Pressure Washer Soap Dispenser Doesn’t Work?

We use the pressure washer for home, vehicles, and outdoor cleanings. A power washer produces at least 20-times more water spike than a garden hose. Yet, we need to use a soap solution or detergent for the professional look. A soap dispenser does that beautiful work for us. But, sometimes our pressure washer soap dispenser doesn’t work. There are a few common reasons that cause the problem.

In this article, we will discuss the most common factors that trigger the issue. Read on the article to learn the probable reasons along with their solutions.


pressure washer shop dispenser doesn't work

How to Troubleshoot when a Pressure Washer Soap Dispenser Doesn’t Work

We have taken the most common 5 instances when a pressure washer fails to work. For your convenience, we have arranged them maintaining a sequence. Follow the step by step troubleshooting process to solve the problem.


Problem with the Nozzle/Sprayer

The first step of your troubleshooting should be with the soap nozzle. Your pressure washer may have an attached soap tank with it or not. But it has a separate soap sprayer or nozzle. Almost 95% of the power washers come with 3 to 5 nozzles including this one. The color of the soap nozzle is black and it is 65-degree for almost 99% pressure washers.

The sole purpose of the soap nozzle is to spray soap. Compared to other nozzles, the soap nozzle permits less water and less speed of the water flow. Your soap needs to sit on the surfaces for 5 to 10 minutes depending on the surfaces. During this period, the soap interacts with the dust/grime to weaken its internal bondage.

It is a very common case for almost every user to mess up with the nozzle. That is, they mistakenly use other nozzles instead of soap one. As a result, your soap dispenser might not work. You have to use soap sprayer to help the dispenser to work perfectly. So, make sure that you are using the dedicated soap nozzle with the dispenser.

Moreover, sometimes the soap nozzle gets clogged when thick dirt gathers inside its bore. If this is the case, you need to clean the bore to remove the dirt. But, not all the clogged nozzle can be serviceable again. In that case, you have to replace the old nozzle with a fresh and serviceable one. We recommend you to keep at least 2 to 3 soap nozzles as a backup.


Problem with the Soap Solution

We buy detergent/soap solution or manually mix chemicals to produce a cleaning solution. The detergent/soap solution that we use with a power washer is thicker than the common soap or detergent. But, we can not use the soap solution or detergent after just unboxing it.

Well, you need to dilute the soap/detergent before you use it with the soap dispenser. If you forget to dilute the soap/detergent, your soap dispenser may not work. Furthermore, you need to maintain the recommended water and soap ratio during the dilution. The recommended ration will be written on the detergent or soap bottle.

If the soap/detergent bottle doesn’t tell you the recommended ratio, follow the common form. Mix one-fifth of soap/detergent with four-fifth water. In other words, use 20% soap/detergent with 80% water.

Note: Sometimes we use bleaching powder to make the cleaning solutions. This is bad for almost 90% pressure washer parts. As a result, most of the power washer brands forbid the use of bleaching powder. Even, some brands invalidate the warranty of the washer once you use bleach. Using the bleach solution with the soap tank can produce the issue you are suffering from. So, please avoid using bleach with the soap tank.


Problem with the Siphon Tube

As you are using the soap dispenser you might know the siphon tube. Well, the siphon tube is a soft pipe that helps travel the soap or detergent. You need to use the perfect tube having the right size and diameter. Sometimes, using a wrong siphon tube may fail your soap dispenser. So, check the tube to ensure that you are using the recommended one.

Every power washer has a dedicated siphon tube for the soap solution. The manufacturer determines and recommends the tube for each model. You may have the option to use one siphon tube with almost every pressure washer of the same brand. But, that has to be predetermined and recommended by the manufacturer. Otherwise, you are not allowed to mess up with the siphon tube.

Now, locate the two ends of the tube. One end connects with the soap injector system and other ends with the wand. If the tube seems to have the right size and dia, visually check it for unwanted debris/blockage. If you find any dirt or debris inside the tube, clean it using pure water.


Problem with the Detergent Tank

The detergent tank itself may produce the problem. The tank is simply a reservoir or pot to hold the soap solution. But, the tank can produce trouble if you forget to clean it after every use. The soap solution or detergent for the power washer is thicker than the regular cleaning chemicals. So, the soap can block the dispenser hole if it gets dried up.

We refill the soap solution into the soap tank. In 99% of cases, we pour down more solutions than pour needs. As a result, a significant amount of soap remains unused. The unused soap can make a blockage in front of the outlet point. Furthermore, over time, the residue of soap solution or detergent may create the same situation.

When the soap/detergent gets dried up, it transforms into hard particles. As a result, if it blocks the opening hole of the soap tank, you won’t get any soap out of your soap dispenser. You need to check the soap tank to ensure that it has no debris as residue. To get a safer operation, do not forget to clean the soap tank after every use.

Note: You are not allowed to keep the soap solution in the tank for next time use. It is fine if the interval between the two slots of operation is less than 2 hours.


Problem with the Soap Injector System

If all the above-mentioned steps fail to fix the soap tank, follow this final step. If you fail to solve the issue after following this final step, call in a local expert or replace the soap injector system.

Soap injector kit helps your power washer inject/spray soap. A soap injector kit has a few components, i.e. injector, o-ring, conical spring, ball e.t.c. If one or more components of the injector kit fail to do the assigned task, your soap dispenser will not work. So, you need to take off the injector kit to inspect whether it is in good condition.

Locate the soap injector on your pressure washer. Generally, the injector is positioned near the pressure pump and high power hose outlet end. Your pressure washer injector may have separate placement depending on the brand. If you can’t find the location, see on the diagram that comes with the user manual.

Now, use two adjustable wrenches to loosen up the injector kit. Hold the power washer portion with one adjustable wrench. Use the other wrench to grasp the injector kit. Now, a 180-degree counter-clock turn should loosen up the kit. Once the kit loosens up from the power washer, turn the kit again to loosen up from its orbit. Now, remove the injector kit from the pressure washer.

Soap Injector Kit Rebuilding

Now, shake the kit downward to take out the conical spring and the ball. After that, use a drift to take out the O-ring from the injector bore. You need to have the O-ring, conical spring, and the ball as your spare parts. All of them come as a package.

We don’t know the exact part that is failing the soap injector and eventually the soap dispenser. So, we need to find the error through trial. You can replace all of them at a time or one by one. Replace the old O-ring, spring, and the ball with serviceable ones.

Lubricates the new O-ring before putting it into the injector bore. Over lubricating may block the ball from spinning. To ensure that, first put the O-ring and then drop the ball into the bore. Now, shake the injector downward. If the ball comes out without any hassle, you have done the job perfectly. If it doesn’t come, use the drift to take out the ball and O-ring. Reduce the lube and set it back to the bore.

Now, place the injector kit to its respective position following exactly the reverse approach. Give a functional run of your power washer. Inspect whether the soap dispenser works or not. If the problem persists, you should find a local mechanic or replace the whole injector system.

Hunter Tips for Soap Dispenser

Use low pressure while you are using the soap dispenser. The higher pressure won’t work with your soap dispenser. If you use forcefully, you may end up damaging the soap injection system. Happy cleaning!


A pressure washer is a great tool that can be used as the ultimate dirt fighter. We can not clean all the dirt and grime off the surfaces just using the power washer’s water spike alone. In those cases, we need to use the soap/detergent solution to break the bondage of the dirt. Unfortunately, an unfit soap dispenser can not do the task by any means. We need to fix the soap dispenser if it doesn’t work. We hope that our article helped solve your issue.

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