Washing machines: Washing machine repairs tool Fix a dodgy detergent drawer
Detergent drawers are prone to build-ups of mould, detergent residue and in extreme cases - a black jelly-like substance. As well as looking unpleasant, if it builds up it can prevent detergent from being taken into the machine and water spraying out of the front of the washer.
Video: How to fix a washing machine detergent drawer
Our video below show's you how to clean out a detergent drawer. For more advice on troubleshooting your washing machine, use our washing machine repair tool.
Step by step: cleaning a washing machine detergent drawer
1Turn off your machine
Before doing any sort of maintenance on your washing machine, turn it off and unplug it.
2Clean the drawer thoroughly
Most problems with detergent drawers can be fixed by giving it a good clean. If your detergent drawer is actually broken, replacements can be bought from the manufacturer. See more about washing machine spare parts in our separate guide.
To clean the drawer, remove it completely from the washing machine - your instruction manual will show you how.
Give the drawer a good clean using lukewarm water and washing up liquid if needed. Wear gloves to protect your skin from detergent residue.
It is just as important to clean the housing that the drawer sits in as this is where water enters to push detergent through to clean your clothes. Pay particular attention to the holes at the top, as any partially-blocked holes deflect water away from it's intended target.
Professional washing machine repairs
If your machine is not fixed by following these steps, try our washing machine repair tool for more help. If the problem is more serious and needs professional attention, Which? members can find recommended washing machine repairers in their area using Which? Local.
Reliable washing machines
Our Best Buy washing machines page reveals the washing machine brands that are less likely to let you down. We only recommend top-scoring washing machines as Best Buys if they get a rating of three stars or better in our annual washing machine reliability survey.