How to Fix Dishwasher Soap Dispenser Door Latch (8 Steps)

By Marsha Harrison

Fact-checked by Kia Lowe

how to fix dishwasher soap dispenser door latch

Mechanical appliances usually have long life expectancies, but minor glitches are inevitable at times, like when your dishwasher soap dispenser won t close. However, you can do little twists and turns– sometimes literally, to prolong its usage.

You may have stumbled upon this article looking for ways to fix dishwasher detergent latch to avoid spending on a replacement for your appliance.

Look no further as this article will give you detailed instructions on how to fix dishwasher soap dispenser door latch!

What to Prepare


To have a hassle-free experience when fixing your dishwasher, prepare these tools before attempting to repair your dishwasher.

  • Paper towels
  • Screwdriver set
  • Pliers
  • Work gloves (preferably leather)

How to Fix Your Dishwasher Soap Dispenser Door Latch

Step #1: Checking everything before fixing

  • Before you go on to fixing your dishwasher, check for detergent and food blockage on the latch, as this can affect how the soap dispenser door locks in place, as well as how it seals.

If there are any, use a clean paper towel to remove the blockage.

  • Aside from that, check if your soap dispenser door latch has any cracks or deformities. If any parts need replacement, try to order a spare piece for your dishwasher.

These parts are usually accessible at the store where you bought the appliance or online!

So do not worry if you specifically need a Kitchenaid dishwasher detergent dispenser door latch.

If you are not too comfortable fixing your dishwasher or if something inside smells burnt, call for assistance.

Try contacting your nearest dishwasher specialist or have it serviced by your brand’s authorized service center near your area.

Step #2: Following the owner’s manual.


To appropriately fix the door latch to your dishwasher soap dispenser, following the owner’s manual is best before trying to repair it on your own.

This is because some steps may differ for a Whirlpool dishwasher, Samsung dishwasher, GE dishwasher, or a Kenmore dishwasher.

Step #3: Unplug your dishwasher


Unplugging is essential when repairing any home appliance to give you a safer working environment. This includes your dishwasher.

Before doing so, put on your leather gloves to prevent yourself from the hazards you may face.

Taking off the plug will lessen nasty shocks or electrocution and prevent unwanted short circuits when dismantling your dishwasher.

Step #4: Unscrew the inner door panel


Most dishwashers have inner door panels that hold the soap dispenser in place.

To access the soap dispenser assembly in your dishwasher, you must remove the inner door panels with a suitable screwdriver.

A Torx screwdriver would typically do the trick, but it may differ for various dishwasher brands.

Preparing a screwdriver set will help you use the appropriate one because a single dishwasher may have different types of screws.

Locate the screws in the inner door panel and unscrew them. If unsure where the screws are, scan your owner’s manual to determine the screw locations.

To easily remember the direction in tightening and loosening up screws and bolts, keep in mind the mnemonic: righty tighty, lefty loosey!

Step #5: Remove the necessary parts


After removing the inner door panel of your dishwasher, you can now see the dishwasher soap dispenser assembly.

At this point, you must note each part’s location.

It is also recommended that you have your owner’s manual on hand as a reference to avoid confusion when you remove and put back each piece of the assembly.

But typically, you should remove the soap dispenser retainer screws to access the rinse actuator.

Next, use your pliers to release the brackets holding the actuator and remove the remaining pieces, such as the spring, pivot, and gasket.

After disassembling the pieces holding the actuator, it is time to remove the motor actuator, slider, and the broken dispenser latch.

Make sure to keep all screws and parts neatly organized so that you don’t lose track of them by the time you have to put them back.

Step #6: Replace or clean the soap dispenser door latch.


Before replacing your soap dispenser door latch, clean the door latch assembly and the spring that holds it in place with a clean paper towel.

Gunk from the hardened detergent and food waste may have prevented the door latch from closing correctly in the first place.

If your door latch is broken or you have determined that cleaning the door latch assembly is not solving the issue, replace the soap dispenser door latch with the new replacement part you ordered.

Then, proceed to install the new part into the dishwasher by putting it in the retainer bracket and ensuring it has a snug fit.

Step #7: Reinstall parts


Once you have replaced the soap dispenser door latch, it is time to reinstall the parts in your dishwasher that you have previously removed. Starting from the actuator assembly, reinstall the motor actuator and the slider.

After reassembling the actuator pieces, proceed to put the spring, pivot, and gasket back in their respective orientations. Once that is done, lock the rinse actuator in its brackets and screw the retainer brackets back.

Get the inner door panel you removed earlier and ensure it is properly before you screw it in.

Check if pieces are lying around your working area that you may have forgotten about. If there are any, go back to the owner’s manual to be guided on returning the parts.

Step #8: If all else fails.

Of course, after doing the previous steps mentioned, you need to test it to ensure that it normally works before you put on a load of dirty dishes.

Is your dishwasher soap door not opening? Is your dishwasher soap dispenser latch broken still? Don’t lose hope!

If that’s the case, you may have to call an authorized technician to further diagnose the problem you’re having with your dishwasher.

You can also check if you still have that sweet warranty from the company where you bought your dishwasher!


Following the guide on how to fix dishwasher soap dispenser door latch will help you save money by extending the lifespan of your dishwasher.

Doing so will also help the environment by preventing your dishwasher from going to landfill and making it useful for ages.

Fixing your dishwasher yourself can be self-fulfilling and budget-friendly but always remember to know your limits!

If you are not entirely comfortable dismantling your dishwasher, maybe it is best to have it fixed by someone with more knowledge of such things.

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