Are Your Dishwasher’s Buttons Not Working? Here’s 5 Fixes To Try

Front photo of dishwasher panel

Stuck trying to figure out why your dishwasher control panel is not working?

You’re not alone!. I know how frustrating it can be to have this happen. After all, you need your dishwasher to take care of your dishes. If the buttons are not working, you may have a buildup of dirty dishes, leading to a filthy kitchen. 

If your dishwasher buttons are not working, there could be dirt build-up, an electrical problem, or an issue related to the trap and filter. You should start by cleaning the dishwasher buttons thoroughly. Then, you may need to reset the control panel if this is still not working.

Read on to learn how to solve the issue today!

5 Reasons Why Your Dishwasher Buttons Might Not Be Working

Before we figure out how to fix your dishwasher buttons, the first thing we need to do is figure out why it might not be working properly.

There are numerous reasons why you might be having issues with your dishwasher buttons. A few common examples include:

#1 The Dishwasher Is Not Plugged In

Yes, this may sound like an obvious problem, but in my experience, sometimes the easiest solution is often overlooked.

If you find that your dishwasher buttons are not working properly, the dishwasher might not be plugged in. Take a look at the dishwasher and make sure it is hooked up to an electrical outlet that is working. 

If you keep plugging in the dishwasher, but it is not turning on, then you may need to take a look at the circuit breaker. Make sure the switch is in the right position.

That way, your dishwasher will work properly. You might also need to make sure the dishwasher is connected to a water supply as well. Otherwise, it still may not turn on. 

#2 There Is a Lot of Dirt Built Up

One of the most common reasons why dishwasher buttons get stuck is related to the buildup of dirt, grease, and oil. Particularly if you have a dishwasher with a top control panel, it is not unusual for these buttons to get stuck.

If you feel like the button is stuck in place, you may want to clean the buttons.Remember to use appropriate protection if you are using a harsh cleaner.

#3 There Is an Electrical Wiring Problem

The vast majority of buttons on a dishwasher function using electrical systems today. If there is a problem with the wiring, it could cause the button to malfunction.

In this case, it is important to reach out to an electrician who can help you. You do not want to mess with the wiring on your own because this is a significant safety issue.

Furthermore, if you start playing with the wiring, you could also impact the validity of the warranty on your dishwasher.

#4 The Child Lock Is On

The goal of a child lock is to prevent children from unintentionally changing the instructions on your wash cycle.

Baby girl playing with the crockery on the dishwasher
It’s very common that children unintentionally change the washing instructions during the cycle, because they usually love the lights in the buttons!

If the child lock is engaged on your system, the other buttons might not work. Therefore, before you can get the rest of the buttons to work, you need to disengage the child lock. 

The exact method of doing this varies depending on the dishwasher you have. In general, you have to hold down a specific button for a few seconds to release the child lock. Then, the rest of the buttons should work properly. 

Make sure to check the manufacturer’s manual for specific instructions. If you can’t find it, please read our guide on how to find any product’s manual online.

#5 There Is a Problem with the Trap and Filter Assembly System

Finally, there could also be an issue with the trap and filter assembly system. If the Trap inside the bottom of the dishwasher is clogged with debris, then the water pump may stop functioning. If the water pump is not working properly, the rest of the dishwasher is not going to function well either. 

Before the rest of the dishwasher will start working again, you need to clean the trap and filter system. Read the next section to learn how to do it.

5 Solutions To Get Your Dishwasher Buttons Working Again

Ultimately, there are different reasons why your dishwasher buttons might get stuck. It is important for you to take a look at a few solutions that may help you get your dishwasher buttons working again.

There are several possible fixes you may want to try. These include: 

#1 Unplug the Dishwasher and Plug it In Again

The first thing to do is to start with the easiest solution.

Start by unplugging your dishwasher. Then, take a look at the circuit breaker and make sure the switch is in the right position. After this time and plug the dishwasher in again.

Give the dishwasher a few minutes to boot up and start working.

You also need to make sure the water supply is connected to the dishwasher. After this, play with the dishwasher and see if it is working.

Doing this is a great way to flush any stuck commands out of its system. 

#2 Disengage the Child Lock

Moving on, take a look at your dishwasher control panel and see if it has a child lock on it. Then, see if the child lock button is lit up. If it is, this is a sign that the child lock is activated.

You may need to hold down the child lock button for 3 seconds to release it. Or, there may be another button, such as the start button, you need to hold for a few seconds.

Read your manual to figure out what you have to do to release the child lock. That way, you can free up the rest of the buttons.

#3 Clean the Buttons Thoroughly

If you find that your dishwasher is still not working properly, you need to clean the buttons thoroughly. There are plenty of cleaning options available, and you may want to start with the more natural option (vinegar and warm water).

How to clean your dishwasher buttons
If the dishwasher has buttons or dials on the front, take time to clean around them every month.

But, if that doesn’t work, you may need to use an ammonia-based cleaner. This is a great way to break down food, dust, debris, and oil that could be inhibiting the dishwasher. 

When you use ammonia, you should make sure to wear gloves and goggles. That way, you can protect yourself against health risks.

NEVER mix ammonia with bleach, as this can be dangerous to your health.

#4 Clean the Trap and Filter System

You should also make sure that you clean the trap and filter system. This can lead to issues with dishwasher buttons as well. If the buttons are flashing, this is a sign that the trap is totally full. 

The first thing you need to do is remove the bottom rack of the dishwasher. Usually, there’s a cap you need to turn counter-clockwise to lift the assembly out of the dishwasher.

Then, dislodge the debris that is present before putting the system back in the dishwasher. This may be enough to get the buttons working again. 

#5 Reset the Control Panel on the Dishwasher

Finally, you should also reset the control panel under the dishwasher.

Bear in mind that this process may vary depending on your dishwasher’s model and can be complicated, as you need to take the door panel off. This is why it’s important to have the manufacturer’s manual on hand or call a professional.

Typically, to reset the control panel, you need to disconnect your dishwasher from the power source. Then, unscrew the control panel from the door panel. Remember to disconnect all wiring from the control panel as well. 

If the wires look like they are intact, you can reconnect them. If they look like they are damaged, you may need to replace them.

After the wires are in the right place, put the control panel back in the dishwasher. Remember that this can be dangerous, so you should reach out to an electrician if you have questions about this process. 

Dishwasher Buttons Still Not Working?

If these tips haven’t helped – don’t worry. There may be other quick fixes you can try.

We’re fortunate enough to have a lot of readers on our website, but unfortunately I can’t answer everyone’s questions personally. To help, we’ve teamed up with JustAnswer to connect you to a qualified Appliance expert.

You can connect with an appliance expert below, who will help you solve your specific issue. They do charge a small trial fee, so just remember to cancel the trial once you get your dishwasher working again.


In the end, there are a lot of options available if you are looking for a way to release buttons on your dishwasher.

Remember that if you have questions or concerns about the dishwasher at any point, you should reach out to an expert. That way, you don’t have to worry about hurting yourself or damaging the dishwasher. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article. If you found it helpful, don’t forget to check out our other related guides below!

Good luck.

Hi there! I’m Craig, and I’m the founder of Appliance Analysts. When it comes to appliances and anything electrical, I’ve always loved opening things up, figuring out how they work, and fixing them. This website is where I share free advice from myself and our experts to help our readers solve their appliance/HVAC problems and save money. Read more