What should I do when the fabric softener does not drain properly?

Last Update date : Oct 19. 2020

From time to time, it is possible to happen that detergent will remain or not be discharged into the detergent drawer. This may be caused by various reasons and normally it is not a product malfunction. Below are instructions for two variations of detergent drawers in our front loader and top loaders. See these frequent detergent drawer cases and follow the instructions.

It is recommended to use the HE (High Efficiency) detergent with all Samsung washing machines.


Detergent drawer of the front-loading machine

A front-loading washing machine provides a three-compartment dispenser.

  • Main-wash compartment (A): For the main wash. Apply main-wash detergent, water softener, soaking detergent, bleach, or stain remover.
  • Softener compartment (B): For the fabric softeners. Apply additives such as fabric softener.
  • Prewash compartment (C): For the preliminary wash. Apply prewash detergent.

Note: The actual design of the compartments may differ from your model.

Detergent drawer of the top-loading machine


A top-loading washing machine provides a two-compartment dispenser.


Type 1

  • Wing distributor (A): For the main wash. Apply the main-wash detergent, water softener, soaking detergent, bleach, or stain remover.
  • Rinse cap (B): For the fabric softeners. Apply additives such as fabric softener.

Type 2

  • Softener compartment (A): Add a recommended amount of fabric softener into the softener compartment.
  • Liquid detergent compartment (B): Apply a recommended amount of liquid detergent into the compartment. To use powdered detergent, remove the liquid detergent compartment. The washing machine does not dispense the powdered detergent from the liquid detergent compartment.
  • Bleach compartment (C): Add nonchlorine bleach as instructed by the manufacturer.

Note: The actual appearance of the softener guide may differ from the model. 

Case 1. If detergent is not discharged and remains in the drawer

Check to ensure that rinse cap is inserted properly

Make sure that the detergent is added in the center of the detergent drawer.

To remove the remaining detergent, perform the RINSE+SPIN cycle with the drum being empty.

  • Rinse cap on the front-loading machine

  • Rinse cap on the top-loading machine


  • The actual design of the component may differ from your model.
  • If a problem persists, contact a local Samsung service center.

Check the debris on the detergent drawer and cleaning

The washer's automatic dispenser may need to be cleaned periodically to eliminate traces of liquid detergent, and the fabric softener can solidify in the drawer and drawer compartment or inside the plastic siphon tubes. This build-up can restrict the detergent additives from entering the tub properly. Therefore, clean the washer detergent drawer periodically with a soft cloth to avoid detergent build-up.

Make sure that the washing machine is running with sufficient water pressure

Check the inlet hose screens to see if there are any blockages. If the washing machine does not have enough water pressure, the fabric softener will not drain.


  • To check the screens, turn the water off with the water valves.
  • Remove the hot and cold water hoses from the back of the washing machine.
  • Use wire-stripping pliers or a suitable tool to remove the filters. Clean and reinstall the filters, and then reconnect the hoses.

Level the washing machine

Make sure that the washing machine is leveled. If the washing machine is not properly leveled, residual fabric softener can collect in the washing machine and clog the dispenser.


  • To prevent tumbling or noise, install the washing machine on a solid, flat floor without a platform or bricks.
  • Keep the washing machine 10 cm from each adjacent wall.


  • Stop using the washing machine if there is a water leak and contact a local Samsung service center. Otherwise, this may cause electric shock.
  • Do not stretch the water hose by force. If the hose is too short, replace the hose with a longer, high-pressure hose.
  • Use a standard type of water tap. If the tap is square-shaped or too big, remove the spacer ring before inserting the tap into the adaptor.
Case 2. If detergent is discharged before starting the laundry course

If the fabric softener or bleach is dispensing into the drum before the cycle starts, you have overfilled the dispenser. Both the fabric softener and bleach compartments work using a siphon. If the respective compartments are overfilled, the siphoning action occurs immediately, and the fabric softener or bleach is dispensed into the drum. This may cause damage to your clothes. Be sure to only fill the dispenser to the Max line.

Note: Make sure to use detergent as appropriate. An excessive amount of detergent may not dissolve well.

How to clean the compartment

Detergent drawer in the front-loading washing machine


Step 1. While holding down the release lever on the inner of the drawer, slide open the drawer.

Step 2. Remove the release lever and the Liquid detergent guide from the drawer.


Step 3. Clean the drawer components in flowing water using a soft brush.



Step 4. Clean the drawer recess using a soft brush.
Step 5. Reinsert the release lever and the Liquid detergent guide to the drawer.
Step 6. Slide the drawer inward to close it.


Detergent drawer in the top-loading washing machine


Step 1. Open the door and then the Built-in sink to reveal the detergent drawer.
Step 2. Slightly lift the front edge of the drawer, and then slide it open.
Step 3. Remove the wing distributor (A) and rinse cap (B) from the drawer. 


Step 4. Clean the drawer as well as the distributor and rinse cap with running water and a soft brush.

Step 5. When complete, close the rinse cap and reinsert the distributor. Then, reinsert the detergent drawer.


Note: The actual design of the compartments may differ from your model.

Tips for using the detergent drawer

When detergents are not dissolving well

  • Use warm water (about 40°C) to dissolve the detergent. (Make sure to use an appropriate amount.)
  • Even if an excess amount of detergent is used, there is not much difference in the washing result. It may cause damage to your garments because rinsing is not enough.
  • The bleaching agent may cause damage to your garments since it is a strong alkali.
  • Sufficiently rinse your garments rinsing because the powder detergent can easily remain on the garments causing bad odors.
  • If too much detergent is used or cold water is used, it doesn’t dissolve completely and will remain on the garments, hose, or spin basket, causing contamination of your clothes.
  • In case of reserved washing, detergents must be put in the detergent box. If the powder detergents are put on the laundry directly, it may cause discoloration. 

Apply a proper detergent type

  • The type of detergent depends on the type of fabric (cotton, synthetic, delicate items, wool), color, wash temperature, and degree of soiling. 
  • Always use low suds laundry detergent, which is designed for automatic washing machines.
  • Do not use detergent that tends to be hardened or solidified. This detergent may remain after the rinse process, thereby blocking the drain outlet. 

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