If the soap dispenser on a Frigidaire dishwasher is not working, it will be pretty evident because the detergent dispenser lid will still be closed after the cycle is over and the dishes will not be fully clean. Sometimes the reason the soap dispenser did not open is simple and sometimes it might take a little more work to solve the problem.
One of the most common reasons the detergent dispenser may not open is that it is blocked, usually because of items in the racks that block the lid. Check the bottom rack for large or oversized items that may prevent the dispenser from opening or pieces hanging down from the top rack that create an impediment. It is best to load the bottom rack with large pieces along the sides and rear, not the front, and always check the top rack for pieces that might slip, fall or hang down.
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The dishwasher dispenser is programmed to open at a specific point during the cycle, so if the cycle is stopped before that point is reached, the dispenser will remain closed. If it is necessary to interrupt the cycle, press "Start/Cancel" once and open the dishwasher door. Then close the door and press "Start" once again so that the cycle may resume. If "Start/Cancel" is pressed twice before opening the door, the cycle will cancel and will not complete. Start a new wash cycle so that the dispenser can open as programmed and dishes can get clean.
Sometimes detergent can clump if it is old or has been stored in a warm or damp place. This can cause the detergent to stick in the cup, preventing the lid from opening. In addition, liquid dishwashing detergent can form a residue if spilled on or near the dispenser, and this sticky material may prohibit the lid from opening fully. Always wipe up any detergent spills promptly and use fresh detergent that is stored in a cool, dry spot.
The detergent lid is controlled with a switch that may get caught and stick in place. Owners can try to free the switch by cleaning it with a damp cloth and wiggling the switch back and forth. If this method is successful, dry the switch and the interior of the detergent dispenser with a dry cloth and proceed normally. If you cannot free the switch cannot or it does not move, contact Frigidaire for assistance because the timer that controls the dispenser may also be broken.
Meredith Jameson writes early childhood parenting and family health articles for various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from San Francisco State University.