Washing Machine Drawer Not Emptying? Here’s the Fix!

Washing Machine Drawer Not Emptying? When you realize that your trusted washing machine’s drawer isn’t emptying as it should, an unpleasant laundry day can rapidly develop into a baffling mystery.

The convenience of modern appliances can sometimes be met with unexpected challenges, and the washing machine drawer not emptying is a problem that many homeowners face.

In this article, I will walk you through the most typical problems with a Washing Machine Drawer, shedding light on the culprits responsible for not allowing the drawer to get empty and providing you with a comprehensive solution to handle the problem head on.

Why is Washing Machine Drawer Not Emptying? (Causes)

A common frustration many laundry enthusiasts face is the issue of a washing machine drawer not emptying properly.

This problem can stem from various underlying factors, ranging from simple blockages to more complex technical issues.

Understanding these causes is the first step toward resolving the issue and restoring your washing machine’s functionality.

Here are some potential culprits that may stop the washing machine detergent drawer from emptying:

1. Blocked Jets

One of the leading causes of a washing machine drawer not emptying is the presence of blocked jets within the detergent compartment.

Over time, detergent particles can accumulate and clog the small openings meant for efficient water distribution.

This results in insufficient water flow into the drawer, preventing it from properly emptying during the wash cycle.

2. Detergent Residue

Detergent residue is another frequent culprit behind this issue.

When detergent is poured into the drawer, some residue can remain behind after the wash cycle completes.

Over repeated cycles, this residue can accumulate and harden, obstructing the drawer’s smooth operation.

The buildup of detergent residue can also contribute to foul odors and affect the effectiveness of your laundry routine.

3. Limescale Buildup

Limescale buildup, often caused by minerals in hard water, can wreak havoc on your washing machine’s functionality.

When water evaporates, it leaves behind mineral deposits, leading to a crusty layer within the drawer’s components.

This accumulation can impede water flow and prevent proper drainage, resulting in a washing machine drawer that refuses to empty as intended.

4. Faulty Washing Machine Mechanisms

In some cases, the problem might not be related to the drawer itself, but rather to the washing machine’s internal mechanisms.

Malfunctions in the machine’s water inlet valves, drainage pumps, or electronic controls can disrupt the flow of water and impact the drawer’s ability to empty.

If you’ve ruled out blockages and buildup in the drawer, it’s essential to consider the possibility of a faulty washing machine component.

5. Excessive Detergent Usage

One of the main reasons for a detergent drawer not emptying is using too much washing powder or detergent.

This can lead to a buildup in the pipe between the drawer and the drum, causing a blockage.

This buildup prevents the contents of the detergent drawer from flowing properly into the drum.

6. Unlevel Washer

If your washing machine isn’t level, the detergent drawer may not empty correctly.

An uneven washer can also affect the proper functioning of the fabric conditioner compartment, preventing water from siphoning through properly.

7. Incorrect Detergent Type

Using the wrong type of detergent, especially not using High Efficiency (HE) detergents in HE washing machines, can cause detergent and fabric softener not to dispense completely.

Maintenance-related factors, such as an improperly cleaned detergent drawer or clogged nozzles, can lead to incomplete emptying of the detergent and fabric softener compartments.

How to Fix a Washing Machine Drawer Not Emptying?

Dealing with a washing machine drawer that won’t empty can be frustrating, but the good news is that most issues can be resolved with some simple steps. Here’s a systematic approach to troubleshoot and fix this problem:

Step 1: Remove the Drawer and Inspect for Blockages

  • Unplug the washing machine: Safety comes first. Always disconnect the washing machine from the power source before starting any maintenance.
  • Remove the drawer: Gently pull out the detergent drawer. Examine the compartment for any visible blockages caused by detergent residue or foreign objects.
  • Clean the drawer: Use a soft brush or cloth to remove any debris or buildup. Pay special attention to the jets and openings within the drawer.

