Dishwasher doors are meant to easily but tightly close so that none of the cycling water can escape. But part defects or malfunction and a lack of regular maintenance can leave you with a dishwasher door that becomes exceedingly difficult to latch close. The problem can reach the point where it won't latch and the cleaning cycle will therefore fail to begin.
What are some of the potential causes of a dishwasher door that's hard to close?
Broken or Failing Latch
One of the more obvious causes of door closure difficulties is a problem with the latch itself. You can visually inspect the latch for any debris that might have accumulated on or around the latch. Clean the latch accordingly and try again. If the latch still isn't catching, you will likely need a replacement.
Call in an appliance repair technician, like those at A-1 Appliance Service and other locations, to replace the latch. While the replacement wouldn't be overly hard if you have appliance repair experience of your own, it's still best to leave the replacement of such a vital part in the hands of a capable professional.
Dirty or Broken Gaskets
Your automatic dishwasher has a few types of gaskets that are essentially rubberized seals that keep the water from leaking out once the door is closed. If the gaskets become dirty or crack or break, your door can become harder to push closed. You might still be able to latch the door and the cycle might even start, but at some point you might come home to find a leaking dishwasher.
The main gasket is the door gasket that runs around the entire interior perimeter of the door. Regularly check that gasket for signs of mineral buildups, food particles, or cracks. If the problem is simple dirt, wipe the gasket clean with a kitchen sponge and some dish soap or demineralizing cleaner. If the problem is a crack or break, call in an appliance repair tech for a new gasket.
You should also perform the same checks and fixes for the tub gaskets and corner gaskets, if your unit has these gaskets. Check your owner's manual to check what gaskets your unit has and where they are located.
A dishwasher needs to be level in order to function properly. Improper installation can make the dishwasher less than level from the start. Or the vibrations of the cleaning cycles can cause the improperly installed dishwasher to shift slightly to one side over time.
If your dishwasher isn't level, you will want to have the unit reinstalled by a professional to ensure that the unit will be level and safely secured.