Do All Washing Machines Have A Fabric Softener Dispenser?

A fabric softener dispenser in the washing machine makes it easy to wash clothes effectively. We often find that most new users want to know if all washing machines have a fabric softener dispenser and what to do if the washer doesn’t.

It’s simple and easy to add softener to fabric with the help of a dispenser since it equally distributes the softening solution to garments during the cycle.

Most new technology washing machines have a dedicated fabric softener, but this doesn’t exist in old models. It is usually located straight beneath the lid, in one of the corners. If the washer doesn’t have a fabric dispenser, the user could add the solution directly into the washing drum after placing the clothes.

Let’s dive into the guide!

do all washing machines have a fabric softener dispenser

What do you do if your Washing Machine doesn’t have a Fabric Softener Dispenser?

If your washing machine doesn’t have a dedicated dispenser for fabric softener, you can use fabric softener by adding it manually into the drum load. It doesn’t mean that you can’t use a softening solution for fabric if there is no dispenser.

Following are steps to use fabric softener if there is no dispenser for it in the washing machine:

  1. Open the drum door.
  2. Take your clothes and put them into your washing machine drum.
  3. Fill the small cup of fabric softener and put it into the washing drum according to the load.
  4. Close the door of the drum and set the cycle. All done!

Fortunately, it is easier to use fabric softener even though there’s no dispenser to add it to the drum. As technology is improving rapidly, innovations make it easier to use additional products to use a specific thing in a machine.

An object called a fabric softener ball is useful for adding the solution to the drum load during the spin cycle. The user can open the cap of this ball and add the fabric softener to it, and after adding the solution, close the headdress of the ball, and put it into the drum after placing the clothes in the drum.

Do Old Washing Machines Have Fabric Softener Dispensers?

Most old washing machine models don’t have a fabric softener dispenser. Yet nowadays it is typical for every washer to have a dispenser directly under the lid, in one of the corners.

Inventions like the Downey ball make it easier to add a dispenser for releasing softener automatically during the rinse cycle. We often see people who have old washing machines commonly use this product instead of investing in a new model to enjoy the facility of automatic fabric softener release.

Moreover, in the market, an accessory is available for numerous older washers that fit over the agitator. You can put liquid fabric softener into it easily. 

If you don’t want to use this object, you can go with the manual softener pouring process. 

However, to know if there is a dispenser for softeners or not, how old the washer is also matters. since if the washer is a few months old, chances are higher that there will be a softener dispenser.

To know if there is a dispenser or not, just test the drum of your old washer. Open the door of your washer and look under the lid, in all the corners, and by doing these steps, you can skillfully test the existence of a softener dispenser in your old washing machine.

How Does a Fabric Softener Dispenser Work on a Washing Machine?

If you are using a fabric softener dispenser, you may also want to know how this dispenser works during the wash cycle. Let’s see how it works after adding the solution to the container.

The working of the fabric softener dispensers is simple in the mechanism of the washing machine. 

When the user adds fabric softening solution to the dispenser, the washing machine dispenser releases the softener solution automatically into the drum down the agitator stem. All this process becomes active when the machine starts the first rinse spin cycle.

The user just has to put a softener in the container to use this facility. The dispenser only releases a specific amount of solution for every cycle whether the container is fulfilled with softener solution or half-filled.

What does a Fabric Softener Dispenser Look like?

If you’ve never used a fabric softener dispenser before, you need to know what it looks like so you can easily identify the part in your washing machine.

This part looks like a container or a cup with a cap commonly located directly under the lid in any of the corners. Most washing machines have it on an agitator top and some advanced models have a drawer-type container in the washing drum to add the fabric softener. 

In simple words, it varies from model to model to know the shape of a softener dispenser in a washing machine.

However, the location of this part is typically similar in almost every washing machine with a dispenser. 

If you tried a lot and did not find any dispenser, your washing machine might not have a dedicated dispenser for fabric softeners. 

Most inexpensive and old models of washing machines commonly don’t have a dedicated dispenser for fabric softener, which also shows that not all washing machines have a fabric softener dispenser.

Can I use Fabric Softener without Dispenser?

Some old models of washing machine users want to use fabric softener but they think it’s impossible to use this solution in their washer because there is no dispenser to add it. Fortunately, there are 3 ways to use fabric softener without a dispenser.

Let’s discuss all the ways!

Method #1: Through fabric softener directly on clothes

You can add the softener solution directly on the clothes but you have to take care of some points; don’t throw the softener before putting the clothes in the drum and use it according to load. 

First, put clothes in the drum, then through the needed amount on the load directly. Turn on the machine and wash the garments.

Method #2: Use a container-type gadget called a softener ball

Use a product called Downey ball. This ball is a transparent plastic ball but has a cap on top. Open the cap and put the fabric softener in the ball. 

Use the required quantity of solution according to the laundry load for each cycle. Place clothes in the drum and through the ball after filling the drum with clothes. 

Turn on the machine and set a rinse cycle. The ball will automatically release the softener during the cycle.

Method #3: Add an external dispenser on the agitator

There is an object which can be used on the agitator. Fix this additional dispenser on the top of the agitator. This object only works on agitator washers, not on impeller washers.

Add some softener after fixing the object on the top of the agitator. Put clothes in the drum and run a spin cycle. All done!


Not all washing machines have a dedicated dispenser for fabric softeners, but most new models do. Most old-generation washer models don’t provide this facility. If there is no built-in dispenser, other methods to add a softener might be good for the user.

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