5 Easy Fixes For a Dishwasher Door That Won’t Stay Closed

A dishwasher with a faulty door can result in water spilling over the floor. A faulty door can also prevent the dishwasher from washing the dishes completely because it will automatically stop running when the door gets opened. Luckily, this is a common problem, and we already know why it happens. Here are the most common reasons and quick fixes.

1. Adjust the door latch

If the latch is broken or worn, it won’t keep the door in place. Instead, the door will fall down more easily, and it certainly won’t create a watertight seal. This is an important feature, because the latch activates a sensor to tell your dishwasher that it is safe to turn on. A malfunctioning latch can also make opening the door difficult.

Sometimes by forcefully closing the door we can bring the latch out of alignment. In that case adjusting it back to its proper position will fix the problem. The latch could also be dirty from all the food and mineral residue, preventing it from latching properly.

However, in many situations the latch is broken mechanically or electrically. In that case the best option is to install a new one. Here are the steps:

  1. Check out the model number of your dishwasher. It is typically located on a sticker inside the dishwasher near the opening. Use this number to find a latch that will fit on your model, either on Amazon.com or PartSelect.com.
  2. When replacing the latch, make sure to turn off the power for safety reasons.
  3. Use a torque bit screwdriver to remove the screws on the back of the door. Now you will have access to the internal part of the door where the latch is located.
  4. Remove the wires from the old latch and attach them to the new one. Set the new latch in the proper spot.
  5. Screw the back panel into place. Make sure to position it correctly so that the screws line up properly.
  6. Turn the power back on and test it. If the latch was the problem, now your door will remain closed!

Here’s a video of the entire process:

2. Fix a misaligned strike plate

The strike plate (the part that the latch inserts into) can also become loose or misaligned. This is either a small metal or plastic plate attached by screws. Loosening the screws and then readjusting the plate to its proper position will fix the problem.

Its uncommon for a metal strike plate to get damaged, but plastic plates are not as sturdy. In both cases check for damages that could warrant a replacement.

2. Tighten or replace the door springs

The door springs are attached to the door hinge at either side. Their purpose is to counterbalance the weight of the door. If they’re too loose, the door can’t stay closed because its weight is pulling it downward and there’s nothing there to keep it in place. In that case you should tighten it. But if its too tight the door could be closing on its own when you want it to stay open. So it’s important to find the right balance.

The only necessary tool is a screwdriver. If the door spring is broken at either side (or both sides) the door will drop quickly. In that case the only option is to replace it with a new door spring. Here’s a video tutorial:

3. Replace bent or warped door hinges

Door hinges have to be straight and properly functioning. If the door is crooked or producing squealing noise as you open and close it, you could be dealing with a hinge related issue.

Unfortunately it’s very difficult to straighten hinges when they become bent or warped. It’s easier to replace them, and since they are pretty affordable that’s the main solution for this problem.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to replace a dishwasher door hinge:

4. Adjust the door seal (gasket)

There are two door seal problems that can prevent the door in staying closed.  First problem occurs when the door seal is old and deformed. In that case it can’t form a watertight seal. Replacing it is the best option.

The second problem can arise with a new door seal. This can happen with a new dishwasher or if you’ve just replaced the door seal. The door seal requires some time to adjust to the door. Adjusting the door latch can help, as can setting the dishwasher on the hottest cycle. Hot temperature will help the seal to adjust and compress more easily. In any case, this is a temporary issue that with enough time gets resolved on its own.

5. Poorly positioned racks

A rack in the dishwasher could be preventing the door from closing properly. This can occur if the rack is off its guides, it’s too heavily loaded or there is a dish or some other obstruction preventing it from sliding in completely.

Final Word

These are the 5 common problems with dishwasher doors that won’t stay closed. Make sure that these various components are functioning properly. if you notice any issue try solving it and testing the dishwasher. Sometimes there are multiple issues that are causing the problem together. In any case, these fixes are easy and affordable so just about anyone can pull them off. Hope this helps!

Peter Baron

I learned how to fix many appliances while working part-time in a repair shop. Appliance Solver is the result of this experience, coupled with my interest in writing helpful content online. When I'm not fixing stuff, I'm usually either playing with my kids or on a walk with my golden retriever. Doesn't get much better than that.

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