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2 possible reasons for your issue, you might be filling the softener compartment too full, or possible pushing the tray in too forcefully causing the siphon action to occur which empties the compartment. Pleazer Appliance...
YOU MEAN THE TRAY WHERE YOU PUT DETERGENT, BLEACH, AND FABRIC SOFTENER IN? IF SO, REMOVE THE TRAY OUT COMPLETELY. REACH INSIDE MAKE SURE THERE IS NOTHING IN THERE THAT COULD BLOCK THE WATER GOING INTO THE MACHINE VIA A HOSE. AND ALSO CHECK AND CLEAN YOUR TRAY. THE TRAY CAN BE DIS-ASSEMBLED TO CLEAN. RUN IN WARM WATER AND MAKE SURE YOU CLEAN THE WHOLE THING OF SOAP AND SOFTENER RESIDUE. DON'T FORGET THOSE TINY LITTLE HOLES ON THE TRAY AND THE REMOVABLE CAPS
tHE PROBLEM IS YOU NEED TO CLEAN YOUR SOAP, SOFTENER AND BLEACH DISPENSER, REMOVE THE BLEACH AND SOFTENER DISPENSER TRAY, AND YOU WILL FIND THAT IF YOU HAVE BEEN USING LIQUID SOFTENER, THAT IT HAS GUMMED UP AND CLOG THAT AREA AND IS CAUSING SPILL OVER. WHEN THE WATER IS POURED INTO THE TRAYS TO DISPENSE THE BLEACH AND OR SOFTENER.
You need to replace the cold water inlet valve. If the machine is older than one year it may be clogged on the side that moderates the cold water to the bleach and softener compartment. Replacing the valve fixed the problem. During the cycle when the softener dispenser fills it should fill quickly and no or little water should be seen in the soap dispenser area. If a lot of water goes into the soap dispense and little into the softener area the valve is clogged.
We had the same problem- for us it was because we were mixing laundry booster (Oxyclean) with liquid soap in the dispenser. It seems the water running through the tray had insufficient pressure to properly flush the tray out, so residue accumulated on the back & underside of the tray. Our water pressure is good here, and we don't use a water softener or filters that can reduce the pressure. Unfortunately it seems to just be a bad design of the soap dispenser tray.
We also had a problem with water/bleach leaking from our soap dispenser- when we used the bleach compartment in the dispenser we got leaks dripping onto the floor from behind the front cover of the washing machine. It was running down the front of the washer behind the front cover & coming out onto the floor. The repair guy said this was because the dispenser tray was pulled out too far, but the reason we were pulling the soap tray out so far was because the bleach compartment was too far back in the tray to use if we didn't. Now we just leave the drawer partially closed & pour the bleach directly into the soap compartment along with the soap.