’s a matter of applying the troubleshooting steps below one by one until it’s fixed. So, in this article, I will explain step by step how to resolve each of these issues.

KitchenAid Dishwasher Door Not Closing Properly/Tight

Problematic woman with her dishwasher

For a dishwasher to start it needs to click shut. This registers to the internal computer that it’s OK to start. There are few key reasons that cause the door to not close. Here’s what they are:

There is a spring inside the door that helps to hold the door shut. They can be worn and not pull tightly. The door latch itself can have failed, and needs to be replaced. Also, it’s very common that a utensil can cause the rack to not retract all the way and will not allow the door to close.

Each of these steps requires a unique solution so below I’ll provide step by step details on how to fix it, as well as, what to do if you try each of the solutions and you still can’t get the door to close completely.

Tableware Blocking Door From Closing

The most common issue is a utensil like a spatula, or fish slice is not positioned in such a way that the door can close. It can be sticking out to the side, which blocks the rails that the rack is on. And the racks won’t be all the way in.

Do a thorough check of where all of the plates, cups, utensils, and other things you have in the dishwasher are to ensure they aren’t stopping the racks from closing all the way. Or, sticking out in such a way as to block the door from closing.

To know for sure, you can remove everything from the dishwasher and place it on the counter to check that the racks are going all the way in as they should.

Broken Door Latch That Needs to Be Replaced

The door latch is a mechanical component in your dishwasher. It will generally last a long time, however, if it’s broken, the door won’t click shut, and won’t stay closed. Visually inspect to see if it’s broken without removing it.

If you can’t tell and you’ve checked that nothing is blocking it from closing, then remove the component to get a closer look. It involves removing the screws on the door panel and then removing the panel on the door to access the door latch.

Note that this procedure involves working with electrical wiring, so you need to ensure that the dishwasher is turned off at the switchboard.

It’s connected by a plug that you can disconnect and then you use a screwdriver to pop it loose. Look it over and see if you can see whether a part of it is broken. If it is, you should order a replacement part online, and then install the new one.

Dishwasher Not Level

The dishwasher needs to be both level against the wall/cabinet, and horizontally for the door to close correctly. This step is performed by the installer when they installed the dishwasher, however, if you did it yourself it might be slightly off.

The feet of the dishwasher may have an issue that has caused one of them to be lower or higher than the others. Using a bubble level also called a spirit level can be used to check that it’s level with the rear wall, and the top of the dishwasher is level. Here’s a really good video from KitchenAid that shows how to check it’s perfectly level.

This step is the same as checking the door spring tension, in that it’s quite an undertaking. Therefore, it’s best to leave this step until after you’ve tried the other steps below.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on September 7, 2021.

Weak Door Spring Tension

The door spring pulls the door closed, and is located on the sides of the door on the exterior of the dishwasher. To adjust the door spring tension is very involved as you need to disconnect the power, water, adjust the feet, and pull the dishwasher out from where it’s located.

Here’s a short video that shows what’s involved.

It’s definitely possible to do if you have a bit of DIY experience, or experience working with tools. But, in my opinion it’s best to attempt to see if this is causing the issue after you’ve tried the other fixes in this list.

However, it’s definitely a solution to the door not closing properly that KitchenAid recommends so you should perform this step after you’ve tried the others on this list.

There are different KitchenAid Dishwasher models, so it’s best to see exactly how to do it for your specific dishwasher by referring to your owners manual.

If you don’t have your owners manual, they are available on the official KitchenAid website. You need to search by model number to find it. The model number is located on the left edge of the dishwasher door.

KitchenAid Dishwasher Can’t Open Door


A frustrating issue you can run into with a dishwasher is the door can get stuck shut and you can’t open it at all. Here’s what causes it to happen on a KitchenAid dishwasher and how to get it open.

Using a thin screwdriver you can gently shimmy the latch to get it open. In some dishwashers the part of the latch that keeps the door closed can be located on the top of the dishwasher. You need to pull the dishwasher out a bit and use a screwdriver to push it across to open it.

Both of these solutions are temporary fixes that can get it open while you fix the broken door latch. The tab that you pull to open the fridge is square in shape, and around all of the edges is a thin opening.

You need to use a small screwdriver with a very thin shaft and end on it. A screw drive that is about 3 inches long generally has a thin shaft but it does vary and you can get short screwdrivers with a thick shaft.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on September 7, 2021.

