Thanks to dishwashers, we don’t have to labor away cleaning dirty dishes and having soap-dry hands. Compared to hand washing, dishwashers are more hygienic because you need 140°F (60°C or higher) water to kill most germs on dirty dishes (which is too hot for the skin), and it’s greener. However, like many other dishwashers, Whirlpool dishwashers can also have problems, such as the soap dispenser not working.
A Whirlpool dishwasher soap dispenser can have a problem like soap buildup, and the dishwasher won’t use soap, leakage, etc. These small problems can lead to a bigger problem, such as the dishwasher stops running entirely. Fixing a Whirlpool dishwasher can be costly, so is buying a replacement.
In this article, we’ll explore the:
- Most common dishwasher problems and the causes
- Solutions for fixing a Whirlpool dishwasher soap dispenser that won’t work
Whirlpool Dishwasher Soap Dispenser Won’t Open
If your Whirlpool dishwasher soap dispenser won’t open during a cycle, that’s likely because the soap dispenser may be blocked. Check for any detergent in the dispenser or on the tub’s bottom after the cycle to figure out whatever is blocking your soap dispenser. Wipe off the detergent and see if the dishwasher soap dispenser opens.
If you have tall items, like cutting boards, in the lower rack of your dishwasher, they may also block the dispenser door. To fix a soap dispenser that won’t open, reload your dishes so they won’t block the dispenser. Here’s a video on the best ways to arrange dishes in a dishwasher:
If your dishwasher soap dispenser doesn’t open, then you might want to look at the spring. The spring might be broken; thus, the detergent door snaps open even when it is not supposed to. The spring triggers and opens the soap dispenser when the right time for the cycle comes so that hot water jets can immediately make suds and blast them around the dishes.
If the spring is broken, you will have to open it manually. You can fix a soap dispenser that won’t open by replacing the spring with a new one. If your dishwasher soap dispenser doesn’t open during the intended cycle, you’ll need to replace its wax motor or get a professional to fix it for you.
Whirlpool Dishwasher Soap Dispenser Won’t Close
If your Whirlpool dishwasher soap dispenser won’t stay closed during a cycle, that’s likely because it has a broken latch. Your latch might have trouble because of a brittle plastic from an older latch breaking off, or possibly due to too much force when the soap dispenser is also dirty because of old detergent. Another reason is a dishwasher’s latch may be warped or worn out.
It’s a problem if your dishwasher’s latch is unable to close because your dishwasher will only operate when the door latch at the top of the tub is closed. Fortunately, you can fix this problem by adjusting the door catch by hand or replacing the latch if it’s warped, broken, worn out, or not catching tightly anymore. Follow these steps to fix the problem:
- Unplug the dishwasher.
- Open the door and unscrew the inner door panel.
- Place the catch into the latch assembly using hand and see if the two switches are activated when it is closed. If yes, test the two switches using a multimeter.
Whirlpool Dishwasher Soap Not Dispensing
A dispenser gasket that is old and worn out can cause a Whirlpool dishwasher soap dispenser to malfunction. The dispenser gasket is the rubber ring that wraps around the dispenser door. It ensures the soap stays inside the dispenser until the next cycle.
If your dishwasher gasket needs replacing, you’ll need to replace your dishwasher soap dispenser door. However, if your gasket is still good and working, but is old and dry, you only need to apply Vaseline on the gasket. By using Vaseline to the gasket, you are softening the gasket; thus, your gasket will be able to close the dispensing door.
Whirlpool Dishwasher Soap Dispenser Leaking
Dishwashers can face a soap dispenser leaking, of which you will see drips of crusted soap inside the dishwasher door. That happens because the soap gets so thick that it’s already encrusted before the dishwasher water can flush it away. You will then see leaking that prevents the soap dispenser latch from working correctly.
You can prevent leaking by closing the soap dispenser lid properly. If the lid is not closed fully, there will be bits of soap leaking slowly before the latch opens. If there is no wiggle when you press on the lid, that means it is fully closed.
If there is a wiggle and you notice that the lid can still close further after the latch, that means your soap dispenser might not be well-sealed. You can fix this problem by pressing the lid firmly when you close it or add a firmer twist to lock the dispenser. Try removing any soap residue from around the dispenser cup’s edge so that the dishwasher soap cup won’t seal when closed.
Whirlpool Dishwasher Soap Dispenser Opens Too Soon
If your dishwasher soap dispenser opens too soon, then you might want to check if the control panel is melted or damaged. If the dishwasher control panel needs fixing, you can fix it yourself or get professional help. Follow these steps to fix the problem yourself by disassembling the dishwasher door panels and test the switches:
- Unplug the dishwasher and unscrew the inner door cover. After that, you can separate the cover and the door’s outer part.
- Unplug the harness to separate the outer part.
- Once you have separated the outer part, look at the door switch to check for any malfunction that may block the dishwasher panel.
- Unplug the dishwasher’s connecting wires and check if they are correctly connected.
- Use a multimeter to test the dishwasher at least 10 times, and check if it makes a click sound when you push the small button.
- Look at the cam that presses the button on the switch and check if it’s broken.
- Before you connect the wires, spray the contacts using WD-40.
- Unscrew the board at the back of the control panel buttons. Look for the micro push buttons. Use a multimeter to test them one by one. Do this at least 10 times.
Alternatively, you could buy a new control panel and then reassemble the door.
Whirlpool Dishwasher Won’t Dissolve Soap
Your dishwasher won’t use soap because your hot water is below 110°F or 115°F (43.33°C or 46.11°C). You can run the dishwasher using a long, hot cycle to ensure that the soap gets enough time and heat to dissolve. You’ll also want to check if the detergent dispenser door’s spring opening action is properly working because if the detergent is too small, then a big detergent tablet may not let it open correctly.
You can use a rinsing aid to remove spots even if the detergent tablet may not dissolve properly. Or try using a liquid detergent instead. A powdered detergent will be ideal, too.
Even though Whirlpool dishwashers are convenient in the kitchen, they face problems that can interrupt your cleaning routines. Common issues are the dishwasher won’t close or open, or dissolve soap, and more. In time, dishwashers get worn out, too.
On the bright side, there are solutions for fixing many of the Whirlpool dishwasher soap dispenser problems. DIY fixes, when done correctly, can save you a lot of money. However, if all fixing attempts fail, your last resort is getting professional help or replacing the dishwasher.