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How To Fix Front Load HE Washer Does Not Dispense Detergent

Question: Why won’t the softener and detergent on my front load washer dispense? I have an HE front loader I bought off Craigslist. The detergent and fabric softener never fully dispenses. We have completely removed the dispenser to see if it was clogged. We put it in the sink filled with hot water to clean it out. We even cleaned the little holes on the dispenser as we thought maybe it was blocked. It still will not work. Do you have any ideas on how to fix it so I can wash my clothes?

front load HE washer not dispensing detergent

1. Be sure the dispenser is not clogged. Remove the complete dispenser by pulling all the way out and pressing a small tab at back. Then pull out to completely remove. Soak it in hot water in your sink and clean it out. Check the washer where the dispenser was. Be sure there is no build up of detergent or softener that may be clogging the dispensing process. If so use a toothbrush and scrub the gunk away to clear out the holes so the dispenser can dispense.


2. Be sure the detergent and softener are not very thick. If it is thick or maybe the temperature is cold and the liquid is turning to gel, it needs to be diluted with a little water.

3. Make sure you only use a liquid fabric softener or liquid detergent as the powders can and will clog up the dispenser.

4. If applicable, be sure the cover is on the dispenser. It may not work properly if the cover is not in place. Sometimes if the cover is not in the proper place, it will not siphon the detergent or softener as designed.

5. If the washing machine is not level, it can cause the detergent or softener to move to one side and not get siphoning into the washer. Make sure your washer is level by putting a level on top of it and observing the small bubble inside to be absolute sure it is level. HINT: If you do not own a level, you can download one on your smartphone!

clean washer detergent dispenserClean the washer detergent dispenser regularly to avoid clogging

If all of the above suggestions for fixing a washer that does not dispense detergent fail to fix your issue, the next thing is to test the solenoids. The washer detergent dispenser has solenoids valves behind it that allow for the detergent to dispense properly. To check to be sure they are working properly, unplug the washer and check the resistance of the solenoids with a multimeter. If a solenoid is faulty, this will be the reason for your dispenser not dispensing. You can order a complete dispenser with the dispenser drawer and the complete housing. See the video below to see how you would remove and replace this yourself…

Washer Detergent Dispenser Replacement – Front-Load HE Washer Repair

These helpful tips should fix your dispenser issue. If not you may need to call a technician. If you will repair this issue in the future but need to wash your clothes now, you can manually add a very small amount of detergent or softener to the load when you initially put your clothes in.

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If you have found another reason a washer dispenser will not dispense detergent, please leave a comment below to assist our other readers.

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