It’s important to turn off the power to your dishwasher before you do it, as there is a very serious risk of electrocution. That can be done by turning it off at the fusebox, which is also called a switchboard.

When you do that the lights on your dishwasher will go off. If you’re unsure what fuse controls the dishwasher you can use trial and error, by turning off the fuses and seeing which one turns off your dishwasher.

Bear in mind if you turn off other appliances such as your fridge, when you turn it back on the fridge can be in what’s called power save mode. Which can cause your fridge to be on but not cool. If that does happen refer to the owners manual for your fridge to turn off power save mode.

Once you get it open you’ll generally need to replace the door latch with a new one. But, in rare cases the latch can just be stuck in a funny position which won’t let it open. And you can simply put the latch into its normal position and it will work again.

In either case you need to remove the panel on the door of your dishwasher to access the latch. Full details on exactly how to do that are described in the a previously discussed section above.

KitchenAid Dishwasher Detergent Door Not Closing

Arranging the plates in dishwasher

The small compartment where you pour in detergent powder or liquid can also get jammed, and won’t open. It’s a bit different to the door, but has its own compartment. There’s a few reasons why it can be jammed. Here’s what they are:

Old detergent can become hard and stick in and around the latch that’s used to open and close it. It can be removed by applying some water to it and let sit for a few minutes to soften. Then, you can wipe or scrub it off using a soft brush like an old toothbrush.

Once you remove a bit of the detergent, it can be enough that the tab will press in and you can close it again. In other cases it can be because the latch itself is broken. You can poke a screwdriver into where the latch is to see if you can get the latch to release.

Because the latch is used quite often it can become worn, and eventually break. In that case, you’ll also need to replace the whole detergent compartment.

Other times, having a close look at the detergent door, can reveal a part of it that’s slightly out of place, and you can click a part of it back in without replacing the entire component.

I’ll describe exactly how to replace the detergent compartment below, but you do need to have some experience with using a screwdriver etc. If you think it might be too difficult then it’s best to have a repair technician replace it for you.

How to replace the detergent compartment on a KitchenAid Dishwasher

The step involved in replacing the detergent compartment are:

  1. Disconnect the power to your dishwasher
  2. Remove the from door panel
  3. Remove the door latch, and disconnect it from the power
  4. Disconnect the power connector from the detergent compartment
  5. Remove the detergent compartment
  6. Click the new detergent compartment into place
  7. Plug the wire connector back into the new detergent compartment
  8. Replace the door panel and screw it back in

KitchenAid Dishwasher Door Won’t Open All the Way

Arranging the plates in dishwasher

An issue can come up with your KitchenAid dishwasher where the door won’t open all the way. This is particularly troublesome because it can cause the rack to not slide out easily and then you can’t remove the dishes. Here’s what causes it and how to fix it.

Overall, this is caused by the door springs, and hinges. They can be inspected and the springs and hinges can be replaced. However, to do that you need to pull the dishwasher completely out, as they are located along the side of your dishwasher.

It can be done yourself if you’re reasonably strong, or have help from a friend. You also need a bit of handyman type experience as you’ll need to remove some screws. For full step by step instructions refer to this page on the official KitchenAid website, as well as, the owners manual for your KitchenAid dishwasher.

If you know it will be too difficult or you don’t have the time to do it yourself, then it’s best to get a dishwasher repair technician to repair it for you.

KitchenAid Dishwasher Door Not Staying Closed or Keeps Popping Open

Opening the diswasher

The door on your KitchenAid dishwasher can close all the way, but if it doesn’t give a click, the dishwasher won’t register that the door is closed and you can’t start your dishwasher. Or, it can pop open after you’ve closed it. To fix this issue, here’s what you should do.

It’s caused by a faulty door latch. The door latch can be replaced yourself by ordering a new one, or having a repair technician repair it for you. There can also be a build up of debris on the door latch that can be removed by cleaning it with a soft brush, once you remove it.

The steps to remove and replace the door latch are covered near the top of this article. The door latch is broken and needs to be replaced’. Simply follow the steps there to access the door latch and inspect it.

If it looks fine and there aren’t any parts of it that are cracked or broken, a part of it can be caught against itself, causing it not to click closed properly. Using the details in that step you can make sure it’s seated correctly. Otherwise, if it’s broken, order a new one, and repair it yourself.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on September 7, 2021.

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