A squeaking dishwasher door isn’t the worst issue your dishwasher could possibly have, but it is certainly one of the more annoying ones. Hearing an obnoxious squeak every time you open your dishwasher door is likely going to get old pretty fast. You may also be confused as to what the source of the squeaking is, to begin with.
The most common reason why your dishwasher’s door might be squeaking is friction between some specific components within the door hinge assembly. It may also be that your door hinges are bent or damaged.
In this article, we’ll go into further detail about what exactly makes your dishwasher door squeak, and we’ll show you how you can solve this problem yourself.
Why Your Dishwasher Door Squeaks: The Most Common Reason
There are indeed a few different reasons why your dishwasher door might be squeaking, as there are multiple moving parts within the door hinge assembly. One reason is particularly common, however; namely, friction caused by worn-down parts of the door hinge assembly.
Specifically, within your door hinge assembly, there is a nylon cord that leads from the dishwasher door to the dishwasher body. This cord runs through a guide and a pulley ring and is connected to a spring, all of which help keep the cord tensioned correctly.
Over time, the cord wears down the surface of the guide, which is stationary and is made of plastic. When this happens, the sliding of the cord against the guide causes the obnoxious squeaking noise.
This is a common problem with all dishwashers that have this type of hinge assembly, but fortunately, this means that you can use the same procedure to fix this issue in your dishwasher, regardless of what model you happen to have.
How to Fix Your Squeaky Dishwasher Door
There are a few different ways you can solve the problem of a squeaky dishwasher door. Lubricating the cables can help, as can swapping the guides on either side of the dishwasher. If neither of these things work, it’s likely that you’ll have to have the cables and guides replaced.
Before you can do anything to the door hinge assembly, however, you’ll have to actually access it first. Here’s where you’ll need to start:
1. Accessing the Door Hinge Assembly
First, it’s a good idea to turn off the power to your dishwasher before you start working on it. Repairing your door hinge assembly doesn’t require you to interact with any of your dishwasher’s electrical components, but it’s always better to err on the side of caution when working on any appliance that uses electricity.
Since your dishwasher is likely hardwired to your home’s power, you’ll have to disconnect your dishwasher from its power source by flipping the dishwasher’s circuit breaker. Once you’ve done so, it’s worth double-checking that the dishwasher is powered off by testing some of the buttons on its control panel.
When you’ve finished making sure that your dishwasher is off, you can start pulling it out from your cabinet. To do so, you’ll need to either remove the screws at the top of the dishwasher that connect it to the cabinet, or loosen the legs underneath your dishwasher. The methods used to secure a dishwasher in place inside a cabinet vary depending on the model.
Once you’ve released the dishwasher from the cabinet, move it so it’s entirely outside of the cabinet. Next, you’ll have to remove the bottom cover panel and the side panels of the dishwasher to access the door hinge assembly (you should have already removed the bottom cover panel if you loosened your dishwasher’s legs).
Keep in mind that to fully move your dishwasher out from the wall, you may have to disconnect both your garbage disposal hose and the wires leading to your dishwasher’s junction box. Just take note of the available length of each, and disconnect them if you can determine that moving your dishwasher out all the way will overstretch them.
2. Inspect and Lubricate the Cords and Guides
Now that you have the dishwasher fully pulled out from the cabinet and the requisite panels removed, you should now be able to see the entire door hinge assembly. Look for a spring connected to a length of relatively thin cord, and you’ll find what you’re looking for.
Before trying to lubricate the cords or the guides, inspect the condition of both. If either the cords or the guides appear very obviously worn-out, it’s probably easier and more time-efficient to just replace them outright. You can buy individual cords and guides if you’d like, but there are also kits available with all the parts you need to completely replace a dishwasher door hinge assembly.
If the cords and the guides look to still be in decent shape, lubricating them both might help. You don’t want to use just any kind of lubricant, though; for this purpose, dry lubricant is what’s needed.
If you don’t have any dry lubricant on hand, there are a few household items you probably have around that can also do the trick. If you have any plain Vaseline, applying a small amount of it to the cords with a brush can potentially be a suitable substitute for purpose-made dry lubricant.
If you prefer something less messy than Vaseline, plain hand soap or wax can do the trick. Take a bar of plain soap or a plain wax candle, and rub it liberally over the cords. Once you’ve coated the cords with a decent amount of soap or wax, open and shut the dishwasher door a few times to make sure the cords and guides are both thoroughly coated.
3. Swap the Left- and Right-Side Guides
Another thing you can try is swapping the guides on either side of the dishwasher. This works because the cords generally only wear down one section of the guide where they come into the most contact with, so by switching the guides around the cords will now be in contact with the unworn side of the guides.
Eventually, you’ll need to replace your guides entirely once the other side also wears out, but swapping them around when you start hearing them squeak will help you get the most life out of them and also save you a few bucks.
4. Replace the Door Hinge Assembly
If the situation is particularly bad, for example if one of your door hinges is bent or if one or both of the guides has completely worn out, you may have to replace a part or the whole of the door hinge assembly. As we’ve mentioned, though, door hinge assembly kits and individual parts are readily available, and the parts are pretty easy to replace.
- To perform this repair, start by detaching the cords from the dishwasher door and the spring.
- Then, unscrew the old pulleys and guides.
- If you need to remove the hinge as well, undo all the screws and bolts that hold it in place and pull it off from the dishwasher.
At this point, you’ve removed the entire door hinge assembly. The next step is simply to reinstall the new components in the same way that the original components were installed. Attach the hinge first (if you removed it), then the guides and pulleys, and then the cords.
Once you’ve finished reassmbling everything, open and close your dishwasher door a few times to test it. If the squeaking noise is gone, you can reconnect your garbage disposal hose and junction box wires if needed, and then flip the circuit breaker back on. You’re all done!