How to Fix a Dishwasher Door Latch

Updated July 20, 2017

Dishwashers are supposed to make life easier. But when they are not working properly, they can make life aggravating. Buying a new dishwasher or hiring a repair person can cost hundreds of dollars. With the proper know-how, anyone can fix most dishwasher problems and save money. One of the most common problems is a malfunctioning door latch.

Inspect the latch for visible debris that may be caught in the components. This is a common reason a door is hard to open or close.

Use a rag to clean debris from the latch components.

Lubricate the latch components with WD40 or other lubricating spray.

Test the door to see if it is working properly.

Locate the strike plate at the top of your dishwasher.

Note if the strike plate hits the door when closing, or if it slides cleanly into the latch components.

Adjust the strike plate up or down by lightly tapping it with a hammer.

Close the door and test the fit. Repeat this process if necessary.


Before making any repairs, check if your dishwasher is still under warranty or if a particular part has been recalled. If the above steps do not resolve the problem, you may need to replace the door latch. One well-known company that sells replacement parts is (see Resources section). Search by the make and model of your dishwasher and buy a new door latch or strike plate. Install according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Things You'll Need

  • Hammer
  • Rag
  • WD40 or other lubricating spray
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About the Author

Jon Olson holds a Bachelor of Science in industrial technology education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He also has a Master of Science in curriculum and instruction, as well as a master's degree in educational administration. Olson teaches industrial technology at the high school level and is in charge of all industrial technology curriculum for his school district.