Bosch Dishwasher Detergent Dispenser Not Opening? (here’s why & what to do)

If the detergent dispenser isn’t opening on your Bosch dishwasher, your dishes won’t get clean. This can often be caused by something easily fixable, but in some cases you will need technical help.

If your Bosch dishwasher is failing to open the detergent dispenser, keep reading. In this article we take a close look at the detergent dispenser and explain all of the reasons why it might be malfunctioning as well as offering solutions to these issues.

Why Is The Detergent Dispenser On My Bosch Dishwasher Not Opening?

There are several reasons why the detergent dispenser might fail to open which include;

Probable CauseSolution
Blocked DispenserCheck for blockages and clear
Dispenser Door DamagedInspect for damage and replace if necessary
Faulty Hinge Pin & Door SpringInspect and replace if necessary
Faulty TimerInspect and replace the timer if necessary
Damaged Dispenser ActuatorInspect and replace if necessary
Burnt Out Bi-Metallic SwitchTest for continuity and replace if necessary
Defective Control PanelInspect and replace if necessary

Let’s take a closer look at each of these issues;

Blocked Dispenser


This is the most common reason why the detergent dispenser won’t open and is often caused by an ill placed dish or utensil physically blocking the dispenser preventing it from opening.

This is easy to resolve, all you need to do is place the dishes in the correct way and ensure that nothing is blocking the dispenser. 

However, in some cases, an accumulation of detergent can clog the dispenser and prevent it from opening properly (or at all). You might need to remove the lid of the dispenser using a screwdriver and then clean the interior using a toothpick or toothbrush.

Dispenser Door Damaged

The door of the detergent dispenser or cover as it is also known, can also become clogged with detergent residue and should be cleaned out properly. However, sometimes the door itself could have become damaged.

If it is damaged, the best solution is to replace the whole dispenser. This is a job best left to a technician unless you know what you’re doing and have confidence in your DIY skills.

Faulty Hinge Pin & Door Spring

Whilst inspecting the dispenser door or cover, you should get the door spring and door hinge pin checked as either of these could become defective over time.

This is another job best left to a technician.

Faulty Timer

The dishwasher’s timer primarily controls the washing, rinsing and drying functions. But it also signals and works as the actuator for the dispenser door.

It activates a lever that opens the detergent dispenser. If the timer is faulty, it might not send the correct signal and the dispenser door may remain closed.

Damaged Dispenser Actuator

The dispenser actuator can become damaged or burnt out resulting in the dispenser not working at all.

This is another part best checked by a technician.

Burnt Out Bi-Metallic Switch

The dispenser door on your Bosch dishwasher is controlled by the control panel. It sends a signal to the bi-mettalic switch which bends once electrical current is passed through it.

This triggers the door to open and release the detergent into the tub. If the bi-mettalic strip has burnt out it won’t operate the door of the dispenser.

This is another component best left to a technician to check and replace for you.

Defective Control Panel

person pressing a button on dishwasher control panel

The control panel controls every function on your Bosch dishwasher. If it becomes defective in any way, the dishwasher will fail to operate as it should.

This could lead to the dispenser door not opening and your dishes not getting cleaned. The problem could be the control panel or one of the wires or connectors leading to and from the control panel.

We recommend getting a technician to inspect and replace/repair any faults found connected to the control panel.

SEE ALSO: Bosch Dishwasher Troubleshooting Manual (the ultimate guide)

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my Bosch dishwasher soap dispenser not opening?

If the soap dispenser doesn’t open on your Bosch dishwasher it could be because; the dispenser is clogged with unused detergent residue, the dispenser door is damaged or blocked by an incorrectly placed item in the dishwasher, the door pin or hinge is faulty, the dishwasher’s timer is faulty, the dispenser actuator is damaged, the bi-mettalic switch is burnt out or the control panel is faulty.

Can I just throw dishwasher tablets in the bottom?

It is not advisable to just throw dishwasher tablets into the tub of the appliance. The dispenser door opens at the correct time in the wash cycle to ensure the detergent washes all of the dishes properly. Placing the tablet in the bottom of the tub allows much of it to be washed away before the set time.

Can you put a dishwasher tablet in the cutlery basket?

You should only put dishwasher tablets in the detergent dispenser to ensure they are released at the correct time. Placing the tablet in the cutlery basket will allow the detergent to get washed away during the prewash cycle.

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