Dishwashers are a great benefit to many modern households. After eating, all you need to do is load the dishwasher, add soap, and the dishwasher does the rest. It is one piece of modern equipment that has shown to be helpful to everyone, especially families. However, it can be a big problem if the dishwasher door does not latch correctly or if something prevents the door from closing.
For example, the dishwasher may have misaligned elements. Offset hinges or loose screws can cause the door lock to miss the latch.
To fix a problem like this, you may just need replacement screws. However, there may be more than screw or latch issues preventing the dishwasher door from shutting; here are a few more possibilities:
Broken Door Springs – Door springs connect to the door hinges on each side of the dishwasher. If they are loose or broken, it might prevent the dishwasher door from closing properly.
Warped or Rusty Hinges – Over time, the dishwasher door hinges may get rusty or warped, preventing the door from closing.
Wrong rack positioning – Sometimes, the door latch may not close if a rack inside rests in the wrong way. Incorrect positioning not only causes a problem for the door but can also destroy dishes inside, resulting in you having to clean broken glass or ceramic.
Improper installation – Improper installation under the counter or misaligned mounting screws on the latch may stop the door from closing or latching all the way.
So how do you fix a dishwasher door latch or door that won’t close properly? Here are some quick DIY tips to fix it before reaching out to call a maintenance specialist.
Important: Always unplug the dishwasher before attempting to make any repair to avoid electrocution.
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Replace The Door Hinges
To replace the door hinges, make sure to unplug the dishwasher first to avoid electrocution.
- Unscrew your dishwasher from the countertop and pull it out at least a few inches.
- Remove the front panel of the dishwasher door to access the screws that hold the hinge in place.
- Some dishwashers will not have side panels, but if yours does, you’ll need to remove these as well to access the hinge.
- Remove insulation, if any.
- Unclip the door spring.
- Check the door hinges for a broken seal, warp, or rusty edges.
- It’s also a good idea to inspect the door spring as this might be one of the reasons it does not close properly.
- Use a screwdriver to remove the hinge screws, clean the area, and replace it with the new hinge.
- Follow the steps in reverse to reassemble.
- Don’t forget to correctly reinstall the appliance under the countertop by screwing it back into place.
Once replaced, it should help the door close properly again. For more tips, watch this guide video.
Realign the Strike Plate
It’s also important to check the strike plate on the dishwasher. The strike plate helps lock the dishwasher door in place by grabbing onto the latch when the door is closed. Use a screwdriver to adjust the metal plate to ensure proper alignment. Make sure the screws are tight so it cannot move.
Replace the Door Latch
A bad door latch, or poorly positioned latch, may be one reason why the door isn’t properly closing or staying shut.
- Unplug the dishwasher
- Unscrew your dishwasher from the countertop and pull it out at least a few inches
- Remove the wires connected to the latch
- Take out the mounting screws
- Replace with the new latch
- Follow the steps in reverse to reassemble
Inspect Dishwasher Racks
Racks misaligned on their track can cause the dishwasher door not to close all the way or latch properly. Ensure that the racks, which hold the dishes, are correctly on their track and adjust if necessary.
Additionally, it’s important to ensure that your dishes are loaded onto the rack correctly. Overcrowding the racks with dishes could prevent the door from closing or the rack sliding into its proper place. For a visual guide on loading dishes onto the racks, watch this video.
Check the dishwasher’s gasket
It’s essential to check the dishwasher’s gasket, also known as the door seal. This is the black trim going around the edges of the dishwasher. A warped gasket or gasket crusted with detergent and hard water buildup can be a reason why the dishwasher door won’t close. To replace it:
- Remove the old gasket
- Tightly tuck the new gasket inside the groove
- Don’t pull it too tightly; you won’t want to stretch it out
- Inspect the position of the new gasket
- Cut off the excess
Adjust The Control Panel
Sometimes, the problem may be with the dishwasher’s control panel. Unplug the dishwasher and thoroughly inspect the outside of the panel for obvious signs of misalignment or loose screws. Open it to ensure all the wires are in the right location before closing it and securing it back in place with a screwdriver. Turn the power back on and check to see if the latch mechanism and the dishwasher as a whole are operational.
There are multiple reasons why a dishwasher door may not close or latch properly. These can usually be solved by simple screw replacements, but sometimes it may need something more in-depth, like fixing a faulty gasket. Sometimes, the dishwasher just needs to be replaced.
Always be aware of rack placement, loose springs and hinges, rust anywhere on the appliance, and the gasket condition. Regularly inspecting your dishwasher is crucial to catching items that need repairs in their early stages to avoid a total replacement.