Dishwasher Pod Not Dissolving: Easy Fix 2023

Dishwasher pod not dissolving is a common reason why your dishes aren’t cleaned properly by the dishwasher. You can determine that the dishwasher detergent is not dissolved well if you open the dishwasher to find soap residues after the cycle. However, this can be diagnosed and fixed easily if you know the possible causes. Make sure to disconnect the dishwasher from power before you inspect any components. Ensure your safety with preventive measures and protective equipment to prevent potential hazards.

How does the dishwasher work?


To understand this problem of dishwasher pod not dissolving, you need to know about the process of the function of a dishwasher. It works similar to what you expect; washing the dishes, cleaning with soap, and then washing again with water. But it involves an automated mechanism to get each of these functions done according to a predefined process. Let’s find out how the dishes get cleaned inside the dishwasher.

  • The process starts as you press the start button after stacking up the dishes and plates inside your dishwasher. Water will start filling the basin and be heated to a specific temperature. This is monitored and controlled by the thermostats responsible for temperature detection.
  • Then the soap dispenser door opens to let out the pod or powder, which in turn gets dissolved in water.
  • The soapy water is sucked down the drain holes at the bottom of the basin and pumped to the spray arms. Then it is sprayed in streams on the utensils by the spray arms at high pressure. The spray arms rotate around the dishes, moving above, below, or between the racks. This is the main rinsing step in the dishwasher that ensures that the utensils are cleaned properly.
  • After the dishes are cleaned well, the dishwasher drains the soapy water.
  • Finally, the rinse cycle begins, and hot water is sprayed on them to clean the soap residues. Then this water is drained as the second round of draining.
  • In some cases, the dishes are dried as well, and you can get clean, dry utensils.

Possible Causes for Dishwasher Pod not Dissolving

In the process mentioned above, the dishes won’t come out clean in any occurrence of the dishwasher pod not dissolving properly. These are the possible causes for the dishwasher soap not dissolving and how you can overcome them.

Defective Water Inlet Valve

The inlet valve being faulty over time can result in dishwasher soap not dissolving. The function of the inlet valve is to allow water into the dishwasher by opening itself at the correct time during a cycle. It is located as a gate between the water pump and the sprayer arm. Failure of this task causes a lack of water to dissolve the dishwasher detergent. The inlet valve can get faulty due to getting loose or damaged over time. Sometimes, the use of hard water in dishwashers results in mineral build-ups in the valves.

You can easily check whether the water inlet valve is faulty by turning on a cycle in the dishwasher and pausing it after about two minutes. Then, open the door, and if there is water in the bottom of your dishwasher, the valve functions well. But if there isn’t any water, this indicates that the inlet valve is blocked or defective and needs to be replaced. You can easily replace the water inlet valve, but you can get it done by a repair technician if you are inexperienced in this.

Low Temperature of Water

Another major reason for the dishwasher pod not dissolving is that the water is not warm enough. The desired temperature for the proper dissolving of soap is between 120 ºF and 160 ºF. If the dishwasher water temperature is less than this, you will find dishwasher soap not dissolving properly when washing. You can check whether this is the reason by getting the water temperature reading on the internal thermostat when filled with water. You can also use an external thermometer to check it yourself manually. If the water temperature is too low, it is an indication that the heating element could be at fault. 

The heating element can sometimes be faulty due to the accumulation of lime-scale over the coil due to using hard water over a long time. If this is the case, you would have to try using a water softener for your dishwasher. You can learn more about this by referring to hard water dishwashers. If the temperature regulation is defective due to other reasons, you need to find the cause for it. It would have complicated repairs to be carried out by yourself, and it is recommended to get the help of a professional for this.

Blocked Dispenser Door

If the dispenser door is blocked, it would once again result in dishwasher detergent not dissolving. This is because it doesn’t open properly or close during the cycle. Due to this, the plates and dishes don’t get cleaned properly. So instead, the dishwasher door is popped open by a small spring that triggers when soap needs to be dispensed. Then hot water jets create suds necessary to clean the dishes.

A dispenser door can get blocked due to several reasons, such as hindering the opening of the door by jammed dishes. This results from overloading the dishwasher and can be corrected by rearranging the dishes inside. Check whether this solves the issue of dishwasher soap not dissolving. But if the dispenser door is stuck due to a mechanical fault, then the entire door casing needs to be replaced with a new one. 

Circulation Pump Failure

The circulation pump functions to distribute water around the dishwasher during a cycle. It consists of additional items, including hoses and clamps. If this pump fails, there will be no proper water distribution to wash the dishes. Hence, even though the detergent is dispensed, you will find the dishwasher detergent pods not dissolving. This could happen when the circulation pump is seized or blocked by something. 

You can check this by observing whether water is pumped into the dishwasher when it is turned on. If it is done, check whether water sprays out of the spray arms. Water should also get pumped after the dispenser door is opened. If this doesn’t happen, the circulation pump could be defective and needs replacement. Replacement of the circulation pump is difficult, and you should get it done by an experienced technician.

Defective Spray Arms

The Dishwasher tablet not dissolving can also be caused due to the improper function of the spray arms. The function of the spray arms is to spin around and distribute water throughout the dishwasher. Spray arms shoot out streams of water at high pressure. Sometimes, the small food particles in the dishwasher compartment can get stuck on the tiny holes of the spray arms. This is because the spray arms are located below the dishes in most dishwashers. 

Sometimes the spray arms can also get cracked over time, causing them not to work properly. First, inspect the spray arms for any visible damages by taking them out. Then clean them thoroughly with water and remove any accumulated food debris. Next, scrub them with a sponge and use a wire to remove them and unblock the holes. After cleaning, put them back and check whether the problem is solved by running a test cycle. If there are any damaged spray arms, replace them with new ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I put the dishwasher tablet in the bottom of the dishwasher?

It is necessary to place single-dose detergent packs in the dispenser because putting them at the bottom of the dishwasher will cause them to dissolve too quickly during the prewash. Hence, there will be no detergent left for the main wash cycle.

How does a dishwasher tablet dissolve?

After the detergent powder or tablet is released from the automatic dispenser, it falls into the bottom of the machine and dissolves in hot water. 

How do you soften a dishwasher pod?

Pour the detergent into a plastic bag and break the clumps using a rolling pin. Then put it in a plastic container and add s piece of soft bread with brown sugar clumps.

Can you put 2 pods in the dishwasher?

Use a single pod for the normal, regular-sized dishwashing load. You need to add two pods if you have a full load of heavily soiled dishes, but make sure not to overload your dishwasher.

Do dishwasher pods clog drains?

Most dishwasher pods help the draining pipes as they have ingredients that break down and deteriorate the grease. So when they dissolve well, they will not clog any pipes. 


You should be able to fix the problem of dishwasher detergent not dissolving in your dishwasher, as indicated here. Even though it might appear to be a small issue, there are certain situations where different parts need to be replaced. So if you are not experienced in this matter, you can get the repairs done by a professional technician. You can also troubleshoot it yourself if you have problems if the dishwasher door won’t close

When purchasing new home appliances, make sure to avoid these Worst Dishwasher Brands and choose from the recommended brands instead.