Bosch Dishwasher Soap Dispenser Not Opening (3 Easy Ways to Fix!)

Bosch Dishwasher Soap Dispenser Not Opening

You’ve loaded your trusted detergent into the washer, but for some reason, your dishes are still coming out half-dirty. When you check your dishwasher, you find the problem — the dispenser door’s stuck shut!

A Bosch dishwasher soap dispenser that won’t open isn’t something you can just grease your way into solving, and the longer you leave it unresolved, the bigger of a hassle it’ll be.

With this guide, though, we’ve got you covered. From the easiest fix you can try, to tips on how to avoid this issue in the future — we’ve detailed them for you!

Why Your Bosch Dishwasher Soap Dispenser Isn’t Opening

Why Your Bosch Dishwasher Soap Dispenser Isn’t Opening

If your Bosch dishwasher soap dispenser is not opening, it’s likely because of a broken mechanical part, such as its spring or latch.

Before troubleshooting, make sure that the dispenser door isn’t externally blocked by debris or other buildup. If there are any, clean them out first.

Some models may send you an error code E19 to notify you if the dispenser is experiencing an issue. Even without the code, however, you’ll know there’s trouble with this part if your dishes come out of the cycle still half dirty!

In the best-case scenario, this issue can be caused by filth or debris barring the dispenser door from opening on time. Soap residue, for example, is likely to dry and build up in the container after every cycle.

In this case, scrubbing the area with a soft-bristled brush and mild soap would be enough to get the door opening again.

But if the grime is particularly thick or stubborn, you might have to pull the entire dispenser assembly out to clean it. Doing this requires you to remove the appliance’s door panel.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

  • Step 1: Unplug your dishwasher or shut off its power at the circuit breaker.
  • Step 2: Open the dishwasher door. Then, remove the screws securing the outer door panel in place.

There are three screws on each side of the door, making a total of six.

  • Step 3: Close the door. Then, pull the outer door panel down to remove it.
  • Step 4: Once removed, you’ll have to unplug all visible wire harnesses on the panel.

These wire harnesses are for the dispenser wax motor and the rinse aid sensor, both of which are parts of the dispenser assembly.

  • Step 5: Once you’ve disconnected the wire harnesses, use a flathead screwdriver to depress the dispenser locking tabs located on the corners of the dispenser assembly.

As you’re doing it, make sure you’re supporting the dispenser body from the inner door panel and releasing it as the locking tabs are unlocked.

Once you’ve pulled the dispenser assembly out, you can now clean it more thoroughly.

Moreover, when loading the dispenser with detergent at the beginning of a cycle, you should ensure the soap is inserted correctly. 

Bosch dishwashers can hold up to 40 ml of detergent in the dispenser, so we recommend using any amount between 15 ml to 40 ml during a regular cycle.

But in the scenario that these immediate fixes don’t work, then the issue might be caused by a mechanical malfunction in the soap dispenser assembly. One part that’s prone to experiencing faults is the spring.

In that case, we’ve prepared a step-by-step for you to follow below! You can also find other common root issues you can look into, in case the first two or three ones didn’t quite hit the spot!

Quick Tip:
• If you live in a neighborhood with hard water, you might often experience calcium buildup in your appliances. Your dishwasher isn’t an exemption, so double-check the dispenser cover for any mineral buildup around it!
• To get rid of this buildup, you can soak the dispenser body in vinegar solution for 10 to 30 minutes, depending on how severe the buildup is.
• After soaking it, rinse it with water with no soap until the vinegar solution is completely washed off of the component. Then, rinse it again with warm water with mild soap this time.
• Once the mineral buildup is all gone, go ahead and check if the dispenser door can open freely!

Common Causes of a Bosch Dishwasher Soap Dispenser Not Opening and How to Fix It

Common Causes of a Bosch Dishwasher Soap Dispenser Not Opening and How to Fix It

A malfunctioning Bosch dishwasher soap dispenser has pretty straightforward solutions. In common cases, all you have to do is replace a part of the dispenser assembly — no need to call a technician on it!

Unless the issue turns out to be more complicated than usual, most of these fixes won’t even take 20 minutes, and all you’ll need is a screwdriver.

Let’s hop to it!

Parts of the dispenser door assembly are damaged.• Unplug your Bosch dishwasher. Inspect the dispenser assembly inside, starting with the dispenser container and the lid.

• Ensure that there is no residue or other gunk buildup around the area. Ensure also that there is no damage to the container.

• If the container is damaged, the entire dispenser assembly will have to be replaced.

• Aside from the container, other parts of the assembly can be replaced individually, particularly the lid, and the spring and lever (latch kit).
The bi-metallic actuator or fuse has burned out.• The solution will depend on whether your Bosch dishwasher unit uses a wax motor actuator for the dispenser or a bi-metallic actuator/loop.

• If your unit uses a bi-metallic actuator/loop/fuse, you’ll have to take it to a service center for replacement.

• If your unit uses a wax motor actuator, you can purchase an actuator replacement and install it yourself.

• You can check this by unplugging the dishwasher or cutting the power at its circuit breaker. Afterward, remove the outer door panel.

