Why Your Dishwasher Isn’t Using Soap With a Working Dispenser

If your dishwasher is not using soap during the wash, then it is not likely producing clean dishes either. The detergent used in your dishwasher is crucial in removing food particles from your dishes. However, when your dishwasher isn’t using detergent, your first suspect should always be the actual soap dispenser in the appliance.

At times, the detergent dispenser in your dishwasher can fail. Perhaps the spring when bad and the door won’t open, or perhaps detergent has built up and the door sticks. This part is easy to replace, and typically the most obvious sign is that the detergent door is still closed after you ran the cycle.

However, what if the detergent dispenser door is open and your detergent is just still in there? This does not automatically mean there isn’t a detergent dispenser issue, but it could also be an issue of a dishwasher not getting hot enough.

If you use pre-measured detergent blocks in your dishwasher as many do now, these can actually help you detect temperature problems inside of your dishwasher. Even though the detergent dispenser door opens and the block may even fall out into the water, if the water is not getting hot enough, the block will not dissolve. Typically, this is signaled by a block still in the dispenser or only partially dissolved in the bottom of the tub.

When this happens, you will want to investigate the hot water connection to the dishwasher and ensure that hot is in fact flowing into the dishwasher, which requires an average temperature of 120 degrees to truly clean the dishes and dissolve the soap. If the hot water heater in the home is not producing the necessary heat or is traveling a long distance to the dishwasher, these can cause the dish soap to not dissolve as well.

Feel free to reach out to our team in the Dayton and Cincinnati area for all appliance repair needs!


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