Fixed: Bosch Dishwasher Soap Dispenser Not Opening

By Cory White
Fixed: Bosch Dishwasher Soap Dispenser Not Opening

The soap dispenser is a crucial component in your Bosh dishwasher. If it’s not opening all the way, it will get locked during the washing cycle, and your dishes will not get cleaned. 

So, in this guide, we aim to help you troubleshoot when a Bosch dishwasher soap dispenser is not opening. Along the way, we will also provide you with some solutions to the most common problems.

Top reasons for the soap dispenser to stop working

1. The bi-metal actuator/loop

There is a Bi-Metallic switch inside the control panel that helps control the opening and closing mechanism of the dispenser through an electrical signal. This bimetallic strip can get burned out while the dispenser is in its closed position. If that is the case, this strip will need replacing. 

Testing the bimetallic strip is not so straightforward. We recommend hiring a professional if you are not familiar with the control panel and electronics, in general.

2. Damaged detergent container

Sometimes, there might be physical damage or deformities on the detergent container, but often, you would have dried up soap stuck inside the moving parts obstructing the lid. These will block the dispenser lid and keep it from opening/closing. 

Cleaning out the soap is very easy. You would only have to remove the lid off with the help of a screwdriver and clean everything inside the container using a toothbrush or toothpick. However, if the damage is too extensive, this part will need replacing. 

3. Damaged dispenser cover

Speaking of the housing and its adjacent parts, the cover on the Bosch dishwasher soap dispenser can also be damaged. This part is more prone to physical damage and deformity mainly because it gets exposed to the outside. 

Cleaning the cover of dried-up soap will also help to some extent. It will clear any blockages and allow the lid to slide side to side without any issue. However, if there are some significant defects, the entire dispenser will need to be replaced. 

4. Damaged dispenser actuator

Another electrical component that could cause the dispenser to lock itself is the actuator. If this actuator is damaged or not receiving the proper signal, it will keep the lid closed, especially during the washing cycle. 

In terms of damage, you might face the usual actuator burning out scenario, or in some cases, there might be physical damage on the moving arm. In either situation, you will have to replace the entire actuator. 

5. Mainboard not providing voltage to the dispenser

The Main Control Board can also be an issue. Most of the time, if everything else is working fine, except the soap dispenser, then it is most probably the power line – running from the control board to the soap dispenser – that is faulty. 

Or it could also be a fault in the control board itself. Replacing the control board or the power cables can be easily carried out by yourself but make sure to switch off the power and use the proper tools. 

Parts to look out for

1. Dispenser door pin

You can easily take off the lid in the soap dispenser by using a flat-head screwdriver. But first, make sure that it is in a locked position. After that, gently pry it out and check to see if there is any damage on the pins,  

However, if you’ve got a vertical sliding dispenser instead, you will have to line up the lid with the four pins on the sides and snap out each pin, one at a time.

2. Dispenser door spring

So after you’ve taken out the lid and made sure that the pins are fine, the next part that you need to check for is the door spring. You can identify the door spring as one end connects to the lid/door and the other end to the tripping mechanism/latch. 

Ensure that there is no physical damage to the spring and it is free to move without any obstruction. 

3. Dispenser latch

Whenever the lid is fully closed, you can hear the familiar “click” sound made when the lid latches in. Whenever you do so, there is a small circular piece hanging out of the side. If you press on it, you can release the soap dispenser lid. It is the piece that controls the latch on the dispenser lid. 

So after you’ve taken out the lid, make sure that this latch piece is not damaged. Also, make sure that the dispenser door spring connects to this latch piece. 

4. Dispenser lid

Another thing you need to keep an eye out for is the dispenser lid itself. After you’ve made sure that there are no broken pins, it’s best to look at the dispenser lid and make sure that there is no physical damage to it. 

Scrape out any dried soap inside the lid, then check to see for any signs of damage. If there are any extensive damages or deformities, you will have to replace the dispenser lid. 

5. Dispenser Lever

The dispenser lever is the white plastic piece connected to the actuator and the latch. When the actuator pushes the shaft, the lever rotates the latch/tripping mechanism resulting in the Bosch dishwasher soap dispenser opening the lid. 

This lever can also get easily damaged. So whenever you are taking apart the Bosch soap dispenser, make sure to check the lever for physical damage, including the springs and their connections.

6. Dispenser slide

The final part you need to look out for is the dispenser slide. One of the more common reasons why the Bosch dishwasher soap dispenser is not opening is because of a faulty slide. 

Soap can get deposited in the slide, making it difficult for the lid to move back and forth. So whenever you take out the dispenser lid, clean it out and check if the slide is free of obstructions.


1. Replace the entire dispenser / Replace the detergent dispenser

If there are no problems with the lid, and even then, if the Bosch dishwasher soap dispenser is not opening on its own, you’ve got an issue with the latch and the actuator. 

In that case, you’ve got to replace the entire dispenser. With the help of a Torx screwdriver and a flat-head, you can easily take down the front panel and the soap dispenser unit. But unplug the dishwasher before you do so and follow the correct instructions.

2. Replace defective parts

Some parts can be bought separately, such as the dispenser lid along with the spring and the latch. However, if you want to replace the dispenser lid, you will have to take out the entire soap dispenser unit. 

Another defective part you can easily replace is the actuator. You can easily find these spares online and, with a couple of extra tools and some caution, you can replace these defective parts without purchasing a new dispenser unit. 

3. Mainboard replacement or software fix

If the Bosch dishwasher is showing an error code and wouldn’t function at all, then you’ve got to whip out the manual and look up the error code on how to fix it.

Otherwise, if the control board is not working at all, then it’s time for a replacement. Make sure you’ve unplugged the dishwasher or switched off the breaker before you start taking apart the front panel. Use the proper tools and follow the correct instructions.

4. Seeking professional help

Finally, if you’re unsure how this works or you are not skilled at DIY and don’t want to take unnecessary risks, then it’s time to hire a professional. They will figure out what’s wrong with the device and fix it for you.  

If necessary, they will also gather the spare parts and replace any component that needs replacing. It will save you a lot of time and frustration, depending on the severity of the issue.


Whenever you are faced with the problem of a Bosch dishwasher’s soap dispenser not opening correctly, there can be several defective parts that need replacing. If you are confident in your DIY skills, you can easily replace the entire dispenser or individual defective parts yourself. However, it never hurts to seek out professional help.


Soap Dispenser Actuator

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