Washing Machine Not Taking Softener? (this might be why)

If your washing machine isn’t taking any softener or leaving some softener behind in the dispenser, your clothes will come out of the wash stiff and scratchy. This is a problem that’s usually easy to solve so keep reading as we talk you through how to cure this annoying problem.

There are a number of reasons the machine’s not taking the softener most are common and everyone will experience them at some point. 

Please note: Never tackle any electrical problems unless you are confident in maintaining your own personal safety and you fully understand what you are doing.

Fabric Softener Build-Up

This is the most common reason for the machine to stop taking softener, and the easiest to fix. Every time you add softener to your wash, a small amount remains in the dispenser which overtime causes a blockage preventing the softener from passing through into the drum. To fix this, remove the dispenser and give the drawer a thorough clean.

Use an old toothbrush and a soft cloth for this after soaking the dispenser in warm soapy water for about 20 to 30 minutes. Once all of the gunk has been removed, replace the drawer and run a hot wash cycle with no clothes or detergents added to be certain everything is gunk free.

Unlevel Machine

If it’s a relatively new machine, or if it’s an existing machine that’s not been levelled correctly, the softener will not drain out. This will build-up and eventually cause a blockage. This is another quick and easy fix, just level the machine using the adjustable feet.

Insufficient Water Pressure

If the water pressure is too low, there will not be enough water passing through the dispenser to flush all of the softener through. This won’t necessarily prevent the clothes from getting washed but will leave softener behind. The most common reason for this is the water jets located in the top of the machine directly above the dispenser drawer become blocked.

To solve this remove the drawer and gently push a cocktail stick into each nozzle and then using a toothbrush and warm soapy water give the area a good clean. Then run the machine empty on a hot cycle to completely remove any remaining debris.

This could also be caused by the water inlets being partially blocked. To locate these consult your handbook and remove any debris (usually calcium build-up). If it is calcium, white vinegar works wonders. Just spray it onto the calcium build-up and leave for at least 20 minutes. Once the calcium has dissolved, rinse and run a hot wash cycle.


Thick Softener

Sometimes the fabric softener manufacturers change their ingredients and this can make the softener thicker than it was originally. This can cause some softener to remain in the dispenser which will over time, cause a blockage. Try using a thinner softener or if you really like the softener you’re using try diluting it using ½ and ½ with water.

Ensure There Isn’t Too Much Laundry In Your Machine

When people put lots of laundry into the washer, fabric softeners often get caught up between the garments, which stops it from dispersing throughout the drum. This can result in residue softener remaining in the dispenser. So it’s always important to make sure you aren’t putting too much in per wash load.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my washing machine not taking in fabric conditioner?

The most common cause for washing machines to not take in fabric conditioner is a build-up of conditioner in the dispenser which blocks the flow of fabric conditioner and water.

Can you put fabric softener straight into the washing machine?

You should never put fabric conditioner directly onto clothes as it needs to be diluted before use. If it’s used in its concentrated form, it can damage clothes.

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