Why are Dishwasher Pods not Dissolving?

The dishwasher cleans and air dries many dishes within a few minutes. It is one of the most useful kitchen appliances to use in daily routines. But sometimes, when you open your dishwasher, the dishes come out as dirty as before dishwashing. It happens when the dishwasher pods that you put in the dishwasher don’t perform well.

If the dishwasher pods or soap pods don’t dissolve in water, the cleaning process of the dishwasher fails. There are various reasons for not dissolving dishwasher pods. The possible reasons why your dishwasher pods are not dissolving are mentioned here.

  • Low water temperature
  • Faulty inlet valve
  • Damaged spray arms
  • Blocked or damaged dispenser door
  • Defective circulation pump

5 reasons why dishwasher pods are not dissolving

1. Low Water Temperature

Dishwasher pods need a warm temperature for their proper functioning. If the dishwasher’s water temperature is low, then pods are difficult to dissolve in it. At least 120-160 degrees Fahrenheit temperature is required for pods dissolution. If your dishwasher fails to warm up water up to this temperature, dishwasher pods will not dissolve.

To check water temperature, fill the dishwasher with water and check its in-built thermostat. If your dishwasher does not have an in-built thermostat, then manually check the water temperature. You can check the water temperature by turning the hot tap on and filling a glass of water directly from it. Then use a candy thermometer to check your tap water.


If you find that the water in the dishwasher is lower than 120 degrees Fahrenheit, try to increase your dishwasher temperature from the temperature settings. But if you fail to raise the temperature, it means the dishwasher’s heating device is faulty. In this case, you have to replace the heating device with the following method.

  • Turn off the water and power supply to the dishwasher.
  • Disconnect the drain line.
  • Unscrew the bottom access and toe panel with a screwdriver.
  • Remove both panels and set them aside.
  • Remove the junction box cover and disconnect the wires present there.
  • Release the strain relief nut and remove the power cable from the junction box.
  • Use a towel to disconnect the water supply line from the inlet valve.
  • After pulling out the dishwasher racks, remove the mounting screws.
  • Pull out the dishwasher from the cabinet after removing the mounting screws.
  • Access the heating element wiring and mounting hardware at the back of the dishwasher.
  • Disconnect the wires.
  • Remove the mounting nuts over the heating element.
  • Release the mounting clip and pull out the heating element from the dishwasher.
  • Use little rinsing aid to lubricate the seals of the new heating element.
  • Now, attach mounting clips to the new heating device.
  • Place the new heater by pushing it through the hole.
  • Reassemble the dishwasher after changing the heating element.

2. Faulty Inlet Valve

A faulty water inlet valve is another reason for not dissolving dishwasher pods. The water inlet valve allows water to enter the dishwasher. If this valve is defective, the dishwasher will not get enough water to perform its function. Simultaneously, dishwashing pods fail to dissolve in insufficient water.

To check whether your inlet valve is faulty or not, put your dishwasher on a washing cycle. Then press the pause button after a few minutes. Open the door and check if water is present in the bottom unit, then it means the inlet valve is fine. But if there is no water in the dishwasher, you have to replace the faulty inlet valve.


If your inlet valve is damaged, it’s better to replace it rather than repairing it. The repaired valve may damage again after a few days. Thus, replacing the valve is a permanent solution to this problem.

  • Turn off the dishwasher and also close the water tap.
  • Remove the bottom access panel after releasing its screws.
  • Reach to the inlet valve and opens its screws with a screwdriver.
  • Disconnect the wires attached to the inlet valve.
  • Remove the black rubber hose.
  • Pull out the water inlet valve and replace it with the new one in reverse order.

water inlet valve

3. Damaged Spray Arms

Another reason the dishwasher pods are not dissolving is the damaged spray arms. Spray arms are meant to spin and spray water inside the dishwasher. They also help pods to dissolve in water. If the dishwasher spray arms are not working well, then dishwasher pods will not dissolve in the water.

When tiny food particles are stuck inside the spray arms, they block them. The best solution to this problem is to clean spray arms.


The position of spray arms is different depending upon the dishwasher type. Usually, one spray arm is located under the lower rack, and the other is located under the upper rack. To clean dirty spray arms, you can use the following easiest way.

  • Turn off the water tap and power supply to the dishwasher.
  • Access the spray arms and remove them by moving anti-clockwise.
  • You can also use a screwdriver to remove the spray arms.
  • Run water over the spray arms to remove debris.
  • If you find something stuck inside the spray armholes, use a piece of wire or a toothpick to remove it.
  • Besides this, you can also use a cloth soaked with vinegar to clean the dirty spray arms.
  • In severe damage, you can replace the spray arms with new ones.
  • Reassemble the spray arms in reverse order.

spray arm cleaning

4. Blocked or Damaged Dispenser Door

The blocked or jammed dispenser door is also one of the reasons why dishwasher pods are not dissolving. If the dispenser door cannot open during the dishwashing cycle, then pods will fail to release into the water. They remain in their place and will not drop down into the water. Thus, your dishes will not be clean and will remain dirty.

There could be many reasons for failed opening of a dispenser door. The main reasons for failed dispenser door opening are overfilling, improper dishes placement, and jammed doors.


Dispenser door blockage hinders the dishwasher pods’ dissolution in the water. You can resolve the dispenser door issue by the given guidelines.

  • Place the dishes in the dishwasher in proper order. Ensure that no single dish is blocking the dispenser door.
  • Avoid placing the tall dishes near the dispenser door as they stop the door from opening.
  • Clean the dispenser door and latch with a soft clean cloth. Remove the debris accumulated there.
  • If it doesn’t work and is still stuck, repair the dispenser door.
  • Call a technician to repair your dispenser door.

dispenser door

5. Defective Circulation Pump

The purpose of the circulation pump in the dishwasher is to distribute water inside the machine during the dishwashing cycle. When the circulation pumps get defective, they can’t circulate water around the appliance. Due to insufficient water, the dishwasher pods will not dissolve in water.

Turn on the dishwasher to check whether the circulation pump is defective or not. Then check the pump is supplying water to the appliance or not. Also, check if water is sprayed when the dispenser door is opened or not.


If the circulation pump is not spraying water properly, you should repair or replace the pump. But it’s a difficult task to perform, so it’s better to call a professional technician to repair or replace the circulation pump for you. After getting repaired, the circulation pump will usually start working, and your dishwasher pods will dissolve in water.

You can also check the comparison of liquid, powder and pod detergents. Click here for complete detail.

Final Words

You can fix the failed dissolution of dishwasher pods by using the techniques mentioned above. If still your problem is not resolved, you should call for professional help.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What causes dishwasher pods not to dissolve?

There could be various reasons for dishwasher pods not to dissolve. The most common causes include faulty water inlet valve, blocked or damaged dispenser door, low water temperature, failed circulation pump, and damaged spray arms.

2. What should be the optimum water temperature for pods dissolving?

Warm water up to 120-160 degrees Fahrenheit is most suitable for dishwasher pods dissolution. Too low temperature will hinder the pods’ activity, and they will not dissolve in water.

3. Why do dishwasher pods stick in the dispenser?

Food particles and old detergent residues cause the dishwasher pods to get stuck in the dispenser tray. As a result, the dispenser door will not open. Moreover, a damp dispenser tray is another reason for pods to get stuck in the dispenser. So, the tray should be dry before adding dishwasher pods.


  • Stephen Powers

    Appliance repair guy from Washington. I am majorly experienced in dishwashers, water filters and refrigerators, AMA on my twitter account.

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