If Your Dishwasher Door Won’t Close, Here Are 4 Causes and Fixes To Try

Your Dishwasher Door Won't Close

Dishwashers are fantastic appliances because you can watch all of your dishes with a single push of a button. At the same time, it can be frustrating if your dishwasher will not start. One of the possible reasons why is that your dishwasher door is not closing properly. 

If you are finding that you cannot get your dishwasher to close, there are several possible reasons why. These include:

  • The dishwasher tub has not been installed correctly or is otherwise misaligned. 
  • There is something wrong with the door latch of your dishwasher door, preventing it from closing properly. 
  • The top or bottom racks of your dishwasher have not been set properly, preventing them from closing. 
  • There is an issue with the door striker at your dishwasher, which prevents it from closing completely. 

Fortunately, there are ways to address all of these issues. We have done our research, and we have figured out how to address all of the problems above. Take a look at the solutions below, and make sure you get your dishwasher working properly. 

1. The Dishwasher Tub Has Not Been Installed Properly

The first problem could be that the top of the dishwasher itself has not been installed correctly. You need to make sure the dishwasher is on a level surface and leans back slightly.

To test this, place a spirit level on top of your dishwasher (or sitting on a flat part of the interior / racks).

The unit should slightly tilt back, which takes pressure off of the door and helps keep it closed.

If the dishwasher is flat or tilted forward, that may be what’s preventing the door from staying closed properly.

If you are looking for a dishwasher, you will quickly realize you have multiple options available. In general, plastic tubs are more sensitive to small alignment issues than steel ones. Therefore, you may realize that plastic dishwashers are more likely to be shifted or knocked around, causing the dishwasher door to not function properly.

Installed Dishwasher
Dishwashers can be awkward to install, because they fit tightly into a small space, hiding all of the complicated parts behind panels and doors.

If your dishwasher isn’t level, try adjusting the front feet to raise up the front slightly. Not only will this help to keep the door closed, but will also prevent water from leaking over the front of the bottom tub.

2. There Is a Malfunction with the Door Latch of the Dishwasher Door

Another possible reason why the dishwasher door is not closing is that something is wrong with the door locked. The door latch of your dishwasher is supposed to keep your door shut after you closed. If the dishwasher door is not closed, then it will flood your kitchen when you turn on the dishwasher. 

If a door latch is not functioning properly, then you may have a hard time closing the door to your dishwasher. There are several possible reasons why this happens. 

Why Does This Problem Happen?

There are two possible reasons why this problem might take place. The first is that something is wrong with the electrical system of the door latch. If the electrical component is not working properly, the door latch may not lock into place. This frequently happens when you have been using the dishwasher for a long time, as the electrical components will degrade. 

The second reason why the door latch may not be working properly is that something mechanical has happened. For example, the door may be opened and closed too hard, stressing the door last the point of breaking. If there is a mechanical issue with the door latch, then the component may not lock into place, causing the door to stay open. 

How Can You Fix It?

The exact nature of the fix is going to depend on the type of dishwasher you have. With an older dishwasher, it may be relatively simple to open up the door latch, unscrew it, and screw it back into place. This should be enough to get the door latch working again.

If you have a newer model, you may need to take off the inner door panel. This is usually where the door latch assembly is located. You should always make sure you disconnect the power and water supply from the dishwasher before you do so. In some cases, you may even have to remove the entire control panel before you can reveal the door latch.

most of the time the inner door panel is whats connected to the hinge assembly, when you remove the screws (usually using tork bits, but a phillips head screwdriver for LG and Samsung models), the outer door panel slips off letting you access the door lock.

Hopefully it’ll just be a small bit of dirt or grime that needs cleaned so that lock can close fully again. Otherwise, you may need to order a replacement online.

You will find more information on this solution in the owner’s manual of your dishwasher (click here to find an online version of yours). As always, if you are uncomfortable with anything in this step, you should contact a professional for help. 

3. The Racks of the Dishwasher Are Preventing the Door from Closing

If you have a dishwasher, you probably have a top and bottom rack. Both of these are supposed to hold your dishes, allowing them to get washed when you turn on the cycle. 

Usually, these racks are put on tracks. If these racks are knocked off the tracks, and your dishwasher door may not be closing properly. Even though you like to fit as many dishes in the racks as possible, you need to make sure you protect the racks. If they do not sit on the tracks properly, and your dishwasher door may have a problem closing. 

Dishwasher racks
Make sure the racks sit on the tracks properly.

Why Does This Problem Happen?

There are numerous reasons why the dishwasher racks might get knocked off their tracks. These include: 

  • You may have closed the dishwasher door too hard at some point, colliding with one of the racks and knocking them off of their tracks.
  • You may have put a bunch of dishes in the racks that were far too large. During the jostling process, the rack may have fallen off its track. 
  • You may have put too many dishes on the rack, causing them to fall off the tracks. These racks are only designed to support a certain amount of weight. 
  • You may have accidentally bumped the dishwasher racks at some point when you were loading them, causing them to fall off their tracks. 

Ultimately, there are countless reasons why the racks may have been knocked out of place. Regardless, the end result is that you cannot turn on the dishwasher because you cannot close the door. 

How Can You Fix It?

Fortunately, the solution to this problem is relatively straightforward. You need to remove all the dishes from your dishwasher. Then, you need to lift up the racks. Make sure you place them gently on the tracks again. After this, you should be able to close the door.

If this is not working, you need to take a closer look at the racks themselves. If they are deformed, they may not sit properly on the tracks. In this case, you may need to replace the dishwasher racks. 

4. The Door Striker Is Not Behaving Properly

Finally, you should also take a closer look at the door striker. The door striker is the piece that is supposed to catch the door latch when you close the dishwasher door. Ideally, the door latch should fit seamlessly into the door striker, locking the door tight. 

Why Does This Problem Happen?

There are numerous reasons why the door striker might not be behaving properly; however, the most common reason why this part fails is a mechanical issue. Like other parts, this will wear down over time. If the dishwasher door has been opened and closed too many times (or too hard), then the door striker could break, causing the door latch to have a hard time fitting into it. 

Ultimately, if the two parts are not working together, you will not be able to close the door to your dishwasher. When you are messing with the door striker, you should also make sure the problem is not the door latch. Make sure you figure out what the problem is before you go about disassembling it. 

How Can You Fix It?

The first thing you need to do is remove all power to the dishwasher. After this, you should be able to find the door striker in the center. It is usually located where the door with the body of the appliance.

After you locate the striker, you need to take a look at any alignment issues. You can usually remove the door striker with a simple screwdriver. Then, you can reassemble the striker, seeing if it works properly. If it does not, you may need to replace the striker. 

You can remove the striker by pulling the dishwasher out by about 2-6 inches to access it. Sometimes you may just be able to bend it using your hand

Make Sure Your Dishwasher Door Closes Properly

Ultimately, there are plenty of reasons why your dishwasher door is not closing properly. The first thing you need to do is make sure there’s not a mechanical issue present. If the racks are misaligned, or if the dishwasher is overloaded, the door is not going to close. If the door does not close, it will not start. 

Finally, if you do need to replace a part, you should always compare the cost of the parts with the cost of replacing the dishwasher. This will help you figure out if it is worth it to replace the part or the entire dishwasher.

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