• When the dispenser assembly is in view, locate a brown rectangular piece connected via an electrical plug. You can find this below where the dispenser lever typically juts out.

• To replace the actuator, unplug its electrical wire harness and depress the locking tabs beside it using a flathead screwdriver.

• Then, carefully pull out the component and install the replacement the same way.
The main control board is faulty.• Replacing the control board will need a professional’s assistance. 

• Before you consider the main control, first rule out other issues by double-checking that none of the other methods above have worked.

• Replacing the control board should be your last resort.

Parts of the dispenser door assembly are damaged.

After you’ve given your Bosch dishwasher’s soap dispenser assembly a good scrubbing down, the first place to inspect for damages is the dispenser body itself. 

As we’ve mentioned above, this issue isn’t often a technical one. In most cases, the soap dispenser isn’t opening simply because there is damage to some of the parts of the container, like its spring or its cover.

Aside from debris, residue, or mineral buildup, this part of your Bosch dishwasher can fail when it wears down over time or because of manufacturing defects for newly bought units.

The dispenser assembly has six components you should look out for, namely:

  1. The Container: the part of the dispenser that holds the soap.
  2. The Lid: the ‘door’ of the dispenser, secured by pins.
  3. The Pins: the parts that fit the lid into place. This is more notably present in vertically sliding dispenser doors.

The dispenser lid has four door pins in total, located in each corner of the lid.

  1. The Spring: the part responsible for pushing the dispenser door open.
  2. The Lever: this part rotates the latch that opens the dispenser door. 

The lever communicates directly with the actuator — the component that receives the electronic signal from the control board to open the dispenser door — and acts on its signal.

  1. The Slide: as its name suggests, the dispenser slide allows the door to smoothly open and close in place.

Some of these parts can be replaced individually, while some of them — such as the pins and the lids — make up a larger part of the assembly together.

Overall, however, when one of them gets damaged, the entire dispenser door assembly will get compromised.

An ill-fitted lid due to broken pins will have the same effect on your Bosch dishwasher as a stuck spring — in both cases, the dispenser door wouldn’t open properly.

Solution: Replacing the parts of your Bosch dishwasher’s soap dispenser door assembly is pretty simple — you wouldn’t even need to remove the dispenser body at all!

As we’ve mentioned, you can purchase a replacement for some of these parts individually, specifically the lid, while the spring and lever are typically bundled together as a dispenser latch kit.

If the damaged part of your Bosch dishwasher soap dispenser door isn’t any of the three — except for the pins, which you can replace along with the lid — then your next best option is to replace the entire dispenser door assembly altogether.

To replace the parts mentioned above, here’s a quick rundown for each:

Dispenser Lid

Replacing the dispenser lid is one of the easiest things you can do in the world. All you need to do is slide the old lid off its housing, then pop the new one in — it wouldn’t even take you more than 10 minutes!

You don’t need to unplug your appliance or cut off its water source for this one, though, for your safety, we recommend that you turn the appliance off.

Afterward, you can follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Turn off your Bosch dishwasher.
  • Step 2: Open the dishwasher door. Then, press the release button on the soap dispenser door to slide it open.

If the dispenser lid is already falling off, simply slide it off its housing.

  • Step 3: To completely remove the dispenser lid, press down on the pins on the corner of the lid and carefully pry the lid off until the spring underneath it disconnects.

Remove the spring and set it aside. Then, slide the lid off of its housing.

  • Step 4: Put the new dispenser lid on by lining up the first two pins into the slots on the sides of the dispenser container and sliding the lid back.
  • Step 5: Once the lid is in place, reattach the spring. Remember to attach the straighter side of the spring to the blue lever below.

Then, place the wavier side downwards pointing to the edge of the dispenser container. It should align with the peg on the underside of the lid when you lower the lid to close it.

  • Step 6: Once you’ve attached the spring to the peg on the lid, line up the last two pins into the slot and slide the lid securely into place.

Dispenser Spring and Lever

If you’ve already removed your Bosch dishwasher’s soap dispenser lid before, you might have already noticed that the spring and the lever are attached together.

Together, they form the latch of the dispenser door, hence they’re typically packaged with one another.

While you’ll have to purchase these parts together, it is possible to replace one without having to replace the other. The steps for them are similar, too!

Though they’re a bit more technical than replacing the dispenser lid. You’ll have to get your screwdriver for this one, afterwards, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Unplug your Bosch dishwasher or shut its power at the circuit breaker.
  • Step 2: Open the dishwasher door and remove the screws on each side securing the outer door panel in place.
  • Step 3: Once the screws are removed, close the door again and carefully pull down to release the outer door panel.

Set the outer door panel outside.

  • Step 4: Locate the dispenser lever on the outer door panel. It might be easy to miss — it’s a small blue piece inserted through a white arm.

We recommend taping the arm in place so it doesn’t fall off when you close the door again during replacement.

Then, with a flathead screwdriver, push the blue lever piece down carefully to free it from the prongs surrounding it. Don’t remove it just yet.

