Can Dishwasher Tablets Go in Cutlery Basket?

Can Dishwasher Tablets Go in Cutlery Basket

The very last thing you want in the way of doing your dishes is a non-functional soap dispenser. Causes of it not functioning properly can range from soap buildup to a loose rinse aid cap.

When your dishwasher soap dispenser just won’t latch or has been damaged, that shouldn’t ruin your day or halt the washing of dishes because there are ways of getting around this problem.

Just before you consider a fix or a replacement (if there’s a need for that), you first need to handle the present dishes, and one way that can work out is by improvising. In this article, we would be discovering if placing dishwasher tablets in the cutlery basket can be a quick fix.

Can Dishwasher Tablets Go in Cutlery Basket?

Dishwasher tablets can be placed in the cutlery basket in the dishwasher as a smart alternative to the tablets being kept in the soap compartment or dispenser. A tablet in the cutlery basket performs the same cleaning function as it would have done when placed inside the soap compartment.

In fact, some people have claimed that placing the dishwasher tablets cleans even better than placing them in the detergent dispenser. (Source)

How About Placing the Tablets at The Bottom of Your Dishwasher?

Whenever dishwasher owners decide to employ an instant DIY alternative to a faulty soap dispenser, they often either place the dishwasher tablet on the floor of the dishwasher or place it inside the cutlery basket.

Placing the tablet on the inner floor of the dishwasher is not the best idea. The soap tablet tends to dissolve more quickly and it happens especially at the pre-wash stage.

The implication of this is that, when the main cycle begins, there will be little to no available dishwasher soap when it’s time for the normal wash cycle to commence and this will affect how clean the dishes would be at the end the wash cycle.

However, there might not be an issue with this method if you avoid pre-rinsing your dishes.

The Solution

To ensure that the soap does not dissipate before the normal wash cycle, avoid using the pre-rinsing setting when washing your dishes.

If your dishwasher is designed to always pre-rinse or pre-wash dishes first before the normal wash cycle begins, then completely avoid placing the dishwasher tablet inside the dishwasher during the pre-rinse cycle. When it is time for the normal wash cycle to commence, then you can place the dishwasher tablet in.

Damaged Dishwasher Soap Dispenser! (Causes & Solutions!)

1- Faulty Control Board

Whenever the control board is faulty, it would have a domino effect on the key parts of the machine, such as the heating element or the timer.

When it affects the timer which will hamper the soap dispenser from opening whenever it is time for it to let go of the detergent into the machine during a wash.

If nothing is damaged, burnt, or blocked in and around the soap dispenser, then the issue might be emanating from the control board.

Solution #1

Call an expert to check, diagnose, and fix the source of the malfunctioning timer. In many cases when the control board is the issue, the solution most likely requires a replacement.

Solution #2

A quick troubleshooting within a few minutes might just be what your soap dispenser needs to come back to life.

To do this: Switch off your dishwasher. Then, open and close the dispenser door with your hands. Do well to ensure that you hear it click shut. If you get that sound, then, you can restart your dishwasher and watch out for an improvement.

2- Blocked Spring/Latch

The spring/latch makes it possible for the smooth opening and closing of the soap dispenser, either manually or automatically.

And just like the hinges of a door, whenever it is blocked or broken, there would be difficulty in snapping it into place.

The movement of the spring or latch can be hindered by the presence of food residue on that area, but more often than not, the soap tablet might be pressed upon it or its residue being caked around it, impairing its movement.


Properly inspect the spring and latch. Pour a little amount of hot water around the area. Then, dip a clean piece of cloth or soft sponge in the hot water and begin to wipe off the soap build-up or food residue. When that is done and the residues are off the area, spray some vinegar on the latch and spring.

3- Faulty Wires

The wax motor (in an electrically operated dishwasher) or the bi-metal switch (in a manually operated dishwasher), which is located beneath the soap compartment, is responsible for pushing the soap compartment door open when the timer sends the signal.

In a situation whereby the wires of the wax motor or bi-metal switch are burnt or there’s a sudden unidentifiable default, it would hamper the functionality of the soap dispenser feature.

The Solution

Call on an expert technician to disengage the wax motor from the assembly, test, repair, or replace it.

4- Worn-Out Gasket

Some soap dispensers have gaskets around their door to ensure that they shut firmly whenever they are closed.

Certain factors, like someone tampering with the gasket, can cause the gasket to become worn-out, damaged, or loose. And this would make it almost impossible for the soap dispenser to be shut close until a repair is made.

Solution #1

Purchase a new gasket as the old one. Take out the old gasket and press the new one in firmly and you are good to go.

Solution #2

Moisten the gasket with petroleum jelly and press it back in firmly in the situation whereby the gasket is simply loose.

Correct Dishwasher Tablet Placement!

1- Remove the packaging of the dishwasher tablet. If the tablet you have in your hands is designed with a transparent water-soluble covering, do not remove it.

2- Open the soap compartment and place the tablet in. Do well to ensure that the tablet purchased is one that doesn’t fill the entire compartment to avoid any form of difficulty in shutting it.

3- Now you can switch your dishwasher on.

How To Use Dishwasher With A Broken Soap Dispenser?

Placing the Dishwasher Tablet in the Cutlery Basket

1- Switch on the dishwasher and let it pre-rinse the dishes.
2- When it is done with the pre-rinse cycle, lay the tablet (after removing the packaging) flat on the rails of the cutlery rack and begin the normal wash cycle.

Note: Irrespective of the number of dishes in the dishwasher, do well to only add one tablet.

Dishwasher Tablet Dispenser System

These are automatic dispenser systems that release the detergent for many washes.

1- Attach the dispenser system onto the racks and fill it with soap if empty.
2- Close the dishwasher and switch it on for operation.

You just need to unclip this dispenser system after the suggested washes and refill it with a new one.

Final Thoughts!

Surely, a broken or damaged dishwasher soap dispenser isn’t the end of the world for using the dishwasher until the malfunction is repaired.

We’ve learned about placing the dishwasher tablet in the cutlery basket and other DIY methods in getting your dishwasher to wash despite the issue it might be encountering.

Do not forget to look out for those factors aforementioned to discover if your dishwasher soap dispenser is faulty, but more importantly give great care to that small member –the dishwasher soap dispenser.

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