Front load washing machines and the detergent drawer.

Yes, indeed, two posts in one day.  Can’t believe it myself.

Do you have a front load washing machine?

Sorry for the really bad photo here.  The sun was making its way into my laundry room.

Front load washing machine

The detergent dispenser drawer, located at the top left on my machine, comes out for easy cleaning.  Check your dispenser to see where there might be a snap clip that keeps the drawer in.

Inside my drawer

The bit on the left way to the back is the clip that keeps the drawer in.  This is a small space and just a tad bit difficult to get my fingers in.  Once you find the correct area to press, and I do mean PRESS, the drawer will slide out with a little bit of a firm pull.

Get in there and press down

Press down on the lever

Pull the drawer out.

Pull the drawer out

The above photos were taken AFTER I cleaned the drawer.  This is what it really looked like.

Fabric softener had dried up and clogged the drawer.  This made it difficult for the softener to be dispensed in the wash load.  YUCK!

Dried up fabric softener

Waxy nasty mess

The bleach and fabric softener cups remove easily for cleaning.

Dispenser cups can be removed

Put the drawer bins back in place and put it all back in your washing machine.  Voila.  Good as new.

When I am finished washing I leave the dispenser drawer out and the machine door open.  This allows the air to move around and dry out the inside of my machine.  There are products you can buy that will eliminate the mildew smell that stinks up the joint and your clean clothes.  I avoid that by leaving the doors open.  Besides, since I’m gone for a month or more at a time the mildew smell would permeate the entire house.

A cheap trick you can do if you don’t want to leave the doors open – kids that think the machine is a good hiding place or cats that like the “cave”.  After you have finished your final load of laundry pour ONE CUP of vinegar into the soap dispenser part of the tray and run the empty washer for an entire cycle.  This will allow the vinegar to do its job at sanitizing the machine and eliminating the mildew.  You might have to do this a couple times if you have a really bad build up of stink in your machine.  Vinegar is cheap and it is “Environmentally Friendly”.

Hope this has helped anyone.




About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

7 responses to “Front load washing machines and the detergent drawer.

  • gardenpinks

    I have to admit that cleaning out the washing machine dispenser drawer comes way down on my list of jobs to do 🙂 Although on looking at the inside of the drawer just now it is very clean because (A) I don’t use washing powder but liquid which goes into a dispenser and straight into the drum with the laundry and the fabric conditioner doesn’t seem to clog up either. So I must be very lucky! Hope that luck holds with the new machine we shall be buying when we move 🙂
    Love and hugs
    Lynn xx

    • Message In A Fold

      Good to know that your dispenser is clear of clogs and mess 😀

      Now that sounds promising! “….the new machine we shall be buying when we move”. Sounds really good to me 😀

      Love you – Leslie

  • Jann Gray

    Oooo great tips! My sister has a washing machine like yours so I will be sharing these with her! Thanks Friend! Hugs, Jann

    • Message In A Fold

      Thanks Jann for passing this tip on to your sister. I have to do this about once a year and always forget how to take the dispenser tray out :D. Now I have pictures to remind myself, lol.

      Love you my friend – Leslie

  • nRobinson

    how on earth did you get the drawer back in? I’m held hostage here cos I can’t get the darned drawer in. Any advice.

    • Message In A Fold

      Your dispenser may have a longer arm thing on the left side than on the right. That is how mine is anyway. Get yourself down low enough to see inside the opening where the drawer goes. Make sure the left (or longer arm piece) is going directly into the slot at the far left. It is hard to get the drawer in if you don’t line up the slots. Once you have the pieces lined up on the left, push the drawer in making sure the right side is going in straight. You should be able to just give the drawer a slight shove to get it passed the latch part.

      I hope this helps. If you need photos of what I’m talking about let me know and I’ll post them. Uhm, my machine is pretty dirty right now :/ but I’ll still post photos of them.

      Thank you for leaving your comment and question. I appreciate you.


  • Pam Wright

    Thanks so much for this post. I lost track of how long I spent and how many posts and videos I looked at trying to find out where the darned release button is on my front loader. It’s one of those things that is super easy once you know how. Your photos showed me exactly where it is and how to work it. I went right to the laundry room, popped that bad boy out of there, cleaned it all up, and now I am back in business.

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