A Bosch dishwasher soap dispenser not opening during washing cycles results in significant issues. The plates remain dirty and oily after several minutes of washing. It is not a pretty sight. Hence, it is best to solve the problem as soon as possible.
However, solving the issue requires that you know and understand the reason for this malfunction. So, what causes your Bosch dishwasher soap dispenser to stop opening?
Soap residue forming hard scum, mechanical damage, and burnt actuator are reasons for this issue. However, there is good news. The fixes to these problems are easy for anyone without much expertise. You only need to replace the damaged unit, and the machine is good as new.
Here, we’ll take a detailed look at the reasons for this problem. Each possible reason also comes with the appropriate solution. This comprehensive article explains all you need to know.
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Reasons for Bosch Dishwasher Soap Dispenser Not Opening and Fixes to it
The reasons for soap dispenser malfunction are in 3 different categories. Some fixes do not require buying any unit, and you can quickly resolve the problem with little expertise. Other fixes require purchasing components, while some rare cases require expert services.
Here is a detailed list of the reasons for this problem.
Accumulation of Dirt and Soap Scum
One common reason the Bosch dishwasher soap dispenser is not opening is the accumulation of dirt along the pin lines, which restricts movement. Continual use over time can lead to this problem. Sometimes, the cause of the problem is not dirt but soap scum blocking the moving pins and latch. Soap scum is a white residue of soap that forms a solid shape when it dries.
When inserting the soap, soap scum forms around and within the soap dispenser if the compartment is wet. If the latter is the reason for the lid opening issue, inserting the soap in dry conditions will help prevent this problem.
Diagnosis and Possible Solution
The diagnostic steps for a dirty Bosch dishwasher soap dispenser are straightforward. The goal is to check and clean the movement lines and the dispenser mechanism. Cleaning the dispenser is often the solution to this problem. For this fix, you only need a flathead screwdriver and a toothpick for the entire process.
Here are the steps involved:
- Disconnect the Bosch dishwasher from the wall power source or at the circuit breaker to avoid shock.
- Open the dishwasher door to show the soap dispenser attached to the door.
- Next, open the dishwasher soap dispenser manually if it is possible.
- If the dishwasher model has a “sideways” dispenser, use a flathead screwdriver to push up the upper side of the dispenser lid and remove it from the lower side.
- If the dishwasher model has the “vertical” dispenser, use a flathead screwdriver to remove the lid one pin at a time.
- Alternatively, pull the soap dispenser on one side to remove the lid at the pin side. Remove all four corners and remove the cover.
- Remove the spring that connects the lid to the rest of the soap dispenser. Please remove it from the cover too, and keep it safe.
- Using the toothpick, remove any dirt or soap residue along the lines of pins blocking the movement.
- Check and remove any dirt blocking the opening mechanism at the center of the soap dispenser. Also, check the lid for any soap residue along the sidelines.
- After cleaning the lid, reconnect the spring with the extended hand connecting to the rest of the dispenser and the shorthand linking to the cover.
- Gently push the lid back and ensure it’s firmly connected.
- Close and open to ensure it’s working smoothly.
Damage to the Outer Component of the Soap Dispenser
The soap dispenser has several moving parts that ensure proper functioning during the different cycles. Damage to these moving parts can also prevent the lid from opening. Various units of the dispenser can suffer damage. A problem with these parts will cause the soap dispenser to stop opening.
Some of these parts are easily accessible because they are part of the outer component of the soap dispenser. They include the following:
1. Soap Dispenser Lid
The lid is the outermost part of the compartment, with a high chance of suffering damage through accidents. Damage to the top can affect the shape of pins, which helps its movement. A simple inspection is enough to help clarify the issue. Remove the lid and check for damages.
2. Dispenser Connecting Spring
The connecting spring is another delicate unit in the Bosch dishwasher soap dispenser that can suffer damage. The spring is usually firm and not prone to injury. However, excessive force to close or open the lid can damage it.
3. Soap Dispenser Body
The rest of the soap dispenser can also suffer damage. Most times, the focus is on the moving parts, including the lid and the spring. However, damage to the walls of the soap dispenser will also restrict the movement of the cover.
Possible Solution or Fix
All these parts, except the spring, are plastic materials. Hence, trying to repair these parts is not practical. The only solution is to replace the parts. Some features are available separately, while others require buying the entire soap dispenser. Make sure to check the Bosch dishwasher model number before purchasing any spare parts.
- The dispenser lid is available separately, and you can easily replace it.
