Why Isn’t My Washing Machine Using Fabric Softener?

Have you ever loaded your washing machine with fabric softener, only to find that it didn’t dispense at the end of the cycle? It’s a mystery many of us have faced, so what can you do to make sure this doesn’t happen again? Let’s go over the most common reasons why fabric softener isn’t being used in your washing machine.

Why Isn't My Washing Machine Using Fabric Softener

Most washing machines are equipped with a fabric softener dispenser. This is a tray or drawer that holds the fabric softener and is usually located near the detergent drawer.

When the washing machine is in use, the fabric softener should be automatically released during the rinse cycle. However, if you find that your fabric softener isn’t being used, there could be a few issues that are causing the problem.

Common Reasons For Fabric Softener Not Dispensing

There are a few common reasons why your fabric softener isn’t being used. The most common reasons are the fabric softener drawer is obstructed or jammed.

The fabric softener may have been spilled or not added correctly. It may not be compatible with the washing machine, resulting in the dispenser not functioning correctly and preventing the fabric softener from being released.

How To Unblock Fabric Softener In The Washing Machine

If you find that your fabric softener drawer is blocked or clogged, there are a few steps you can take to unblock it. First, remove the fabric softener drawer and check for any blockages.

Fabric softener is clogging hole

If you find any gunk stuck in the back of the softener drawer, try to clear it away using a q-tip or cotton swab. Be sure to clean the hole behind the softener dispenser as this can be blocked and not letting the softener out to the washer. You can also try a toothpick to unclog the fabric softener drawers hole if heavily clogged. Try soaking the complete washing machine dispenser drawer in hot water for a few hours to unclog any blockages. Once the blockage is cleared, put the drawer back in place and try the cycle again.

Softener not added properly

If the fabric softener is not being added to the drawer properly, make sure that you are following the manufacturer’s instructions for adding fabric softener. If you are still having problems, try adding a small amount of fabric softener to the drawer BEFORE you start the cycle.

Low quality fabric softener

If the fabric softener is not compatible with your washing machine, you can try using a different brand or type of fabric softener. If you are using a dollar store band, this can clog up the fabric softener drawer and cause the softener to not dispense to the washer.

Damaged detergent drawer

If the fabric softener dispenser is not working properly, such as being cracked or damaged or you may need to have it repaired or replaced.

Washing machine fabric softener drawer

What To Do If The Softener Drawer Is Full Of Water

If you find that the fabric softener drawer is full of water, you may need to check the water supply to the washing machine. Make sure that the water supply is on and that the hoses are not blocked or kinked.

If the water supply is on and the hoses are not blocked, you may need to check the drain hose. If the drain hose is blocked or kinked, the water will not be able to drain properly and will fill up the fabric softener drawer. To clear the blockage, you can try using a plunger to clear the clog.


Washing Machine Fabric Softener Dispenser Not Emptying

Tips For Preventing Fabric Softener Blockages

To help prevent fabric softener blockages in the future, there are a few tips you can follow:

  1. Make sure to use the correct amount of fabric softener for the size of the load. Too much fabric softener can clog the dispenser.
  2. Clean the fabric softener dispenser regularly. This will help to prevent any build-up of fabric softener or detergent residue.
  3. If you are using a liquid fabric softener, make sure to use the correct type of fabric softener. Some types of fabric softener can clog the dispenser.
  4. Check the hoses and water supply to the washing machine regularly. Make sure that the hoses are not blocked or kinked and that the water supply is turned on.

If your washing machine is not using fabric softener, there could be a few different issues causing the problem. The most common causes are a blocked or clogged fabric softener drawer, improper use of fabric softener, or a faulty fabric softener dispenser. To help prevent blockages in the future, make sure to use the correct amount of fabric softener, clean the dispenser regularly, and check the hoses and water supply to the washing machine. Now that you know why your washing machine isn’t using fabric softener, you can take the necessary steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

If your fabric softener drawer is clogged but you still need to use softener in the washer, people ask us:

Can I add fabric softener directly to the washer?

The answer is no. The fabric softener always needs to be diluted, so make sure to never add it directly into the drum of the washer. When the washing machine is running properly it will release the fabric softener during the final rinse cycle. So do not ever add fabric softener directly to the drum as it may damage your clothing.

Need extra help solving the washer not using fabric softener? Let us know your issue in the comments below. Please try to give us the model number of your washing machine and the exact issue you are having. We will then research your issue and answer your question in the comments below to solve your problem.

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