Whirlpool dishwasher soap dispenser not opening (Fixed!)

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If your Whirlpool dishwasher soap door won’t open, there are a few troubleshooting procedures (some super simple) that resolve the problem once performed.

Try the fixes below if your Whirlpool dishwasher detergent dispenser won’t open (and you don’t want to pay the notoriously pricey handyman fee).

Whirlpool dishwasher soap dispenser not opening – causes and recommended fixes

Here are the possible reasons why your detergent drawer is not opening and helpful solutions to try – give them a shot and see if they will make your Whirlpool dishwasher soap dispenser start to open normally again.


Basic solutions you should try first

Your Whirlpool dishwasher soap dispenser not opening? The solution might be so easy you will hardly believe your luck.

Please try these straightforward fixes prior to moving to other suggested repairs…..

#1- Check if the lid is obstructed

If items are placed incorrectly in the racks, there is a chance they could be obstructing the door.

Check and reorganize the pieces (dishes, utensils) creating the obstruction – and while at it, ensure water action can reach the dispenser fully. 

Oh, and the door is unlikely to operate well if you have slid in the racks erroneously so check if any rack is put in backward and turn it around.


#2- Check if the soap is gluing the door shut

Caked soap might be keeping the lid from opening so check and clean out any caked detergent.

Also, check if the latch is gummed up (with soap) – in short, be sure to clean everywhere inside the door prior to fixing everything back again.

In the end, the latch and the door may go back to normal functionality (and you will have spent $0 in repairs!)

Quick Tip: Older detergent (exposed to air), tends to clump and won’t dissolve well, causing the dispenser door to begin sticking to the detergent. Change detergent, if necessary. 


Whirlpool dishwasher soap dispenser not opening during cycle – other potential causes and fixes to try out

The solenoid maybe faulty

If your Whirlpool dishwasher soap dispenser won’t open during cycle and you have tried the basic troubleshooting above, it might be due to a solenoid fault in the dispenser.

Bear in mind that the circuit board sends a signal to the solenoid in the detergent dispenser assembly (and the solenoid then unlatches the door).

So you should try to replace the solenoid (and see if all will be well again).


The actuator levers are not properly lined up

You should also take a look at the actuator- The actuator levers may not be lined up properly and this needs to be fixed for the dispenser to open.

Simply check the inside of the cover and carefully try to line them up correctly (Look for a helpful YouTube Video to point you in the right direction).


Whirlpool dishwasher soap dispenser spring defective

Another possible reason why your Whirlpool dishwasher soap dispenser won’t open is due to a broken door spring (the spring that pops the door open).

Now, you can try to reposition the spring and properly orient it (depending on what you find to be the issue when you take a look at it).

Additionally, you can try to pull out the spring completely and then re-install it the right way.

That said, if there are clear signs of the spring being worn, bent, or having weak strength, you may need to order a Whirlpool dishwasher detergent dispenser spring replacement offline or online.

This replacement Whirlpool dishwasher detergent dispenser cover spring could be what you need (and it is dirt cheap).


Whirlpool dishwasher soap dispenser latch broken

Your Whirlpool dishwasher soap dispenser door is likely to be prevented from opening too if the latch is broken (this is particularly likely if cleaning the caked-in soap did not help).

Now, there is no easy way to get rid of the problem if the whole latch mechanism is faulty and the best solution is changing out the component.

This Whirlpool dishwasher detergent dispenser latch replacement part may be a perfect match and it is usually an easy fix for a defective dispenser door latch.

Installation procedure

  1. Access the detergent compartment and get the latch -on both sides- out.
  2. Next, remove the screws (on inner door panel) then remove the cover at the rear.
  3. Now you can remove the non-functional latch assembly and fit the new one.

Quick Tip: YouTube videos demonstrating how to complete the replacement exists so search for one and watch it, if you don’t feel confident enough to follow the written instructions.


Whirlpool dishwasher soap dispenser replacement

The final remedy- if your Whirlpool dishwasher soap dispenser lid won’t open yet- is replacing the entire soap dispenser.

That makes sense especially if you have ruled out everything else including the release mechanism.

How to install it

  1. Disconnect power to the machine.
  2. Remove the front panel.
  3. Disconnect cables behind the panel.
  4. Now remove screws that hold the dispenser.
  5. Push the old dispenser from the door side toward the inside of washer to get it out.

Quick Tip: Make sure it fits snug or you will get a leak. And you can take the solenoid out of your old dispenser and use it with your new one (if the wires are not matching).

Overall, the replacement procedure is not really difficult (and there are YouTube videos that can walk you through it).

Regarding where to buy, Amazon has a few Whirlpool Dispenser Assembly models in stock (check this or this).


Final words

Remember that most Whirlpool dishwasher soap dispenser parts can be bought from Amazon – and it is usually cheaper and more time saving than most other online Whirlpool dishwasher soap dispenser parts vendors.

One final thing to keep in mind: Resetting your machine can do the trick if your Whirlpool dishwasher soap door doesn’t open.

To reset it, simply unplug it for one minute (then plug it back in) or  turn off the breaker for a minute (then flip it back on).



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