Bosch Dishwasher Sanitize Light Blinking [Quick Fix Guide]

By: Talen Quire

Is your Bosch dishwasher’s “sanitize light” blinking? This frustrating issue signals something more serious than a minor glitch. When the “sanitize light” blinks, it often means the dishwasher hasn’t reached the necessary temperature of 120°F (49°C) to properly sanitize your dishes.

This isn’t just an inconvenience—it can affect the cleanliness and safety of your dishware. You might be left wondering if your dishes are truly hygienic, undermining the trust in your appliance’s performance.

Don’t worry; I’m here to help. In this guide, I’ll share practical, easy-to-follow troubleshooting steps to resolve this issue and get your dishwasher back to its best. Ready to tackle this blinking light? Let’s dive in and solve the problem together!

Blinking sanitize light on Bosch dishwasher

What Does the “Sanitize” Mean on the Bosch Dishwasher?

The “sanitize” setting means that your dishwasher uses higher temperatures, typically around 150°F or more, to kill 99% of bacteria and germs on your dishes. This ensures a deeper and more hygienic clean compared to standard wash cycles.

What Does the Blinking Sanitize Light Mean?

The blinking sanitize light means that your dishwasher hasn’t reached the necessary temperature to complete the sanitization process. This could be due to an issue with the heating element or a disruption in the wash cycle.

However, the normal illuminating “sanitize” light means that the dishwasher is operating at a high temperature, ensuring your dishes are being sanitized and free from harmful bacteria.

Why Is My Bosch Dishwasher’s “Sanitize” Light Blinking?

Here are a few common reasons behind the blinking sanitize light:

1. Temperature Irregularities: The most frequent cause is the dishwasher not reaching the necessary sanitizing temperature, which is usually 120°F (49°C). This might happen due to:

  • A malfunctioning heating element.
  • Issues with the hot water supply.

2. Cycle Interruptions: Interruptions like a power outage or opening the dishwasher door mid-cycle can prevent the cycle from completing properly, causing the “sanitize” light to blink.

3. Clogged Filter or Spray Arms: Blockages can impede water flow, preventing proper heating and distribution. When the dishwasher does not get the required heat, it flashes the “sanitize” light.

4. Door Not Properly Sealed: If the dishwasher door isn’t closed correctly, the cycle will not change, and get stuck/pause. As a result, the “sanitize” light will flash to warn you.

3. Sensor or Control Board Issues: Faulty sensors or a malfunctioning control board can also trigger the blinking sanitize light, indicating a problem in the system.

How to Fix the Blinking Sanitize Light on the Bosch Dishwasher?

Fixing the blinking sanitize light

To fix the blinking sanitize light on your Bosch dishwasher, follow these steps:

Basic Reset Procedure:

  • Locate the Start button on your dishwasher’s control panel.
  • Press and hold this button for about 3-5 seconds.
  • Release the button and wait a few moments to see if the dishwasher resets and the blinking light stops.

This method is like rebooting a computer, helping to clear minor software glitches that might be causing the light to blink.

Power Disconnection Reset:

  • Locate your home’s fuse box or circuit breaker and find the switch controlling power to the dishwasher.
  • Turn off this switch, effectively cutting power to the appliance.
  • Leave the power off for at least five minutes to ensure all residual power in the dishwasher’s system is drained.
  • Restore power to the dishwasher by turning the switch back on.
  • Check the dishwasher to see if the “sanitize” light has stopped blinking and if it returns to normal operation.

This method is more thorough, similar to performing a hard reset on an electronic device, and can clear deeper system errors.

Clean the Filter and Drain

Locate the Filter

  • Typically, the filter is at the bottom of the dishwasher. Remove the bottom rack for easy access.

Inspect and Clean

  • Check the filter for food particles, grease, or other debris. Rinse it under running water and gently scrub it with a soft brush if necessary.
  • For clogged drains, use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to clear minor blockages.

Water Temperature and Detergent Use

Water Temperature Check

  • Your dishwasher requires a minimum water temperature of 120°F (49°C) to function correctly. Use a kitchen thermometer at the tap closest to the dishwasher to verify this.

Correct Detergent Usage

  • Use a detergent specifically designed for dishwashers. Avoid using too much, as it can lead to suds and residue. If using tablets or pods, place them in the designated dispenser.

Check the Door Seals and Latches

Dishwasher door seal and latch

Inspect Door Seals

  • Look for any signs of wear or damage on the rubber gasket around the door. A compromised seal can prevent the dishwasher from operating correctly.

