Why is my dishwasher tablet not dissolving?

Posted by smol on



What’s not to love about a dishwasher? They save you money, water and energy compared to washing by hand. And as long as you know how to load it properly, it’s going to save you time and effort too.

Well, unless of course the dishwasher tablet is failing to dissolve properly. We don’t love that.

A quick run through of how your dishwasher works…


If you’re finding soap residue or the outer layer from a tablet that hasn’t dissolved, it’s time to investigate and work out what is going wrong.

The dispenser that holds your tablet has a door that opens shortly after the cycle starts. This allows the tablet to drop to the floor where it can dissolve in the hot water at the bottom of the dishwasher. This soapy water is then pumped into the spinning dishwasher arms and sprayed out onto your dishes.

When the wash cycle finishes, the soapy water drains down and a rinse cycle begins.

So, what could stop a dishwasher tablet from dissolving?

1. Tablet is still stuck in the dispenser.

This can happen when there is moisture in the dispenser which can make the tablet a little sticky. When the door pops open, the tablet struggles to drop to the floor of the dishwasher. There is a very simple fix. Just place your tablet directly onto the machine floor before shutting the door and starting the cycle. The dispenser usually opens very shortly after you start your machine and just drops the tablet onto the floor. You’re just doing the job of the dispenser! It’s a bit like how we put laundry capsules directly into the washing machine drum rather than the dispenser drawer. 

2. Inlet valve not working properly. 

The inlet valve lets water into your machine and if it’s not working properly - no water will be allowed in and the jets can’t dissolve the tablet. Open the machine door about 2 minutes after you have started a cycle and see if there is any water at the bottom of the dishwasher. If there isn’t then you might need to get the inlet valve replaced.

3. The dispenser door is blocked or broken.

If you are using the dispenser rather than just placing the tablet directly on the machine floor - and the dispenser door is broken… the tablet won’t be released. And if the dispenser door is partially blocked by some crockery for example, the tablet will fail to fall to the floor in time and get stuck on your dirty dishes instead! Try to ensure you aren’t overloading your dishwasher and check the dispenser for damage. Open the main door about 2 minutes into the cycle to check if the dispenser is releasing the tablet without issue.

4. The water isn’t heating up enough. 

If the water isn’t getting hot enough in your dishwasher - not only will the residue left on your dishes not be cleaned properly… but the dishwasher tablet won’t dissolve sufficiently either. Most cycles heat the water to around 50-60°C, so if you suspect the water is not hot enough and you don’t have a built-in thermometer, you may need to test the water temperature yourself by opening the door during the cycle and using a thermometer in the pooling water.

5. The circulation pump is not working. 

The circulation pump moves water from the bottom of the machine up through the jets and keeps recycling the water through this circular movement. If there’s something wrong with the pump, the water isn’t going to pool on the floor and dissolve the tablet. It’s a really common fault and you’ll need to get an engineer in to fix this issue.

6. The spinning arms are clogged or broken. 

Clogged up jets on your spinning arms mean the water cannot complete its circular route between the jets and the machine floor. If there is no water on the machine floor then the tablet cannot dissolve. Keep the holes on your spinning arms free from dirt and grime and this should not be an issue. Of course if you find the arms are no longer able to spin you may need an engineer.

7. Low water pressure. 

If there is an issue with the water pressure or the water inlet pipe is blocked or kinked, and the machine is not filling with water properly the tablet is not going to dissolve sufficiently. You’ll also find your dishes aren’t getting clean!

smol tablets for the win! 

Providing your machine is working well you should always see great results with our smol dishwasher tablets. And because they’re an all in one tablet there’s never any need to add rinse aid, salt or glass protector to any of the other compartments. Our tablets readily dissolve - and there’s no need to remove the outer casing (which dissolves fully and biodegrades down into water and carbon dioxide). If you’ve not tested them out yet.. why not take the FREE TRIAL? Your dishwasher will thank you!


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