How does a dishwasher soap dispenser work?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How does a dishwasher soap dispenser work” with an in-depth analysis of how a dishwasher soap dispenser works. Moreover, we will have a brief discussion about some common problems with dispenser dishwashers.

For individuals who have always loathed dish duty, dishwashers have become cherished household equipment. A particular sort of soap was created specifically for these machines, and many customers have inquired about how the dishwasher soap dispenser works.

So if you are in search of an answer to how a dishwasher soap dispenser works, then you need not worry as we are going to answer all your questions.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How does a dishwasher soap dispenser work?

The machine receives cold water from your home’s water source. The water is heated to a temperature of 30–60°C by an electric heating element at the bottom of the machine. That’s far hotter than most people’s hand-washing water, which is one of the reasons dishwashers are more hygienic than regular hand-washing. Another explanation is that the dishes are washed for a longer period.

The water is pumped up through the side walls by an electric pump at the bottom of the machine. Water squirts up through perforations in the metal paddle’s bottom, spinning it around. Because it must resist higher temperatures at the machine’s base, the bottom paddle is composed of metal.

Water that is somewhat cooler squirts up through perforations in the upper, plastic paddle, spinning it around as well. Remember that the machine’s top is somewhat cooler than the bottom, therefore a plastic paddle will suffice.

After bouncing off your plates, the water returns to the machine’s bottom, where it is heated and pumped around the circuit once more. (The dishwasher tablet falls into the bottom of the machine and dissolves in the hot water there once it flips out of the automatic dispenser on the door.) If your dispenser breaks down, you can normally put the tablet in the machine’s bottom.

Some common problems with dispenser dishwasher

You have a serious problem if the dispenser is not properly closed or if it does not open throughout the dishwasher cycle. Perhaps one that prevents the dishwasher from running at all.

Today, we’re going to look at the top four most common reasons why your dishwasher soap dispenser isn’t working properly.

Soap Buildup

An accumulation of soap is, understandably, the most typical cause of soap dispenser problems. The entire dishwasher cycle is influenced by this tiny hinged box, which is always full of detergent. 

To blast the soap out onto the plates, most dishwashers jet water directly into this container. Older or poorly built dishwashers, on the other hand, do not attain the required angle or force of spray to empty the compartment.

As a result, old dried-on dishwashing detergent could clog any part of the soap dispenser fast. The detergent can build up in the latch grooves, making it impossible to latch closed or very difficult to open. 

Soap might build upon the hinges, preventing the mechanism from opening and shutting smoothly. Remove any residue from the soap dispenser and cover it with a hot moist cloth.

Broken latch

After that, examine the latch mechanism. You may examine how the grooves are supposed to fit together and what the locked position might look like if it is clean and free of detergent residue. You may check this by paying attention to how the latch shuts, or how it was supposed to close in the first place.

 It’s possible that a little piece of food is impeding the latch, or that the latch has stopped working properly. Latch problems could be caused by brittle plastic from an earlier latch coming off, or a break caused by applying too much force while the mechanism was scungy with old detergent. Your latch could also be bent out of shape or just worn away, leaving the catch with nothing to grab onto.

Broken spring

A little spring that powers the soap dispenser causes the detergent door to pop open instead of dropping open in the dishwasher. The spring triggers and pops the soap dispenser open at the correct time in the cycle, causing hot water jets to generate suds and blast the soap around the dishes.

When the spring breaks, your detergent dispenser will be far less likely to open properly. You might notice more filth around the dispenser door and the dishwasher door inside it if detergent hasn’t completely exited the chamber.

A damaged spring can make working on the soap dispenser door more difficult because you’ll have to physically pull it open rather than depending on the spring to trigger the instant the latch is released.

You can read the difference between dish soap and dishwasher detergent here.

Loose rinse aid cap

Finally, double-check the rinse aid cap for accuracy. If your dishwasher has a small container for rinse aid, it could be preventing you from fully closing it. Examine the rinse aid cap to determine if it contains the key to completing the repairs. 

In certain dishwashers, you won’t be able to start a cycle until that small cap is firmly put back into place. So take it out, inspect it, and then carefully screw it back in to see whether it works.

Other FAQs about Dishwashers that you may be interested in.

How hot does dishwasher water get?

How to reset a Kenmore dishwasher? 

How to unclog a whirlpool dishwasher?

How to Reset Kitchenaid Dishwasher


In this brief guide, we answered the question “How does a dishwasher soap dispenser work” with an in-depth analysis of how a dishwasher soap dispenser works. Moreover, we also have a brief discussion about some common problems with dispenser dishwashers. 


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.