How to Use Dishwasher With Broken Soap Dispenser


A soap dispenser is an important component of a dishwashing machine. The dispenser pumps out the soap when it is needed for washing. It comes with a water inlet, carries water through pipes for washing dishes, and an accessory compartment where you store your dishwasher detergent. There are two types of soap dispensers, manual or automatic. Automatic soap dispensers can be further divided into 2; non-metered and meter/countdown models. Today I will discuss how to use dishwasher with broken soap dispenser.

How to Use Dishwasher With Broken Soap Dispenser

How Would You Know if Your Soap Dispenser Has Broken?

This is a question that many people ask before installing new ones on their machines and those who already have them. A broken soap dispenser may still function at some level but not enough to clean smell,  grease, and such. To locate the problem in a broken soap dispenser, first, you must understand how they function. The good thing is that they need very little maintenance for smooth functioning and normally last longer before breaking down.

The typical dishwasher comes with a number of parts, including but not limited to:


designed to hold dirty dishes and cutlery until the washing cycle is activated by pressing the start button or similar control

Cutlery Basket :

holds spoons, forks and other utensils used for eating during meals while plates are strategically placed in dishracks to allow maximum space for water flow (and hence cleaning) when the inside machine

Soap Dispenser :

provides detergent (dishwashing liquid) for wash cycle activated by pressing start or similar control and used to measure the amount of detergent necessary for the cleaning process.

Heating Element:

warms up water in the machine before the start of the washing cycle, thus eliminating the need for cold water during pre-wash, which may otherwise damage dishes since they are usually still dirty. This heating element also ensures removing any remaining food particles on washed dishes when employing hot or warm water.

The dishwasher soap dispenser is located at the top part of the machine (usually near where the steam comes out) with a round shape like cap and reservoir tank inside it to hold dishwasher detergent. The soap dispenser breaks down when it no longer dispenses detergent, or the rubber seal which keeps in the liquid is broken.

Repair Dishwasher Soap Dispenser

Before you repair your dishwasher soap dispenser, first check if your machine still functions properly. This can be done by using a cycle with no utensils and see if water comes out at the expected place (top) of the dishwasher, whether hot or cold water is being used.

In addition to checking for water flow, also check whether the door opens at the start of the wash cycle on its own (usually held open by mechanical parts) before moving further. The simplest way to test this is to press start on the machine while holding the door switch closed until the wash cycle starts then release it – usually by pressing the button again.

Still, some machines may have a different method of activating door open switch.

Step-wise Guide on How to Use Dishwasher With Broken Soap Dispenser

The dishwasher is the most sophisticated household appliance that saves your energy and time. Of course, you would love to use it, but what if the soap dispenser is damaged? Would you be discouraged from using this machine again? No! Here are a few tips on how to use a dishwasher with a broken soap dispenser:

Solid Dishwashing Detergent

Solid Dishwashing Detergent:

The detergent used for washing dishes should remain in a solid form. It works well with any soap dispenser. All you have to do is remove the grime off cutlery and other kitchenware with water by running them through the power wash cycle. Then, drop them into the tub provided inside the dishwasher and close it tightly as before. Now press the Start button to begin cleaning.

Heat the Water in the Soap Dispenser:

The water temperature should be adjusted to the same as that of the soap solution. To do so, you need to run a few rinses without any detergent using hot or warm water. This will heat your broken soap dispenser and allow it to melt the solidified soap from inside.

Please keep in mind that you always choose the ‘rinse only’ cycle rather than ‘power wash’ if you are using cold water. This is because power wash with cold water can strain and damage your damaged dispenser further. Otherwise, make sure that you place some cloth over the dispenser before switching on the power washing option.

This could save it from being thrown out due to sudden jerks of the dishwasher. Once you are done with all the above steps, run a normal cycle using detergent and warm water to complete the process.


Check out if there is any dirt left on dishes after removing them from the dishwasher. If you find some, then simply rewash them in hot soapy water before putting them to dry. Wash your soap dispenser too. It should be cleaned regularly as well to perform better next time!

