Dishwasher Pods Not Dissolving? (Do This First)

Dishwasher pods are a convenient way to clean your dishes. Load up your dishwasher, pop a pod in the detergent dispenser, and you’re good to go. Unfortunately, you’ll sometimes discover that your dishwasher pods are not dissolving, which will lead to wasted time and wasted money on the water bill.

dishwasher pod not dissolving

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most common reasons your dishwashing pods are not dissolving and give you tips on how to solve the problem. We’ll also let you know if certain brands of dishwashers are more prone to this problem than others.

5 Reasons Why Your Dishwasher Pods Are Not Dissolving

Let’s take a look at the most common causes and most importantly, how to fix them.

1. Water Temperature Is Too Low

If you’re having an issue with your dishwashing pods not dissolving, the problem could be that your water temperature isn’t warm enough. The vinyl coating on dishwasher pods requires hot water to dissolve and release the detergent (this is also why they should never be used for laundry). 

If you want to check the temperature of your dishwasher’s water, set a bowl upright on the top rack, then run a cleaning cycle. When the wash cycle is over, open the dishwasher before the drying cycle starts.

Grab a thermometer and test the temperature of the water inside the bowl. It works correctly if the water is between 120 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

If the water from your dishwasher is less than 120 degrees Fahrenheit, this could be the reason your pods aren’t dissolving.

A few of the possible reasons for low water temperature include:

  • A bad heating element: Heating elements are one of the first things to malfunction on most dishwashers. If you think your heating element is bad, look for signs of erosion or burnout. 

    If this is indeed your issue, you may want to hire a professional to replace it. If you’re relatively handy, it may be possible to do it yourself, but repairs made without a licensed professional will often void the warranty on your machine. 
  • A faulty internal thermostat: The thermostat is responsible for telling the appliance how warm it is inside the machine and how much warmer it must get. If the thermostat malfunctions, it won’t tell the heating element to keep working because it will appear to be at the correct temperature.

    If you believe this to be your problem, you can test it with a multimeter. The readout should be close to zero ohms; anything other than that means that the thermostat should be replaced.

This is an easier task than replacing the heating element, but it still requires you to remove the dishwasher to access it. Once again, if you do it yourself, you risk voiding your warranty, so you may want to hire a professional.

  • A heating issue with the water supply: If your dishwasher elements are working correctly, you may have an issue with the hot water it’s connected to.

    If you have yet to notice any problems with the hot water in the rest of your house, it’s probably not your hot water heater but rather the connection between your dishwasher and your water supply. Running the hot water before starting your dishwasher should correct this problem.

a dishwasher tablet

2. Your Dispenser Door Didn’t Open

If you’re having a problem with your dishwasher pods not dissolving, there may be an issue with your dispenser door. You should first check that your dishes aren’t blocking it and keeping it from releasing the pod. 

Alternatively, the dispenser door may be sticking. If you see build-up around the latch, try cleaning it. You may need to order a replacement part if that doesn’t work.

This is a relatively easy part to replace, so you may be able to do it yourself.

3. The Circulation Pump Isn’t Working

The circulation pump moves water into the sprayer arms to be distributed throughout the dishwasher.

If that pump isn’t working correctly, there may not be enough water in your machine to make the dishwasher pods dissolve all the way.

To determine if the pump is the cause of your problems, first listen to your dishwasher after it’s filled with water and the circulation pump starts. If it makes a loud noise or no noise at all, it’s likely faulty. 

You can check the pump with a multimeter, which will give a reading of 100 ohms or more if it’s working the way it should.

Anything outside that range means you’ll need to replace the circulation pump.

This is a very tedious job that is best handled by a licensed professional.

4. Spray Arms Aren’t Working

The spray arms in your dishwasher are responsible for distributing water throughout the machine, so if they aren’t working properly, there may not be enough water to thoroughly dissolve your dishwasher pod.

Sometimes food particles can get stuck inside the holes in the sprayer arms. They can also crack over time and also cause your dishwasher to smell

If you think the sprayer arms are causing your issue, you can scrub them thoroughly to remove gunk and grime that may have clogged the holes.

While you’re cleaning, check for cracks that can also contribute to an inadequate water supply. Some dishwashers have removable spray arms that make replacing old ones a breeze.

Check your user’s manual to see if your model has this option. If not, replacing the spray arm is a delicate job that may be best left to professionals. 

You may be able to complete this task yourself if you are good at home repairs, but any work done without a licensed professional will void the warranty on your machine.

5. Inlet Valve Malfunctioned

The water inlet valve is responsible for letting water into your dishwasher. If it malfunctions, there won’t be enough water in your machine to dissolve the dishwasher pods.

 If you think a faulty inlet valve is causing your problem, you can run the dishwasher for a few minutes to allow water in, then open the door. If there’s no water inside, the inlet valve is the most likely culprit. 

Replacing this valve is a relatively simple task that you can do yourself, but if you feel uncomfortable handling it, you can hire a professional to do the repair.

Is This A Common Issue With Whirlpool And Samsung Dishwashers?

No, any brand of dishwasher can face the issues listed above that keep the dishwashing pods from dissolving.

No brand is more prone to these problems than others.


When you’re looking forward to a nice, smooth dishwashing experience, it can be frustrating if your dishwashing pods suddenly stop dissolving.

To fix this issue, you should make sure your water is hot enough and that none of the components inside the machine are keeping it from producing enough water to dissolve the vinyl coating of the pod.

If you discover that your dishwasher is malfunctioning, you can try to do the repairs yourself if you feel comfortable, but doing so will void the warranty.

Even if the task is simple, you may want to hire a professional for your own peace of mind.

Shauna Stone