How to Unclog a Fabric Softener Dispenser in a Washing Machine

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Things You'll Need

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Dish soap

  • Scrubbing pad

  • Dish towel

A fabric softener dispenser for a washing machine is located on the top of the machine for front-load models and under the lid for top-load machines. The dispenser allows the user to add fabric softener in the beginning of the cycle and the machine dispenses the softener at the proper time. Over time, the dispenser becomes clogged with dried and semi-dried fabric softener. Unclogging the fabric softener dispenser is accomplished by removing and cleaning it.


Step 1

Locate the screws that secure the fabric softener unit to the washing machine. There are usually three or four screws, but there could be more depending on the washer.

Step 2

Remove the screws using a Phillips screwdriver. Turn the screws counterclockwise to loosen them. Ensure that you remove all the screws that secure the fabric softener dispenser to the washing machine. Pull off the fabric softener dispenser unit from the washing machine.

Step 3

Fill a sink with hot water and add three or four squirts of dish soap.


Step 4

Soak the fabric softener dispenser in the hot, soapy water for 20 minutes. The dish soap will loosen the dried fabric softener and make it easier to scrub.

Step 5

Scrub the fabric softener dispenser with a scrubbing pad and rinse thoroughly with hot water. Dry the unit with a dish towel.

Step 6

Reinstall the fabric softener dispenser and secure it with the screws you removed. Turn the screws clockwise using the screwdriver. Do not over-tighten the screws.


Damon Koch

Damon Koch has years of writing experience ranging from software manuals to song lyrics. His writing has appeared in software manuals for Human Arc and on the CDs "Small Craft Advisory" and "Impersonating Jesus." He also has worked in building maintenance since 2004. He has attended Lorain County Community College as well as Cleveland State University.