Fabric Softener Compartment Full of Water? (try this)

If you notice that the fabric softener compartment is full of water after the machine has finished, it’s obvious that you have a problem. But how much of a problem? And can you fix it yourself? That’s just what we intend to find out in this article.

If the fabric softener has gone and been replaced by water you know that the problem isn’t too severe. The machine has obviously done its job and used the fabric softener, but the compartment should be empty at the end of the program and not full of water. So there is definitely something wrong.

How Does The Fabric Softener Compartment Work?

At the correct time in the program, the machine fills the softener compartment with water.This flushes the softener out the top of the compartment and runs it down the sides and into the drum. This leaves the compartment empty of fabric softener but full of water. 

At the back of the compartment is a small plastic tube with a cover on the top. As the water floods into the compartment, it forces some of the water up into this tube and out into the main drawer. This, in turn should cause a syphoning action to occur causing the remaining water to syphon out of this small tube and drain the softener compartment.

Why Is There Water Left In The Softener Compartment?

Over time the small plastic tube becomes blocked with fabric softener which can dry solid and then more builds up around it and so on. 

How To Clear A Blocked Softener Compartment Syphon Tube

To clean the tube, you will need to remove the whole dispenser drawer and clean the whole of the syphon tube from the cap to the drain at the bottom. Be sure to clean the whole of the pipe as any blockage will result in the same problem as before.

If  you are unable to remove the dispenser drawer for any reason, just fill it with hot water, add a few drops of liquid detergent and let it soak for 20 minutes. Then flush the dispenser with hot water. If you notice any fabric softener inside the dispenser, remove it using a soft cloth and rinse the dispenser again.

Run the machine through a rinse cycle a few times and pour hot water through the dispenser in between rinses to help loosen any build up of gunk.

Washing Machine

What Else Could Cause The Fabric Softener Compartment To Block?

There are a number of other reasons for the fabric softener compartment to become blocked. Below are the most common.

Unlevel Machine

If the machine is not sited on level ground, it could cause the fabric softener compartment to fill up with water. To level the machine just adjust the feet on the machine using a spirit level to check the level.

Water Pressure Too Low

If there isn’t enough water running through the dispenser, the fabric softener will not fully empty from the dispenser which over time will cause it to clog the syphon tube and cause the compartment to fill with water.

The Machine Has Stopped Mid Cycle

There could be any number of causes for this from a power cut that only went on for seconds – Just enough time to stop the program from running. There’s a strong possibility that you would return to the machine in an hour or so’s time and just discover the fault without realising there had been a power cut.

Some Ways To Prevent Blockages In The Fabric Softener Compartment

Now we’ve identified and hopefully solved the problem, let’s look at ways to prevent it happening again.

Never Use More Fabric Softener Than Is Necessary

If you overfill the dispenser, there is a chance that any residue will remain and start to block the syphon tube. Also never use a powdered detergent in the liquid dispenser as this can also cause blockages elsewhere within the dispenser.

Use Soda Crystals In Every Wash

Soda crystals effectively soften the water running through the machine. Adding soda crystals to the wash will help to maintain a clear run through the hoses and pipes of your machine.

Clean The Machine With A White Vinegar Wash

Pour two cups of white vinegar into the detergent dispenser and run the machine on a hot wash cycle without any clothes. This will help to clear any grime, calcium buildup or soap scum. If you detect a faint vinegar smell after the cycle has finished, run another rinse cycle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my fabric softener dispenser full of water?

If the fabric softener dispenser is full of water after the machine has finished, the small plastic syphon tube is probably blocked.

Why is the water not draining from the fabric softener dispenser?

If the water is not draining from the fabric softener dispenser, the probable cause is that the plastic syphon tube is blocked. This can be cleared using hot water and a few drops of liquid detergent. Allow to soak for 20 minutes and then flush with hot water.

Can I put fabric softener directly into the washing machine’s drum?

You should never put fabric softener directly into the machine’s drum as it can damage your clothes. The fabric softener needs to be diluted before it gets to the clothes which is why there is a dispenser to put it into. This then flushes it through with enough water to dilute it at the correct time in the wash cycle.

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