- Depending on the model, there are two types of springs, and both are available separately.
- Damage to the body requires purchasing the entire soap dispenser and replacing the old one.
Here is a video showing how to replace a Bosch dishwasher soap dispenser
This video also shows you how to access the soap dishwasher’s inner compartments. That brings us to the next possible reason for this issue.
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Damage to the Inner Compartment
The rest of the moving parts that contribute to the opening mechanism make up the inner compartment. Damage to these parts can also cause the Bosch dishwasher soap dispenser not to open. These parts include the following:
- Dispenser Latch
A separate latch is available in models with a sideways dispenser. Though the latch is visible from the outside, the rest of it is inside the dishwasher. It is only accessible from the inner part of the soap dispenser. Diagnosis will require that you remove the dishwasher front panel.
- Magnetic Motor
A magnetic motor is part of the working mechanism of the soap dispenser. It uses an electrical supply from the control board and converts the electricity to magnetism that pulls the lever and the latch. This step opens the soap dispenser during the washing cycle.
- Bi-Metal Actuator
The bi-metal actuator or cable connects the magnetic motor to the control board. It delivers electrical charges that activate the magnetic unit of the soap dispenser. If the bimetallic strip becomes faulty, it can also affect the electricity supply.
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Possible Solutions and Fix
The viable solution here is to replace the compartment. Repairing is a waste of time and is not worth the stress. However, there are different requirements for replacing the various inner component of the soap dispenser.
- You can purchase the latch using the model ID and replace it using the video above as a guide.
- The Magnetic motor is not often available separately; hence, replacement would involve buying the whole soap dispenser.
- Replacing the bimetallic actuator requires some level of expertise. For this step, you need a plier, a screwdriver of appropriate size, and a new bimetallic strip.
Here are the steps involved.
- Access the inner compartment using the video above as a guide. Detach the bimetallic actuator connected to the dispenser.
- Cut the cable using the plier or any other tool.
- Expose a small part of the wire using the wire to remove the coating
- Insert it into the new bimetallic actuator and screw it firmly.
- Connect the new bimetallic actuator firmly.
- Cover the front cover and test the soap dispenser.
Here are a table showing the different parts and replacement option
|S/N||Damaged part||Possible Replacement Plan|
|1||Soap Dispenser Lid||Buy unit separately|
|2||Dispenser Connecting Spring||Buy unit separately|
|3||Soap Dispenser Body||Buy whole soap dispenser|
|4||Dispenser Latch||Buy unit separately|
|5||Magnetic Motor||Buy whole soap dispenser|
|6||Bi-Metallic Actuator||Buy unit separately|
Bosch Support and Warranty
If the above fixes did not work for you, please contact Bosch customer care.
Text “SUPPORT” to 21432 for quick access to online resources such as owner manuals, servicer finder, FAQs, how-to videos, warranties, and parts & accessories search.
Bosch offers 1-year limited warranty on its range of dishwashers.
To register your new product with Bosch, please check out this link.
Can an Error With the Central Control Board Cause the Soap Dispenser not to Open?
The control board controls the automatic actions within the dishwasher. Hence, errors with the board can also affect the soap dispenser. In cases where there is no visible damage to any part of the soap dispenser, the final checkpoint is the control board.
This dishwasher unit is responsible for sending electrical charges to the dispenser. However, if the control board is faulty, there is no electrical charge to open the dispenser.
The good news about the control board is that there are error codes. Bosch Dishwasher error codes help the user identify the type of error and affected areas. Sometimes, clearing these errors will restore normal function to all parts of the dishwasher, including the soap dispenser.
Error codes are the most straightforward indicator that you need to check parts of the control board unit. However, suppose there are no error codes, and there is a certainty that the error is not with the soap dispenser. In that case, it is an excellent time to call in an expert to check the control unit. The solution to this issue depends on the findings from the expert’s diagnostics.
A washing cycle that ends with clean and shining dishes is only possible when all the compartments work. These compartments include the soap dispenser. The Bosch dishwasher soap dispenser sometimes does not open during the washing cycle.
However, there are possible fixes to the problem. In summary, they are;
- Cleaning the soap dispenser and removing any soap scum along the pin lines.
- Replacing any damaged unit or the entire compartment
- Checking and repairing the central control board.
Applying the appropriate solution helps to solve the problem. A working Bosch dishwasher is a sigh of relief. Power up the dishwasher, place the dishes and the soap into the proper compartment and start a washing cycle. It’s a clean experience from here on.