We are reader supported. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Also, as an Amazon affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
You just bought your washer, only to realize that it does not have a fabric softener dispenser. Or maybe you have had the washer for some time, but until today, you had never seen the need to use fabric softener. Now you do, but your washer lacks the dispenser. Do you give up using the softener? Or do you devise ways to use it without the dispenser?
So, how can you use your fabric softener if your washing machine does not have the compartment for it? Well, the good news is that you can use your softener without necessarily having a compartment for this. You could simply pour in the softener in the rinse cycle or use dryer sheets instead of liquid fabric softener.
This article discusses in detail ways to use fabric softener in the absence of a fabric softener compartment, using fabric softener on the dispenser, and other related questions. Keep reading to learn more.
How Does a Fabric Softener Dispenser Work?
A fabric softener dispenser is simply the washer compartment where the fabric softener is added to be dispensed later in the rinse cycle.
If the washer has the fabric softener rinse option, also known as the power rinse or deep rinse, the washer first completes the wash cycle then drains the water. It then spins, releasing the softener. It will then fill with water for the rinse cycle, diluting the softener and distributing it evenly throughout the clothes. It will then drain and spin once the rinse cycle is complete.
If the washer does not have the fabric softener option, or if it has but you omit its usage, after the wash cycle, the water will drain, then go to the rinse cycle without spinning. The rinse is not a deep rinse but rather the typical spray rinsing. It then drains and does the final spinning. Note that in this case, there is no spin meant to release the softener at the beginning of the rinse cycle.
Adding Fabric Softener without a Fabric Softener Dispenser
As mentioned already, you can use your fabric softener without necessarily using the dispenser. However, this is possible if there is a fabric softener option on the settings. This is the power/deep rinse option, which states that you should use it when adding softener. With this, you will add the fabric softener at the beginning of the rinse cycle.
Note that the softener needs to be diluted before coming into contact with the clothes. Thus, you should not add it into the drum but deep in the water pockets so that it can be diluted first before touching the clothes.
So, if your model does not have a fabric softener dispenser and at the same time it does not have the fabric softener option on the menu, then you cannot use the fabric softener here. This is because, after the wash cycle, the water will drain and automatically proceed with the spray rinses. This means it does not spin before the rinse cycle, and it does not fill with rinse water to dilute and distribute the softener.
In such cases, you could use the dryer sheets (see Amazon).
How to Add Fabric Softener in a Front Loader
Adding fabric softener in a front loading washer is easy. Simply measure the recommended amount and pour it in the softener dispenser compartment. It will be dispensed later in the rinse cycle.
Adding Softener in a Top Loader
Top loading washers are also easy to use. Just like the front loader, measure the right amount and pour it in the dispenser usually located in the central column. It will be released at the spin cycle just before rinsing begins.
Using Softener Ball
When using softener without a dispenser, you must be keen so that you add it at the right time during the rinse cycle. If you cannot bear this pressure, you can opt for the softener ball like this.
With this, you simply measure the right amount of softener into the ball, close the lid tightly, and toss it into the washer together with the clothes at the beginning of the cycle. The spinning action at the beginning of the rinse cycle will pop the lid open and the softener will be released automatically. Thus, you do not have to stand by the machine waiting for the right time to put in the softener.
How Much Fabric Softener Should You Use?
Too much fabric softener can lead to a buildup of residue in the washer favoring the growth of mold and mildew. At the same time, too little of it will not achieve the desired effect on your clothes. Thus, it is important to measure accurately to ensure you are using just the right amount.
The measuring cup is calibrated with lines indicating the right amount for small, medium, and large load. So, depending on your load, you will be able to put in the needed amount.
What causes water to remain in the softener compartment?
Usually, there is a tube at the back of the softener dispenser, through which the softener flushes into the drum.
During the rinse cycle, some cold water will run through the dispenser, washing the softener into the drum. Some of this water may remain there shortly, but it should drain off eventually. However, this tube can be blocked by the softener itself, making the water flood on the softener dispenser.
You can remedy this by removing the drawer and cleaning it out well to remove the blockage. This way, the conditioner/softener will be released properly and water will also drain.
Can you put the fabric softener in the detergent dispenser?
No, you should not put the softener in the detergent drawer. While it may not do any harm to the washer or clothes, it will not have served its purpose because it will be released in the wash cycle and most of it will be washed away.