Use Soap Dispenser With Dishwasher:

Not only can this guide help you use dishwasher with broken soap dispenser, but it can also give you tips on how to use another type of soap dispensers such as solid or liquid ones. For example, you just need to add soap powder with little water and stir thoroughly for solid soap dispensers.

This will make it easier for the dispenser to distribute the powder during the washing cycle. For liquid soap, fill the bottle with water before closing tightly and then place it in the lower rack of the dishwasher instead of glassware like earlier.

How to Fix a Dishwasher With Broken Soap Dispenser?

If the soap dispenser is not working, it may be caused by few reasons:  It may be because the hose or pipe connecting with the dishwasher is broken; water supply line to dishwasher may be blocked; electricity supply to dishwasher stopped due to power failure, or in extreme cases, you may require a new wheel for your dishwasher.

Whatever the reason might be, repairing it yourself can cost you less than $70 for better services. But before fixing this problem, make sure if there is no other serious issue. If your soap dispenser isn’t working even after checking all that we have mentioned above, you will need to replace the broken part of the machine, which requires repairing and plumbing from an experienced technician. However, below are the steps you can follow to repair your soap dispenser.

Now that you have known why your soap dispenser isn’t working let’s look at how you can fix it.

  • First of all, unplug the machine from the socket and carefully find out whether there is any leak or blockage in the drain line. If there is any broken part inside the dishwasher, check out if it was completely disconnected or just loose enough not to cause any issue while washing dishes. You will need to replace the broken parts with new ones, so better before starting, make sure about the parts required for this work.
  • If no damage has been found in the drain line after checking it properly, and none of the above-mentioned reasons was the culprit, you will still need to find a solution to this problem. First, turn off your water supply and remove hoses from machines connected with hot and cold water pipes outside the dishwasher. Next, remove all the screws holding the bottom panel and take them apart.
  • These are the parts that you may require to fix the soap dispenser:  a.) Dishwasher soap dispenser hose b.) Water inlet valve c.) Water pump d.) Clamp 4. After taking out the broken parts of the machine, put new ones in their place, starting with the handle nut. The water inlet valve, clamp (which is tightened by hand), and finally fix the water pump on its place using a screwdriver or wrench, whichever you are comfortable with while performing these repairs. Also, while installing a new part, make sure to dry up all connections made after removing the broken one so that you get rid of any leakage or blockage in the future.
  • Once you have put everything back together, reconnect hoses with pipes outside and turn on the water supply. Once water flows through the machine, you will hear a noise inside the dishwasher indicating that it is working properly.

Safety Tips While Learning How to Use Dishwasher With Broken Soap Dispenser

  • Read all the Dishwasher installation and operating instructions before installing or servicing this dishwasher. All references made to a “dishwasher” should be considered to include both built-in and portable dishwashers for these safety tips.
Unpluging Dishwasher
  • Always unplug the dishwasher from the electrical outlet when cleaning, draining, or replacing parts. Turn off the circuit breaker if necessary. When performing any service on the dishwasher, unplug it immediately!  DO NOT operate the dishwasher after it has been: Repaired; Installed in a new location; Damaged by a power outage; Removed from its installed position; or Submerged in water for cleaning or repairs.
  • Never attempt to operate the dishwasher without all of its components installed in their proper positions. In particular, the soap dispenser is extremely sensitive to proper installation and removal.
  • Use only a ul listed mounting bracket or locking device for securing this dishwasher to a wall or cabinet to prevent tipping. Installation of the dishwasher on an unsecured surface may result in personal injury.
  • Do not store or leave anything on top of this dishwasher while running because it can be damaged by water leaks that occur during normal operation. In addition, personal injury can result from water and items falling on the floor.


Without a working dispenser, cleaning dishes manually can be quite challenging. You may need some time getting used to these tips on how to use dishwasher with broken soap dispenser while using another type of dispenser too. But trust me, it is totally worth all your efforts! Wishing you a happy dishwashing experience!

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