Latch Functionality

  • Ensure the door latch clicks securely. If the door doesn’t close properly, the dishwasher won’t start. Adjust or replace the latch if necessary.

Is It Safe to Use a Bosch Dishwasher with Blinking Sanitize Lights?

No, it’s not safe to use your Bosch dishwasher with blinking sanitize lights. Using the dishwasher while the sanitize light is blinking may result in dishes that are not adequately sanitized, which could pose a health risk. To ensure your dishes are clean and safe to use, it’s advisable to troubleshoot and resolve the underlying issue causing the blinking light.

Can Blinking “Sanitize Light” Be a Sign of a Larger Issue?

Yes, a blinking “sanitize” light can be a sign of a larger issue with your Bosch dishwasher. While basic resets might temporarily resolve the issue, persistent blinking often points to more serious underlying problems.

Pump or Drain Issues

When your dishwasher is not draining properly or making unusual noises, the problem might be with the pump or drain. A malfunctioning pump or clogged drain can prevent the dishwasher from completing its cycle, causing the sanitize light to blink as a warning.

You can use the force drain feature on the Bosch dishwasher to fix this issue.

Temperature Regulation Problems

Inconsistent water heating or failure to reach the required sanitization temperature can also trigger the blinking light. This could be due to a faulty heating element or a malfunctioning thermostat, both essential for maintaining the right water temperature during the cycle.

Door Latch Issues

If the dishwasher door is not sealing properly, it can interrupt the cycle. A defective door latch or a worn-out seal can prevent the dishwasher from maintaining the necessary temperature and pressure, leading to the blinking sanitize light.

When Should I Call the Professional for Help?

Dishwasher Professional technician

While DIY troubleshooting is valuable, recognizing when to seek professional assistance is crucial.

Persistent Blinking Sanitize Light

If the “sanitize light” keeps blinking despite your troubleshooting efforts, it indicates a deeper issue that needs expert attention.

Failure to Reset

When the dishwasher does not reset properly after trying the basic and power disconnection resets, it suggests a more complex problem that requires a technician’s expertise.

Complex Electrical or Mechanical Problems

Signs of electrical malfunctions, such as tripping circuits, or mechanical failures, like unusual noises or parts not functioning correctly, necessitate professional intervention.

Repeated Error Codes

If you encounter recurring error codes, especially those related to heating elements (E09), drainage issues (E22), or blocked filters/pumps (E25), it’s time to call in a certified technician to prevent further damage.

What Are the Common Error Codes Related to the “Sanitize” Setting?

Error code showing on dishwasher

Error codes help identify specific issues that may prevent the “sanitize” cycle from working correctly. Here are the most common error codes with their explanations:

E09: Heating Issue

  • Explanation: This code indicates a problem with the dishwasher’s heating element, preventing it from reaching the high temperatures required for the “sanitize” cycle.
  • Solution: Check the heating element and consider replacing it if faulty. Ensure the dishwasher is receiving adequate power.

E22: Drainage Issue

  • Explanation: This code suggests a water drainage problem, which could affect the cycle’s completion and hygiene.
  • Solution: Inspect and clean the dishwasher’s filters. Check the drain hose for blockages to ensure proper water flow.

E25: Blocked Filter or Pump

  • Explanation: This code points to a blocked filter or pump, potentially disrupting the “sanitize” cycle’s effectiveness.
  • Solution: Clean the filter and examine the pump for obstructions. Regular maintenance can prevent this issue.

In dealing with these errors, it’s important to first try simpler solutions like checking for blockages or resetting the dishwasher.

Regular maintenance and understanding of these error codes can greatly improve the lifespan and functionality of your Bosch dishwasher.

How Do I Clear the Error Code on My Bosch Dishwasher?

Clearing the error code on your Bosch dishwasher can usually be done with a few simple steps. Here’re those steps:

  1. Identify the Error Code: Check the dishwasher’s display to identify the specific error code. Bosch dishwashers often show a combination of letters and numbers (e.g., E15, E24).
  2. Turn Off the Dishwasher: Press the power button to turn off the dishwasher. If your model doesn’t have a power button, unplug the dishwasher or switch off the circuit breaker.
  3. Wait a Few Minutes: Leave the dishwasher off for about 5-10 minutes. This helps reset the control board.
  4. Turn the Dishwasher Back On: Plug it back in or switch on the circuit breaker. Turn on the dishwasher and see if the error code has cleared.
  5. Check for Obstructions: Sometimes, error codes are caused by blockages or issues with water flow. Ensure that the filters, spray arms, and drain area are clear of debris.
  6. Consult the Manual: If the error code persists, refer to your Bosch dishwasher’s manual. It provides specific instructions for each error code, including possible fixes.
  7. Run a Test Cycle: Run an empty test cycle to see if the error code reappears.

