GE Dishwasher Soap Dispenser Not Opening (Troubleshooting)

You loaded your GE dishwasher with dirty dishes to have them cleaned. You ran a complete wash cycle for a long time, but when you unloaded the dishwasher, you were shocked to find that none of the dishes were clean, despite the water draining successfully.

After inspecting the dishwasher, you found that the soap dispenser did not open during the wash cycle, which caused the dishes to remain dirty and wet.

Now, you’re wondering why the dispenser did not release the rinse aid or open.

Well, In this article, I will explain what causes this issue and what you need to do to troubleshoot it.

What Causes of GE Dishwasher Soap Dispenser Not Opening

reasons why soap dispenser not opening on ge dishwasher

The soap dispenser in your GE dishwasher may fail to open due to various reasons, such as a malfunctioning wax motor, a broken spring, improper loading of dishes, or a clogged dispenser.

Aside from this, a faulty control board and damaged bi-metal release can also prevent the soap dispenser from opening during a wash cycle.

Look at this table:

Reasons for Soap Dispenser Not Opening in GE Dishwasher Solution
Clogged dispenser If the dispenser is clogged with soap or debris, it won’t be able to open. Clean the dispenser thoroughly and avoid using too much detergent.
Improper dish loading If the dishes are blocking the dispenser, it won’t be able to open. Make sure to load the dishes properly and avoid overloading the dishwasher.
Faulty control board The control board sends a signal to the wax motor to open the dispenser. If the board is faulty, it won’t send the signal. You’ll need to replace the control board.
Damage bi-metal release This part helps release the dispenser door latch. If it’s damaged, you’ll need to replace it.

What to Do When GE Dishwasher’s Soap Dispenser Fails to Open?

In short: To troubleshoot this, check whether the dispenser is clogged with detergent build-up or if any of the adjacent components like springs or hinges are broken. If the dispenser isn’t clogged with detergent build-up but if not, replace it.

Step 1: Do some basic checks

doing basic troubleshooting

Let’s start checking the basic things first. Often, people jump straight into complicated fixes without taking the time to thoroughly examine the issue.

I know you already did so, but there may be some things you don’t know about. Here’s what you need to do:

♦ Clean the soap dispenser: Inspect the dispenser closely if you can see any blockage or debris that is preventing the soap dispenser from opening. Take a toothbrush or a soft-bristled brush and clean the dispenser area and remove any buildup or clogs.

♦ Unstuck the dispenser latch: Make sure the dispenser latch is not stuck. It’s a crucial component that let the dispenser unit open and If defective, the dispenser will not be able to release the soap. Try gently prying it open with a small tool, such as a screwdriver, and replace it if necessary.

♦ Check the timer and water temperature: If the timer is not working correctly, it may not send the signal to release the soap dispenser. Similarly, if the water temperature is too low, the soap may not dissolve from the dispenser. Ensure the timer is working and the water temperature is where it should be!

Remember: You may face difficulty identifying the components I mentioned above. If so, consult your user manual for help. You will find the detailed identification there.

Step 2: Going deeper

If you have performed all the required inspections and everything appears to be in order, possible that the moveable parts of the dispenser or the main control board are not operating correctly.

♦ Check the moving parts

replacing the ge dishwasher's soap dispenser parts

The soap dispenser relies on movable parts such as triggers, springs, and hinges to release the soap. But what if any of these are broken?

The dispenser will remain closed and fail to dispense the soap. Isn’t it?

Replacing the broken dispenser parts is pretty simple. To replace the faulty part, inspect the dispenser thoroughly, identify the broken component, purchase a replacement online, and install it.


Soap Dispenser Replacement

Soap Dispenser Replacement

Rating 9.6/10

This is compatible with almost all models and is a Genuine Original Equipment Manufacturer (Oem) Part.

Check at Amazon

♦ Main control board is defective

replacing the main control board of ge dishwasher

The control board in your dishwasher plays a crucial role in regulating the dispenser unit, much like the way the brain controls the human body.

If the board is damaged or fails, the soap dispenser will not receive the signal to open the door, and sometimes you may hear some beeps.

In such cases, the only way to restore the functionality of the dishwasher is by replacing the board.

Listen up: if you are not comfortable replacing the damaged main board yourself, do not even think about attempting the repair. Call a professional dishwasher repair service to handle the replacement for you.


Q: What are some common signs of a malfunctioning soap dispenser in a GE dishwasher?

Some common signs of a malfunctioning soap dispenser in a GE dishwasher include detergent remaining in the dispenser after a wash cycle, dishes not being cleaned properly, and the dispenser lid not closing or opening properly.

Q: Can using the wrong type of detergent cause the soap dispenser in my GE dishwasher to malfunction?

Yes, using the wrong type of detergent can cause the soap dispenser in your GE dishwasher to malfunction, especially if the detergent is too thick or if it contains additives that can clog the dispenser.

Q: How can I prevent the soap dispenser in my GE dishwasher from malfunctioning?

To prevent the soap dispenser in your GE dishwasher from malfunctioning, only use the recommended detergent, avoid overfilling the dispenser, and clean the dispenser regularly. You should also check the dispenser for any blockages or damage.

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