Dishwasher Tablet Not Dissolving? Here’s What It Means

You might be able to fix the problem yourself!

I love my dishwasher so much. Yes, cleaning and taking care of daily chores can be a pain. But the dishwasher gives us back some time and energy to spend on other things! Especially when you know how to load a dishwasher the right way, everything comes out sparkling clean and ready to put away.

But what happens you find a dishwasher tablet not dissolving? Here are a few explanations to consider.

Why Is My Dishwasher Tablet Not Dissolving?

Like humans, dishwashers use hot water, soap and jets to scrub away all that food residue. But what does it mean when your dishwasher tablet hasn’t dissolved completely after a wash cycle?

Inlet Valve Malfunction

The inlet valve is what allows water into your dishwasher. If your current inlet valve is failing, water won’t flow through the jets and won’t be able to dissolve the tablet. To troubleshoot, start a cycle, then open the door after about two minutes and check if there’s water on the bottom of the dishwasher. If not, the valve may need to be replaced.

Your Water Isn’t Hot Enough

Not heating properly is one of the dishwasher problems you’ll regret ignoring. The normal water temperature for most dishwashers is 120-160°F. If the water isn’t heating up to the right temperature, the grime on your dishes won’t be cleaned, and the tablet won’t dissolve. For dishwashers that don’t have a built-in thermometer, collect some of the water from the washer and test the temp yourself.

The Dispenser Door Is Blocked

If the dispenser door (which the tablet sits in) is blocked, the tablet won’t be released. If water can’t reach the tablet, it won’t dissolve. The most likely culprit in this situation is how each shelf is stacked within your dishwasher. Make sure not to stuff it too full! Place long or tall items away from the dispenser door to avoid a possible blockage.

Another reason to load the dishwasher carefully? Overloading can shorten the life of your dishwasher.

The Spray Arm Is Clogged or Broken

If the small holes in your spray arm are clogged full of dirt, grime and other debris, the water will be unable to circulate and won’t properly reach your tablet or your dishes. Make sure to clean the spray arms properly to keep the jet holes open and ready for the next cycle. If you find the spray arm is unable to spin at all, you may need to call for extra assistance.

To keep the dishwasher smelling fresh, learn how to clean a dishwasher and a dishwasher filter.

Circulation Pump Failure

This is the most common problem of all the ones listed. The circulation pump keeps the water moving from the jets to the bottom of the washer and back up through the jets. If the circulation pump is failing, water won’t reach the tablet and won’t properly dissolve it. You may need to call for help or maintenance if you believe your circulation pump is failing.

The more you know about potential problems, the easier they are to fix. Try your best to diagnose and fix the issue if possible, otherwise, call a professional and get your dishes sparkling ASAP!

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Melany Love
Having always wanted a career in writing, Melany couldn't have found a better place than Taste of Home to begin. When she's not scribbling in her notebook or working at her computer, she can be found experimenting with new recipes or relaxing with a book and her cats.