What Are the Tips to Prevent the Future Occurrence of This Issue?

To prevent future occurrences of the blinking sanitize light issue on your Bosch dishwasher, follow the below-given tips:

Regular Maintenance and Care

Maintaining the dishwasher

Routine Cleaning

  • Filter and Spray Arms: Clean the filter and spray arms every 3-6 months. Remove the filter, rinse it under running water, and use a toothpick to clear debris from the spray arms. This prevents clogs that can impair efficiency.

Proper Loading

  • Avoid Blocking Spray Arms: Load dishes correctly to avoid blocking the spray arms. Overloading or incorrect placement can lead to inadequate cleaning and increased strain on the dishwasher, potentially causing future issues.

Utilizing the Sanitize Function

Sanitization Benefits

  • High-Temperature Wash Cycle: Regular use of the sanitize function ensures a hygienic clean by removing stubborn residues and preventing the buildup of harmful bacteria.

Optimal Use

  • Monthly Sanitize Cycle: Run the sanitize cycle at least once a month. This maintains the interior cleanliness and extends the lifespan of your appliance by preventing the accumulation of unseen contaminants.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Reset a Bosch Dishwasher Stuck on Sanitize?

To reset a Bosch dishwasher stuck on sanitize, press and hold the “Start” button for at least 3 seconds until the display resets. This should trigger the dishwasher to start draining and reset the cycle.

Why is the Sanitize and Rinse Aid Flashing on My Bosch Dishwasher?

The sanitize and rinse aid lights flash if the dishwasher doesn’t reach the required sanitization temperature. Check the water temperature by running the hot water tap for 30 seconds before starting the dishwasher.

Is the Sanitize Light Blinking on My Bosch Dishwasher a Common Issue?

Yes, the sanitize light blinking is a common issue with Bosch dishwashers. It typically signals a problem with reaching the required sanitization temperature or other cycle interruptions.

How Often Should I Clean the Filter on My Bosch Dishwasher?

You should clean the filter on your Bosch dishwasher every 3-6 months. Regular cleaning ensures efficient operation and prevents clogs that can lead to performance issues.

How Often Should I Run a Cleaning Cycle on My Bosch Dishwasher?

Run a cleaning cycle on your Bosch dishwasher at least once a month. This helps maintain interior cleanliness, prevents buildup, and ensures optimal performance.

Can a Faulty Temperature Sensor Cause the Sanitize Light to Blink?

Yes, a faulty temperature sensor can cause the sanitize light to blink. It prevents the dishwasher from reaching the required temperature for sanitization, triggering the warning light.

Can a Faulty Drain Pump Cause the Sanitize Light to Blink?

A faulty drain pump can cause the sanitize light to blink. If the dishwasher can’t drain properly, it may not complete the cycle, leading to incomplete sanitization and the blinking light.

Can Using the Wrong Type of Detergent Cause Issues with the Sanitize Light?

Yes, using the wrong type of detergent can cause issues with the sanitize light. Inappropriate detergent can lead to residue buildup, affecting the dishwasher’s performance and sanitization cycle.


To wrap things up, understanding the meaning behind your Bosch dishwasher’s blinking sanitize light is crucial for maintaining its efficiency. This light often indicates temperature irregularities or cycle interruptions.

We covered various DIY troubleshooting steps, including basic and power disconnection resets. Regular maintenance, like cleaning filters and ensuring proper water temperature, can prevent future occurrences.

When error codes persist, identifying common issues such as pump or heating element malfunctions can be helpful. However, don’t hesitate to call a professional if problems persist or seem complex.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure your Bosch dishwasher operates smoothly and keeps your dishes hygienically clean.

About Talen Quire

Talen Quire is a seasoned mechanical engineer with 20 years of industry experience. He earned his engineering degree from the University of Michigan and holds certifications in research and prototype development. Talen has collaborated with top brands like KitchenAid, GE, and BOSCH. Currently, he works at a leading research and development company. Passionate about technology, Talen actively shares the latest tech updates online, engaging a community of enthusiasts and professionals. Outside of work, he's an amateur astronomer and enjoys woodworking, creating detailed furniture and gadgets in his workshop.

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