How To Replace a Washing Machine Detergent Drawer?

Detergent drawers in washing machines come in different shapes and sizes.

These components differ depending upon the washer types and models.

It holds the detergent that is used to clean your clothes in the washing machine. 

Over time, the drawer can wear out and may need to be replaced.

In this article, we will walk you through the process of replacing the detergent drawer of your washing machine.

What are detergent drawers in a washing machine?

Detergent drawers are installed to dispense detergents into the washtub during a wash cycle. They are not limited to detergents as they can be used to dispense other cleaning solutions.

You can add a cleaning solution to the detergent drawers while you run a clean or empty cycle.

Modern washers are equipped with automatic dispensers. These dispensers act quickly as they receive a command through the sensors.

They are controlled by the sensors and timers to function when required.

Modern washers include a single drawer consisting of detergent, fabric softener, and bleach dispenser.

How do the washer’s detergent drawers wear out?

The detergent drawers can wear out mainly due to two reasons. Reasons such as clogging and physical damage caused due to negligence or improper use.

A Clogged Detergent Drawer

The major reason for wearing out is due to clogging. They deal with various types of solutions on regular basis and thus require timely cleaning.

Due to prolonged usage, there are chances of clogs forming due to detergent buildups. It is always advisable to keep them clean on a regular basis.

Improper Usage

The other factor involves using them roughly.

Detergent drawers are not as strong as your washer’s outer panels or as the materials used to construct their doors.

These are usually made using plastic materials and are delicate. Due to this, they need to be handled in a gentle way.

Laundry is a task that you may want to conclude at the earliest. While trying to get the task done in a hurry, you tend to use your washing machine roughly.

You might vigorously open and close their door lids as well as the detergent drawers etc. Doing so can cause a lot of damage to these components.

Other Leakage

Detergent drawers include a rubber seal that helps keep water from leaking out.

A worn-out rubber seal can easily go unnoticed, thereby causing the water to leak into the washing machine, which can lead to rust and other damage.

Furthermore, The detergent itself can build up around the drawer and cause it to become clogged. This can make it difficult to open and close the drawer, and may also lead to leakage.

If you notice any of these problems with your washing machine’s dispensers, it is best to replace them as soon as possible. 

The good news is that a new detergent drawer is relatively inexpensive and easy to install. Doing this will help to keep your washing machine running smoothly.

What happens if you don’t clean your washer’s detergent drawer?

consequences of not cleaning washing machine detergent drawer

If you avoid cleaning the detergent drawers of your washing machine then it may lead to several concerns. 

  • A clogged dispenser may not be able to dispense detergent during a progressive wash cycle. This will result in unclean fabrics.
  • Your washer may start shooting several error codes if the dispensers won’t work.
  • There are chances of buildups forming in the drawer compartment. Buildups such as detergent residue, dirt & grime, lint formation, bacteria formation such as mold and mildew, etc are highly likely to form.
  • The fabrics won’t come out cleaner as they are supposed to.
  • Your washer will start releasing a foul smell.

You may have to get the detergent drawer replaced if it’s not working.

How to replace the detergent drawer of a washing machine?

Replacing the detergent drawer of a washing machine is one of the easiest tasks.

However, you will have to be cautious in doing so as they are a delicate component.

You will first need to locate the dispenser drawers in your washer model type. 

Where are they located?

The location of the detergent drawers varies depending on the washing machine type and model. 

Top loaders

It is typically located below the door, either on the door frame or attached to the washtub. Some top load washers have a detergent drawer located on the top of the machine

In some models, the detergent drawer may be hidden beneath a small flap. If you can’t find your machine’s detergent drawer, refer to your owner’s manual.

detergent tray beneath the flap

Front Load Washers

The detergent drawer on a washing machine is typically located beside the control panel. 

Once you have located the detergent drawer of your washer type, you can now follow the replacement steps.

Things required in this process are a screwdriver, a replacement flat, and the user manual of your washer model.

Steps to Replace the Detergent Drawer

Once you have the necessary tools, simply follow the below steps to replace the detergent drawer.

Step 1: Turn off the water supplies and unplug your washer, this should always be your first troubleshooting step while replacing any part of your washer.

Step 2: Now gently pull and open the detergent drawer with your hands. If it is a flap, so simply open the flap.

Most detergent drawers or flaps can be completely detached from the washer with a push or a gentle twist. (Follow this step according to the instructions on the user manual of your washer)

Step 3: Now, locate the screws that hold the detergent drawer in place. Usually, there are two screws located on either side of the drawer.

For other types, you may find the screws under the detergent drawer’s flap cover.

Step 4: Accordingly, unscrew them and you will be able to completely pull out the detergent drawer from your washer. You may clean the areas around the detergent compartment with a damp cloth.

Step 5: Now, insert the replacement drawer into the opening and screw it back into place.

Step 6: Run a test cycle and check if the replacement detergent drawer is functioning as it is supposed to.

There you go, you have successfully replaced the detergent drawer of your washing machine.

Wasn’t this easy?

(Note – A few older washer models may require you to reassemble the washer to replace the detergent drawer. Accordingly, follow the steps as per the user manual or simply contact a service professional.)

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to replace the washing machine detergent drawer, you can easily do it yourself the next time it needs to be replaced. 

Most washing machines come with a kit that includes a new drawer and instructions for installation.

If your washing machine doesn’t have a kit, you can purchase one at a local appliance store.

Keep the detergent drawers clean and tidy and use them gently no matter how hurried you are.

Be sure to check the instruction manual before beginning any repairs. This will ensure that you do not damage your machine and void your warranty.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about the washing machine detergent drawer.

How often should I replace my washing machine detergent drawer?

There isn’t any golden rule for replacing them after a set duration. They can last longer just like the other components of your washer. It is recommended to clean them regularly to ensure optimal performance. However, just like any other part of your washer, it may wear out in the long run. Therefore, if you notice any damage caused to the dispensers then you may consider a replacement.

What are the signs that I need to replace my washing machine detergent drawer?

If it struggles to dispense detergent then you may clean them before considering replacement. If you are unable to get rid of the stubborn buildup of mold or mildew inside the detergent drawer, it’s time to replace it.

How do I replace my washing machine detergent drawer?

Most washing machines have a detachable detergent drawer. It is easy to replace them with basic tools. You can simply, consult your washing machine’s manual for specific instructions.

Where can I buy a replacement dispenser for my washer?

Washing machine dispensers can be easily bought through online platforms such as Amazon. Alternatively, you can call a local dealer to order a replacement part. Make sure that you buy a suitable one with the help of the model number of your washing machine.

How to prevent the washing machine detergent drawer from being damaged?

Make sure that you’re using the correct type and amount of detergent. If you use an unsuitable detergent or soap, it can cause build-up and clog the drawer. Don’t overfill the drawer, the detergent should only fill the drawer about halfway. Overfilling can also cause build-up and clogging.

How do I clean the detergent drawer of my washer?

If the drawer appears dirty or if you notice build-up, you can clean it with a vinegar and water solution. Simply mix equal parts vinegar and water and use a soft cloth to wipe down the drawer. This will remove any build-up and keep the drawer working at its best.

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at)