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The fabric softener is not

I have a Kenmore HE 32 front loader and the fabric softener is no longer dispensing - am totally frustrated!

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  • mjones211 May 11, 2009

    Removed the top of the washing machine but no black slime visible. Evidently, other parts must be taken apart to access the problem. Guess a service call will be necessary - appreciate your advice anyway.

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Hi there.
It sounds like you have a blockage somewhere between the dispenser and the washer drum, the best way to clear it is to pour boiling hot water down the dispenser until the clog has gone or take the dispenser tray out and clean where you put the fabric conditioner in, wash the whole dispenser tray under the hot water tap including underneath and the compartment that the dispenser tray fits into.
Taking the lid off the machine is a waste of time because you will see nothing.
Once you have cleaned these parts run a cycle or two with the machine empty.

Good luck and thanks for using FixYa!!

Posted on May 12, 2009

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Fabric softener is a gummy substance in a washer. It is  most likely blocked the way to the tub. try some scolding hot water in the dispenser. you can also take it out and wash it in the sink. This can result in a build-up of bacteria in the top part of the washing machine, which is clogging up the bit where the water comes through to flush the fabric conditioner into the drum. What you  have to do is to take the top off the washing machine and clean out the layer of black slime that has built up, blocking the holes where the water goes into the washing machine. Another contributory factor is that the usual program used is a 40 degree wash, which is not hot enough to completely flush the machine through. Manufacturers recommend running a 90 degree wash once a month with just washing powder in iit, no clothes. Hope this is some help
--------------------------------------------------------fabric softener is one of those things we don’t think much about, but use frequently. How does it work? How is it used? Fabric softener is essentially a chemicalcocktail that helps soften the fibers in textiles. It makes them feel less harsh and has anti-soiling and anti-staining properties. With such names as Diethylenetriamine, Aminoethylethanolamine and Triethylenetetramine, these chemicals sound like something out of a science-fiction movie, but they are mostly byproducts of animal fats. Fabric softeners come in two types: liquids and dryer sheets. The liquid softeners are added to the rinse  water for each load of clothes. Dryer sheets are paper or sponge-like pieces that are coated with the dry softener and are added to the dryer for every load. Some liquid softeners tout that they will leave clothes brighter and prevent discoloration from chlorine. These claims must, of course, be evaluated by each person. Fabric softeners are used in any form to help make clothing feel softer and to prevent static cling. Anyone who has unloaded a batch of towels from the dryer in winter knows exactly what static cling is. Dryer sheets lubricate the textile fibers to reduce static electricity generated by the drying process. Liquid softeners serve much the same purpose. There is a great amount of information about fabric softeners on the Internet, and while browsing, a person will undoubtedly come up on Web sites saying the chemicals in fabric softeners are dangerous and can cause a whole host of illnesses and allergies. There is no doubt that some people are allergic to the chemicals and/or dyes in fabric softener. They can cause rashes or upper respiratory distress. Some manufacturers have started producing dye and fragrance-free liquid fabric softeners in response to this problem. Some small companies also produce a vegetable-based, dye and fragrance-free softener that is biodegradable and less likely to cause allergic reactions. There are also some ways of softening the laundry without using any kind of commercial fabric softener. Vinegar and baking soda soften the fibers naturally. A person can add one-fourth cup baking soda to the load at the beginning of the wash cycle, and then a half-cup of white vinegar during the rinse cycle. Another home recipe suggests diluting 1 cup of glycerin in a gallon of water and using one-half cup of the mixture per load of laundry. Still another method uses three parts water to one part commercial hair conditioner. Fabric softener should only be used with standard fabrics. Fine washables such as linen or silk should not have any kind of fabric softeners used on them, if they are machine washable. The chemicals can destroy the look and feel of a fabric like linen, and dull colors in silk. However, most standard cotton and polyester blends are safe with the use of fabric softener. Dryer sheets are a blessing for socks and towels, since these items seem to be most susceptible to static cling. Liquid fabric softener can also usually be diluted to one-fourth strength in order make it last. There is usually no discernible loss of softness or increase in static cling when the softener is diluted. Each person needs to decide whether using a commercial fabric softener is appropriate. Those with allergies or very sensitive skin may want to consider a home recipe, since they are made of ingredients that are readily available. People also need to remember to keep the fabric softener from their fine or delicate washables, especially linen and silk. 

Posted on May 09, 2009

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