I have a Kenmore Elite dishwasher. The detergent fill dispenser no longer opens during the wash cycle, so dishes are not getting cleaned well. What should I do?
Hi! We're having the same problem with a not opening soap dispenser on a Kenmore Model 363.15289100. I replaced the timer, but it still doesn't open. What else could it be?
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dishwashers have a rinse aid
dispenser. If your dishwasher has this dispenser, fill it up
periodically and it will release the appropriate amount of rinse aid
automatically at the right time during the wash cycle. This will help
your dishes rinse more cleanly.
Rinse aid in solid form
Some older dishwashers or basic models do not have an
automatic rinse aid dispenser. In this case, you can buy rinse aid in
solid form that attaches to your dishwasher rack. Solid rinse aid can be
hard to find in stores because it is not commonly used, but it can be
Vinegar or lemon juice
Appliance repairmen will tell you that one of the common
problems they see with dishwashers is the buildup of excess detergent.
If there is too much detergent in your dishwasher, your dishes will not
rinse cleanly, no matter how good the dishwasher is or how much rinse
aid you use. To clean the excess detergent that has built up inside your
dishwasher, put 3 tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice (concentrate is
fine) in the empty dishwasher and run the dishwasher through a complete
cycle with no dishes. Do this twice, for two complete cycles of the
empty dishwasher with only vinegar or lemon juice added. The acid in the
vinegar or lemon juice will break up the detergent that has built up in
your dishwasher's interior.
After you have cleaned the detergent
buildup from the inside of your dishwasher, follow the steps below to
keep the buildup from happening again and to help your dishes rinse
cleanly and prevent residue from accumulating on the dishes.
Gel dishwasher detergent
Switch to a liquid or gel dishwasher detergent. Any brand will do.
Fill one compartment half full
Dishwashers will effectively clean dishes with much less
detergent than manufacturers often recommend. The bleach in the
detergent, combined with the extremely hot water used in the dishwasher
wash cycle, will clean and sanitize your dishes completely, even in
small amounts, and using less detergent helps prevent buildup and
residue from accumulating on your clean dishes.
Fill only one
detergent compartment(the one that snaps closed) half full with gel
detergent. Snap the opening closed and run your dishwasher as you
normally would. Your dishes will come out sparkling clean with no
buildup or residue, plus you'll save money by using less detergent!
Was the dispenser cup wet when you added detergent?
Make sure the dispenser cup is dry before adding powdered detergent. If dispenser cup is wet, the detergent can clump.
Is the cycle incomplete?
If the previous cycle did not complete, the detergent can become caked in the dispenser cup if it is left sitting in the dishwasher.
Is the detergent old?
Older detergent exposed to air will clump and not dissolve well, which will cause the dispenser door to stick to the detergent. Replace detergent if necessary and store the detergent in a tightly closed container in a cool dry place.
Is the water temperature too low?
For best washing and drying results, water should be 120oF (49o C) as it enters the dishwasher.
Were items blocking the dispenser that kept it from opening?
Items blocking the detergent dispenser will keep it from opening. Make sure water action can reach the dispenser.
Use automatic dishwashing detergent only.
Other detergents can produce excessive suds that can overflow out of the dishwasher and reduce washing performance.
Store tightly closed detergent in a cool, dry place.
Fresh automatic dishwasher detergent results in better cleaning.
Add detergents just before starting the cycle.
The amount of detergent to use depends on the hardness of your water and the type of detergent.
If you use too little, dishes won't be clean.
If you use too much in soft water, glassware will etch.
Suggested fill amounts are for standard powdered detergent. Amounts may vary if you use liquid or concentrated powdered detergent. Follow instructions on the package when using these detergents.
Water hardness can change over a period of time. Find out your water's hardness by asking your local water department, water softener company, or county extension agent.
Hi Dirty Dish gang. After having 2 appliance repairmen here, I now have the latest scoop on our dishwasher problems, $200 later! Los Angeles IS currently having hard water issues. Also, all the new cleaning gels etc. are actually a cause of our dishwasher problems. So, here is what we need to do: 1.Use Cascade POWDER detergent only. Make sure is is just "plain" no "scented" or "complete" or gel, etc. (I have tried a phosphate free powder and gel and this is a cause of our problem as well!)2.Use Jet Dry in the dispenser (set it to a 2-3 opening)3.Make sure water is at least 120 degrees4.Only run dishwasher on "normal" setting. All others just run it longer, hence causing more water stains.5.Do not pre-wash dishes! You can knock of chunks with a "non" soapy brush, but don't rinse (the oils actually help to clean the dishes)6. Do not wash sponges in dishwasher. Acid Wash:The repairman just gave my washer an Acid Wash today.It says it is an acid derived from lemon, I got mine from Carters appliance in Torrance, CA for about $19.I am to run a normal cycle with the above mentioned Cascade after this "acid cycle" is finished. If you are still having problems: Monthly maintenance:Glass Magic:Buy a box of Glass Magic (near the Cascade) Use 1 Tbsb in main detergent compartment of dishwasher along with the Cascade, till washer starts working again.White Vinegar:You can run an empty dishwasher with white vinegar once a month. Fill a bowl with 2 cups vinegar and place on bottom rack. Then run as a normal cycle...this allows vinegar to disperse slowly. So far it seems to be working. Good luck.
The dispenser is usually controlled by an actuator of some type. This can consist of a small electric wax motor, switch or mechanical assembly. Some dispensers come equipped with an actuator as one complete assembly, while others have separate components that can be purchased separately. I would need your complete model number (located somewhere along to door opening) to be sure what type you have. I can locate a part number for you and give you some guidance on how to make the repairs yourself, if you wish to pursue this on your own and avoid the cost of a repairman. Post back with comments and let me know. I hope this helps you.