  • Step 5: After loosening the blue lever from the prongs, open the dishwasher door again and access the soap dispenser insider.
  • Step 6: Remove the dispenser lid until the spring detaches, then set both the lid and the spring aside.
  • Step 7: To remove the lever — or the cup latch — you’ll need to pry it off with a flathead screwdriver. For this, we recommend taping the area around the lever to avoid scratching the dispenser.

Then, release the lever from its housing and remove the orange seal underneath it.

We also recommend cleaning the area out in case there is soap residue around.

The seal, the lever, and the spring make up the cup latch kit. You can replace them separately.

  • Step 8: While reinserting these pieces, make sure to remove the tapes you used earlier. Start with reinserting the seal, then the lever.

Once the lever is in place, check its position on the outer door panel and keep pushing the lever down until its rear is secured between the prongs.

Carefully remove the tape from the white arm.

  • Step 9: After the lever, line two of the dispenser door pins into the slots and slide the dispenser lid into position.

Reposition the spring with the straight side hooked onto the lever, and the zigzagging side on the peg on the underside of the dispenser lid.

Then, align the last two pins of the lid into their slots and secure the dispenser lid back in place.

Remember that once you’ve reattached all parts of the dispenser door assembly, the lid should slide freely in place and only lock when you push it all the way over.

Moreover, pushing the lid’s release button should easily open it.

The bi-metal actuator or fuse has burned out.

Have you ever wondered how your Bosch dishwasher could automatically open and close the dispenser door when it’s time to release soap?

Well, the answer to that is its bi-metal actuator!

The bi-metal actuator works as a latch on the dispenser door that opens and closes upon a signal from the control board.

Some models have this component as a part of the wax motor actuator found behind the dispenser assembly, in which case it’s easier to troubleshoot, as all you’ll need to do is replace the part in question.

Meanwhile, if your Bosch dishwasher uses a bi-metallic fuse instead, your best option is to take the appliance to a service center for repair or replacement. 

These components aren’t as straightforward to troubleshoot as wax motor actuators — in the worst-case scenario, you might have to cut out its wires, hence we recommend calling a technician to look into it, especially if your unit is still under warranty.

However, regardless of which of these components your dishwasher is using for the dispenser assembly, they can both burn out for the same reasons.

Bi-metallic actuators are designed to bend and deform away from the dispenser’s latch as electricity is applied to it. When your dishwasher experiences power surges often, this could burn out the actuator faster.

Solution: As we’ve mentioned above, replacing the wax motor actuator is easy. You can’t miss it, either; if you’ve already tried to troubleshoot the dispenser lever, you would have already seen this part in the assembly!

It’s the brown rectangular piece below the arm to which the dispenser lever is attached to. 

If this component isn’t present in your Bosch dishwasher, chances are your unit is using a bi-metallic switch or fuse instead, in which case you’ll need a technician to look over it.

To replace your dispenser’s wax motor actuator, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Unplug your Bosch dishwasher or cut its power at the circuit breaker.
  • Step 2: Open the appliance door to remove the screws securing its outer door panel. There are three screws on each side that you’ll have to unscrew.
  • Step 3: With the screws removed, close the door securely and then carefully pull the outer door panel down to remove it.

The wax motor actuator is immediately visible once the outer door panel is out of the way.

  • Step 4: The wax motor actuator is connected to the dishwasher body via an electrical wire harness. Unplug it from the component, and then depress the locking tab on its side using a flathead screwdriver.

Afterward, pull out the old wax motor actuator. Then, replace it with a new one.

See? Easy as pie!

Quick Tip:
• Bi-metallic actuators can easily be deformed if your Bosch dishwasher isn’t getting enough water supply. 
• The appliance may sometimes send you an error code if this happens, but it’s always a good idea to pay attention to the water level inside the tub.
• If you notice your dishwasher not filling with water (bosch dishwasher not filling with water), immediately check if the water supply is connected properly or if the filter area is blocked.

The main control board is faulty.

A malfunctioning Bosch dishwasher dispenser door can sometimes be a voltage issue. There’s a power line connecting the dispenser assembly to the main control board, which can break down due to power surges.

In mild cases, all it takes to resolve this issue is to restart the unit. But if restarting doesn’t work, this might mean that the power line has burned out, though this issue typically comes with a tell-tale burning scent coming from the dishwasher interior.

In the worst of cases, a dishwasher dispenser door that won’t open means that the main board has failed. 

The control board is designed to be the most durable component of the appliance and thus rarely breaks down, but when this part fails, there is no repairing it — you can only replace it.

Solution: Replacing the dishwasher’s main control board should always be your last resort. As its name suggests, the main control board controls the entire appliance, hence replacing this part will reset all the other functions of the unit.

We recommend only applying this solution after double-checking that none of the other methods we’ve provided solved the issue.

When you’ve concluded that the root problem lies in the unit’s control board itself, take it to a service center.

Trouble with your Bosch dishwasher’s dispenser door is perhaps the least troublesome issue to deal with. It’s clear-cut and wouldn’t even require you to pull the appliance out of its cabinet!

With this article, we hope you’ve come to know more about how your dishwasher functions. The next time you load some soap in the dispenser or finish a washing cycle, don’t forget to double-check for some residue or ill-fitting placements.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *