Dishwasher Pods Not Dissolving? (Possible Causes & Fixes)

Upgraded Home Team
by Upgraded Home Team

Dishwashers are modern conveniences that can help reduce the amount of time spent cleaning dishes in the kitchen every day. But, when you regularly find undissolved dishwashing pods left in your dishwasher, you know that your dishes are not properly cleaned.

If your dishwasher pods are not dissolving this is due to a faulty inlet valve. Not enough water is getting into your dishwasher as the valve does not open all the way. A few other problems that could be causing your pods not to dissolve also include a blocked door, or the water temperature is not hot enough.

Luckily, a savvy homeowner can easily fix many of the issues that prevent a dishwasher pod from fully dissolving. Checking and replacing valves and spray arms is a simple process that can be completed in minutes.

Why Are My Pods Not Dissolving?

Unfortunately, there could be several reasons why your dishwasher pods are not fully dissolving, even when you run a full dishwashing cycle.

Some of the most common reasons your dishwasher pods are not dissolving are easily fixed at home with some simple DIY maintenance or repair.

Faulty Inlet Valve

The inlet valve is an integral part of your dishwasher that opens during a cycle to allow water into your appliance.

When this valve fails, not enough water flows into the dishwasher, which means the pods cannot dissolve fully.

To check if the valve is faulty, simply run the dishwasher for a few minutes. Press the stop button, open the door, and check if any water has entered the dishwasher.

It is easy to replace your inlet valve yourself, just be sure to purchase the right make and model for your particular style of dishwasher.

Blocked Door

Most dishwashers have a specialized door that houses the dishwasher pod, which works on a spring, so it can be released at the right time during the cycle.

If the door is blocked during a normal wash cycle, or if the door is not functioning properly, the pod cannot be fully released into the appliance.

If your dishwasher is too full, or if one particular dish or bowl is blocking the door, the pod may not be released. These situations are easy to fix.

However, the door can get stuck because the tiny spring and mechanism used to open the door can become faulty or damaged. When this happens, a new door replacement is required.

Over time, this becomes a common problem because the little spring used to open the detergent door can become worn out.

Temperature Too Low

Dishwasher pods need water between 120 and 160 degrees F to dissolve fully. If the water flowing into your dishwasher does not reach high enough temperatures, the pod will not dissolve and will not clean your dishes adequately.

Your pod may only become partially dissolved, which could further lead to complications like clogged drain pipes.

Check the internal thermostat on your dishwasher when it is full to ensure the temperature is high enough. If the water temperature is too low, it could indicate that the heating element in your appliance needs to be replaced.

The heating element works to make the water inside your dishwasher at the appropriate temperature. Unfortunately, this is an advanced repair that usually requires a professional technician.

Spray Arm

The spray arms are essential parts of your dishwasher that spin to move water throughout the machine during a cycle.

Sometimes, food and debris can become stuck in the small holes of the spray arm, blocking the water spray. The arms can also become cracked as they age, which can prevent them from working completely.

To check if the spray arms are working properly, simply take the arms out of the appliance and visually inspect them for damage. If you see any food particles that could be blocking the tiny spray holes, use a small piece of wire or a toothpick to dislodge the food.

Circulation Pump

Lastly, a pod that is not dissolving fully may be due to a faulty circulation pump. The pump in your dishwasher helps to move water throughout the machine during a cycle.

If the pump is faulty or not working, water does not reach all areas of the dishwasher and will not dissolve the pod.

To check to see if your circulation pump is working, start a cycle in your dishwasher. You need to ensure that water is being pumped into the appliance and water is spraying through the spray arms.

Why Are My Cascade Pods Not Dissolving?

There could be a few reasons why your ActionPac isn’t dissolving. Something has gotten in the way of the dishwasher detergent cup or release door.

Everything from small utensils to large pot handles can get in the way of the detergent dispenser, trapping your ActionPac and preventing it from fully dissolving.

How Can I Clean My Spray Arms?

If you have blocked spray arms that are not easily cleaned with a toothpick or a piece of wire, it may be necessary to soak your spray arms in water and cleaner to dislodge any blocked food particles. To clean your spray arms, you should:

  •  Remove Arms. With the dishwasher powered off, remove the spray arms from the appliance. At this point, visually inspect the arms to ensure they are not cracked or damaged. Cracked spray arms must be replaced.
  • Prepare Cleaner. White vinegar works best to remove food debris. Fill a baking sheet with vinegar to allow the spray arms to soak.
  • Spray (optional). For particularly stuck food particles, you may want to pre-treat the spray arms by spraying white vinegar on the arms. This added step can help the soap penetrate the tiny spray holes. Be sure to spray and pre-treat both sides of the spray arms.
  • Soak. Allow your spray arms to soak for about 10 to 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, flip the spray arms over in the vinegar solution to soak the backside as well. Remove from the baking sheets and replace the arms in the dishwasher.
  • Run the dishwasher. Run a full cycle and confirm that your spray arms are now functioning.

Can You Put a Pod In the Dishwasher?

While the pod will certainly work and usually dissolve by just throwing it in the dishwasher, this usually isn’t the most effective way to clean your dishes.

Most modern dishwashers will have a pre-rinse cycle that helps to soften dried food. After the pre-rinse has finished, the detergent will be released into the full wash cycle.

If the pod is placed securely in the drawer or soap dispenser, you can ensure the pod is released at the appropriate time.

Do Dishwasher Pods Have to Go in the Dispenser?

Dishwasher detergent pods should be placed in the detergent dispenser compartment at all times.

If the pod is left at the bottom of the dishwasher, it may dissolve too quickly during the pre-wash. As a result, there would be no detergent for the main wash cycle, reducing the wash cycle’s efficiency.

What Happens If My Pod is Stuck in the Dispenser?

Sometimes an undissolved pod is only part of the problem. Many homeowners are stuck with a pod that becomes trapped or lodged in the dispenser.

When this happens, it means that not enough water was channeled toward the deterrent cup to release the pod.

Or, it could also mean that the water temperature was too low. To prevent this problem, be sure that nothing is blocking the path toward the dispenser cup. The silverware basket or a large bowl is usually to blame for a lodged detergent pod.

Are Dishwasher Pods Bad for Your Dishwasher?

People often report dishwasher pods damaging their dishwasher over time, which raises the question of how good a pod is for your dishwasher. People will report the pod becoming blocked or clogged before it has a chance to dissolve fully.

In reality, the bigger issue is that food grease and waste can start to build up over time in the traps and drains connected to your dishwasher. Over time, the food build-up coupled with soap scum can create clogs that can trap the undissolved dishwasher pods.

If you practice good dishwasher maintenance and regularly clean your dishwasher, using detergent pods is perfectly safe for your machine. Using a dishwasher pod is perfectly safe for the longevity of your dishwasher.

Do Dishwasher Pods Work in All Dishwashers?

Dishwasher pods are pre-measured and packed for a standard dishwasher load. This makes it appropriate and simple to insert a pod into your machine.

For each standard dishwashing load, use only one pod. Add another pod if the load is full and there are too many dirty dishes.

Are Dishwasher Pods Better Than Liquid?

According to Consumer Reports, the best-performing pods clean better than the best gels.

This is because the pods contain more detergents aimed at different things, such as a pre-treat solution, degreaser, and rinse aid. Furthermore, the manufacturer claims that they are much more concentrated.

Upgraded Home Team
Upgraded Home Team

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