Step 2: Clean the Drawer with a Mild Detergent and Water

  • Create a cleaning solution: Mix a mild detergent with warm water to create a cleaning solution.
  • Soak the drawer: Submerge the detergent drawer in the cleaning solution for a few hours. This will help dissolve any stubborn residue and break down limescale buildup.
  • Scrub and rinse: Gently scrub the drawer’s surfaces with a soft brush or cloth. Rinse thoroughly to remove the cleaning solution and dislodged debris.

Step 3: Descale the Drawer with a Limescale Remover

If your initial investigation finds that the washing machine drawer is affected with limescale, you will need to remove that.

  • Choose a limescale remover: Look for a limescale remover specifically designed for washing machines.
  • Follow the instructions: Carefully follow the product’s instructions to descale the detergent drawer. Limescale buildup can hinder water flow and contribute to the drawer not emptying properly.

Step 4: Check the Washing Machine for Any Other Problems

  • Inspect hoses and pipes: Examine the hoses and pipes connected to the washing machine for any kinks, twists, or blockages. Ensuring proper water flow is crucial for drawer drainage.
  • Check the drainage pump: A malfunctioning drainage pump can also lead to drainage issues. Consult your washing machine’s manual to locate and check the pump for any clogs or problems.
  • Examine water inlet valves: Malfunctioning inlet valves can affect water supply. Make sure they are working correctly and not causing a disruption in water flow.
  • Make sure the washer is level: Adjust the washer’s adjustable legs to ensure it is level. This should help the fabric conditioner and detergent compartments to drain properly.

Preventing a Washing Machine Drawer from Not Emptying

Perform regular maintenance

Regularly clean the detergent drawer, fabric softener dispenser, and related components to ensure proper functioning.

Descale the Washing Machine Regularly

Regular descaling of your washing machine helps prevent limescale buildup that can affect water flow.

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for descaling frequency and use a suitable limescale remover.

Make limited use of fabric softener sheets

While fabric softeners can be beneficial for your laundry, using fabric softener sheets can contribute to clogs in the detergent drawer.

These sheets are designed for use in dryers, not washing machines.

Best is to avoid using fabric softener sheets in the washing machine.

Instead, opt for liquid fabric softener added directly to the designated compartment.

This simple step prevents potential clogs that might hinder drawer drainage.

Reduce the detergent

Reduce the amount of detergent you use and follow the recommended dose on the detergent bottle.

Consider switching to liquid detergent to prevent future buildup.

If possible use only High Efficiency (HE) detergents specifically recommended for your washing machine type.

The key here is to choose detergents that are compatible with your washing machine type.

Avoid using normal washing powder in HE washers, as it can lead to clogs due to low water pressure and opt for detergents explicitly labeled as HE-compatible to maintain a smooth water flow.

Perform periodic comprehensive component checks

Conducting regular checks on various components is an important preventive measure.

Inspect the hoses, pipes, drainage pump, and water inlet valves for any signs of damage or clogs.

These components play a crucial role in maintaining proper water flow and drainage, ensuring that your washing machine operates without any glitches.

Reach out to professional

For more complex issues such as faulty valves or damaged pipes, seeking professional assistance is prudent.

Attempting DIY repairs can exacerbate the problem and potentially void warranty coverage.

Final Thoughts

Tackling the challenge of a “washing machine drawer not emptying” requires understanding the key culprits i.e., blocked jets, detergent residue, and limescale buildup.

Employing simple yet effective solutions like gentle cleaning, targeted products, and overall machine maintenance can resolve the issue.

Prevention is equally important; regular cleaning, proper detergent usage, and descaling safeguard against recurring problems.

By incorporating these strategies into your laundry routine, you’ll ensure the efficient, hassle-free performance of your washing machine drawer for the long haul.

Hemant Sarkar is a seasoned techie with a diploma in computer science and an impressive track record of over 15 years in dealing with speakers, kitchen appliances, and various home appliance-related issues. He is widely recognized for his exceptional expertise in repairing dryers and washing machines from all major brands. In addition to his appliance repair prowess, Hemant maintains engaging blogs on topics related to music and speakers. For any inquiries or assistance regarding appliances or tech-related matters, you can reach out to him at: hemant (at) theportablelaundry.com.