Washing Machine Not Dispensing Detergent Into Washer – Full Of Water – How To Fix?

My front loading washing machine does not dispense detergent. After I wash a load of clothes, the HE detergent and fabric softener is still in the detergent drawer. The bleach also does not dispense correctly. Occasionally the detergent drawer is full of water with the detergent. What could be wrong and how do I prevent this from happening?

Washing Machine Not Dispensing Detergent Into Washer - How To FixWashing Machine Not Dispensing Detergent Into Washer

Fix It Fast – Slide the detergent drawer out and clean it under warm water. Remove any clumped residue that may be clogging the small holes near the back of the drawer. Slide it back into the detergent housing and run test wash. Still an issue? See below…

Clogged Detergent Drawer

In most cases when the detergent is not dispensing into the washer, this indicates the detergent drawer needs to be cleaned. There is a blockage in the drawer preventing the detergent from dispensing. Try cleaning out the drawer to see if this fixes the issue. The cleaning procedure is the same for all front loader washers and the new style top loading washing machines. RELATED: How To Remove And Prevent Black Mold In Washing Machine Detergent Drawer

Clogged Washing Machine Dispenser DrawerClean Clogged Washing Machine Dispenser

Washer Is Not Level

The washer may be sitting at a slight tilt. Level the washing machine to avoid detergent siphoning issues and “washer walking” problems. Apply a bubble level to the top of the washer to be sure the machine is level. If the washer is not level, the detergent may not be able to siphon correctly. This can cause the dispenser to be full of water and or the detergent does not siphon out. Turn the legs on the bottom of the washer to level it. Install the washing machine on a flat floor for best results. RELATED: How To Fix And Stabilize An Unbalanced Washing Machine

Washer Not Level - Turn Legs To Level The Washing MachineWasher Not Level – Turn Legs To Level The Washing Machine

Why Does The Detergent Not Dispense Into The Washer?

Over time the HE detergent leaves a small amount of soap residue in the detergent drawer. This leftover detergent residue will clog the outlet/siphon holes in the drawer and prevent the detergent from entering the washer. A simple cleaning should fix the problem.

Washing Machine Dispenser Maintenance

How To Remove and Clean the Detergent Drawer?

1. Slide the detergent drawer out until it cannot go any further.
2. At the back of the drawer is a clip, push the clip and pull the drawer out.
3. Remove the plastic compartments from inside the drawer. (Detergent, Softener, Bleach)
4. Clean the detergent drawer and plastic compartments under warm soapy water.
5. Gently scrub to remove any globs of residue that may be causing a blockage.
6. Wipe out the detergent drawer housing to remove any residue or mold.
7. Once clean, slide the drawer back into the washing machine.
8. Fill the drawer with the correct HE detergent and run a test wash.
Detergent drawer still having a fault? See below…

Washer - Dispenser MaintenanceWasher – Detergent Dispenser Maintenance

How To Prevent The Detergent Drawer From Clogging?

If the washer clogs on a normal basis, try distilled white vinegar. Pour it into the dispenser and run the washing machine on a regular cycle. The vinegar should remove clogs and any residue!

It is best to clean out the detergent drawer every month. This will prevent any clogs or residue from blocking the siphon holes in the detergent drawer.

How To Fix Washer Detergent Drawer Full Of Water?

1. Follow the cleaning steps above to fully clean out the drawer and drawer housing.
2. Check for any hard water deposits as these can clog the drawer and cause water to enter into it.
3. Be sure the drawer is closed securely as the detergent will not siphon out and the dispenser may fill with water.

What Causes The “Washer Does Not Dispense Detergent” Issue?

1. Too much detergent – Overfill can cause a blockage or siphoning problem.
2. The wrong type of detergent – Non HE detergent or powdered soap can cause a clog.
Always try to use liquid detergents, liquid fabric softener, and liquid bleach – If any detergent is too thick, dilute it with water to avoid clogging.
3. Issue with pump siphoning detergent – Other mechanical issue causing the problem. Water Inlet Valve or the Drawer Assembly itself may be faulty or clogged.

Washing machine dispenser drawersWashing Machine Dispenser Drawer Replacement

If the washing machine still does not siphon the detergent or the softener out, and the drawer is free of residue clogs, see below for how to fix.

Below is a video that shows disassembling a front load washer to fix the specific issue of detergent drawer not dispensing.

How to Diagnose Dispenser Drawer Problems
How to fix detergent, softener and bleach compartments
that are not dispensing into washer on wash or rinse cycle

If you have not solved the problem with your washing machine, please leave your washing machine fault below in the comments and we will get back to you with some tips to fix the no dispensing issue or water in dispenser problem.

ALLEN VETTER - DIY Repair Assistant
Allen is a Home Maintenance/Appliance tech and the author/creator of this website. He has 30 years of experience troubleshooting and repairing all types of machinery. Contact here

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