What to Do When Your Front-Load Washer Isn’t Dispensing Detergent

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The nice thing about a front-load washer is you don’t have to pour detergent right on your clothes, the dispenser handles it for you. However, when you open your load and find it smelling a little water-logged only to find the detergent dispenser still full, you have a problem. However, in most cases, it usually isn’t a serious one.

Before you begin troubleshooting, if you actually need clean clothes right away, you can technically put a small amount of detergent inside your washer on your clothes as if you were using a top-load model. You do need to make sure it is on your clothes so it does not drain away, however.

You will want to check first that the detergent dispenser is not clogged in any way. The best way to do this is to pull it all the way out and release the locking tab on the back so you can remove it. Even if it looks clear, now is a good chance to give it a long soak in warm water as mold can grow in there over time as well.

If the dispenser doesn’t look clogged, you may also want to check if the washer is level. If the washer is tilting forward, the detergent may not be able to be drained into the tub, especially if you are using high-efficiency detergent that requires less product.

Finally, this issue can be caused by an actual problem – faulty solenoids. Behind your detergent dispenser, there are solenoid valves that allow the detergent to dispense properly You will want to check the solenoids with the multimeter. To reach this part, you need to unthread the screws at the back so that you can slide off the top panel, the solenoid, as you would expect, is located behind the detergent alcove. There you can test it with the washer unplugged and replace it if necessary.

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