Removing and cleaning a washing machine detergent dispenser drawer

Last updated 12/01/2024 12:07


  • How to remove and clean a detergent dispenser drawer?
  • The detergent drawer is dirty and covered with limescale
  • Blocked detergent dispenser drawer
  • Blocked fabric conditioner compartment
  • Washing powder clogs up in the detergent drawer
  • Fabric conditioner does not get used
  • Fabric conditioner left in a drawer
  • Mould and residual powder in a drawer

Applies to

  • Washing machines
  • Washer dryers


Cleaning the dispenser drawer/detergent or fabric conditioner residue:  

Water enters the washing machine via the detergent dispenser, here it also flushes the detergent and fabric conditioner from the dispenser drawer into the washing machine drum where it is used in the washing process. 

Sometimes residue can be left behind, which can build up in and around the drawer. This may lead to blockages and prevent the detergent from flowing into the drum correctly. In severe cases, leaks can occur and mould may also form.  

To prevent this from happening, the drawer and the inside and underside of the dispenser housing need cleaning periodically. To do this the drawer will need to be removed.

This is usually done by easing the drawer forward until it stops, releasing a button lock (1) and then sliding it fully out (2).

On some machines (including the Auto Dose and Soft Water machines) the release mechanism is located to the side of the drawer:

Once the drawer is removed it can be thoroughly cleaned using warm water (do not use detergents or bleaches to clean the drawer or the inside of the dispenser housing). 

The dispenser drawer may be soaked in a sink to help soften soap residue. Unlike some other manufacturer types, it is OK to immerse the AutoDose drawer fully.  

A suitable stiff nylon brush may help the cleaning process. This will also make the process of cleaning inside the housing easier.  Particular attention should be given to the top underside of the drawer opening, this is where the "shower holes" which supply the water to the dispenser are located. The bristles of a brush will help clean and clear any build-up from around this area.

If fabric conditioner is used regularly, some residue of this may be found under the dispenser drawer.  Sometimes it will congeal there and form a wax-like deposit.  This may require careful scraping with a non-metallic type spatula, or similar, to remove it, before brushing thoroughly with warm water.

The fabric conditioner section lid should also be removed and cleaned thoroughly along with the "syphon tube", to ensure the fabric conditioner can run through and be dispensed correctly.  

Watch our video guide to find out how to clean your washing machine's detergent drawer.

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