Last updated on February 6th, 2017
Sometimes the washer finishes its cycle and leaves the fabric softener compartment full of water. This is caused by a blockage, or a missing siphon tube. The small fabric conditioner compartment in the soap dispenser drawer has a plastic cap or tube at the back for the water to siphon up through.
How the fabric softener compartment works
When the time comes for the fabric conditioner to be released, cold water enters the small compartment and just washes the conditioner over the top and down the dispenser to the drum. When the water stops flowing, all that is left is the clear water. This water should automatically siphon up the inside of the tube. Siphoning is triggered when water or the fabric softener spills over the top of the compartment.
What causes water to be left?
This tube often gets blocked by the fabric softener itself, and if you remove the dispenser drawer and take off the cap or device you can give the whole thing a good clean out. Make sure you clean through the hole in any tube leading through to the bottom of the drawer. If any part is missing, the siphoning will not occur.
To test the function, hold the soap drawer under a tap and allow water to fill the fabric compartment to overflowing. When you turn off the tap, hold the drawer steady and level, and the remaining water should slowly siphon out of the hole under the cap and run out from the bottom of the drawer.
If everything is clean, and the water drains out ok when doing the above test, but there is still water left in the fabric softener compartment at the end of the cycle then you have a more difficult problem to solve. One possibility is that the washing machine is not level and tilting towards you. Make sure the washer is level front to back as well as side to side.
The only other explanation I can think of is that stray water could be getting into the compartment after the fabric conditioner has been washed out – but not enough to fill to overflow which would start the siphoning process and remove it. If you suspect this check out this article for details about deflected water inside the soap dispenser – Fabric softener taken out too soon. You could also try adjusting the cold water pressure on the washing machine tap to see if it makes any difference.
Remember we are talking about water being left in there – not fabric conditioner. If it was fabric conditioner that would be a different fault (see link below). If there is only water left inside then the fabric softener must have been successfully flushed away and the only thing left to go wrong is the remaining water not siphoning up and out of the compartment, which can only really be caused by a problem with the siphoning process as described.
More fabric softener articles and problems
- Fabric Softener not being taken out
- Fabric softener taken out immediately (or too soon)
- Don’t use fabric softener on children’s sleepwear (flame resistance issue)
- Save on fabric softener when tumble drying
- How to remove the soap drawer
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