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Agitator-Mounted Fabric Softener Dispensers
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Post# 162956   10/26/2006 at 14:40 (2,952 days old) by frigilux (The Open Prairie)        

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I've had two washers with agitator-mounted fabric softener dispensers and both, quite frankly, SUCKED.

My '90 KitchenAid: Almost half the diluted softener would be dispensed during the first spin. I'd have to clean mis-dispensed softener off the wide ring at the top of the tub regularly. I grumbled, but continued to use it.

My '06 Frigidaire: All but maybe 1/2-teaspoon of the softener flies out during the first spin. I can hear the tiny droplets hitting the load and the upper half of the tub during the entire 3-minute spin. I refuse to use it because I'm afraid it's going to leave little greasy softener spots on my clothes. It's maddening! I don't even know why Frigidaire bothered with this apparantly badly designed dispenser.

Anyone else have this experience? Any particular brand of toploading washer that doesn't do this? I've been spoiled with timed dispensers on my frontloaders.

Post# 163024 , Reply# 1   10/26/2006 at 19:48 (2,952 days old) by cehalstead (Charleston, WV)        
top mounted dispensers

IMHO, the only good top mounted dispenser was in the Filter-Flo. I have two Maytags, a classic Power Fin and a newer one with a Load Sensor agitator. Both have fabric softener dispensers in the top of the agitator. Both leave residue in the cup after the spin. I totally agree with you....the timed ones are the best...such as the one in my Mom's '68 Kenmore 900.

Post# 163035 , Reply# 2   10/26/2006 at 20:52 (2,952 days old) by mattywashboy (Perth, Western Australia- City)        

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fisher and paykel have good agitator mounted dispensers. Almost all the australian washing machines i have come in contact with have decent fabric softner dispensers on their agitators.

Post# 163164 , Reply# 3   10/27/2006 at 11:26 (2,951 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        
About it...

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I agree with Chuck and Matt, and the Filter-Flo I had was especially easy to use and clean.

My Norge's dispenser is like a GE's, but when I first got it, the entire underside of the lid was a circular wax-slick, so I'm going to say that it probably doesn't work very well at containing the liquid during spin. On the plus side, the Norge dispenser snaps in two, so cleaning is easy :-)

The dispenser in my Whirlpool Design 2000 works perfectly. However, it's also impossible to clean :-|


Post# 163170 , Reply# 4   10/27/2006 at 12:10 (2,951 days old) by agiflow ()        

The dispenser on my KM is the newer ones that twist off as part of the agitator. I just dilute the fabric softener with warm or hot water and no build up.

Post# 163246 , Reply# 5   10/27/2006 at 17:25 (2,951 days old) by rinso (Meridian Idaho)        

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My 1987 TL TOL Whirlpool had the dispenser in the agitator. I did not come apart for cleaning the inside of the cup, and the wax buildup was so bad, I couldn't even get it out with boiling water.

Post# 164057 , Reply# 6   10/30/2006 at 22:09 (2,948 days old) by tumbler ()        
Maytag dispenser

My mom's '86 Maytag helical-drive/"Dependable Care" machine has a dispenser in the agitator, and it seems to work well enough. However, after a while it does build up residue in the cup. The stuff flies out of the cup into the inside of the agitator column during the first spin, where it is held by centrifugal force; when spinning stops for the rinse fill, the solution runs down the inside of the agitator and enters the tub, where it mixes with the water.

Post# 164088 , Reply# 7   10/30/2006 at 23:59 (2,948 days old) by mixfinder (Stuart Mountains)        

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I had a Maytag lighted backsplash center dial for 21 years. I always diluted the softener which seemed to prevent buildup. I also ran the cup and the filter through the dishwasher every couple years to keep them shiny new. The filter and the dispenser worked flawlessly as did the entire machine.

Post# 164152 , Reply# 8   10/31/2006 at 12:32 (2,947 days old) by rp2813 (The Twin Cities: Priusville and Tesla Town USA)        

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Mix, that's exactly the way I worked things with my center dial Maytag problem free, but never felt the need to run the dispenser through the dishwasher. The Amana washer I now have seems to do fine with its dispenser of similar design.

I cannot say the same for the super cheap BOL GE my mom has. She's legally blind so got it for ease of use. It didn't even come with a dispenser. It just had a cap on the top of the agitator that gave a very old-school look to it. I had to order the dispenser separately. I think dilution is key, and I don't think my mom or her domestic help is doing that. I pulled the assembly off recently and found layers of black crusty residue all through the underside of the dispenser and the agitator area below it. It required a lot of elbow grease and a stiff toothbrush to get rid of it. BAD design, but what else should we expect from GE these days? She used to have a '75 Kenmore with "Quiet Pak" motor and it was very silent. It had dispensers for softener (dilute first) and bleach, and also one for detergent when using the "Soak & Wash" option. Fill the corner mounted triangular container with powdered detergent, set for "Soak & Wash" and when the timer advanced to regular wash, after the tub filled and agitation started, the bottom of the dispenser would flip up and allow the powder to drop. Great system even though she rarely used it. I loved that machine and helped her pick it out. It lasted over 25 years for her. I miss it!


Post# 164160 , Reply# 9   10/31/2006 at 13:35 (2,947 days old) by frigilux (The Open Prairie)        

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The dispenser in my '06 Frigidaire is very easy to clean. No complaints there. I just wish it didn't dispense its entire freakin' contents during the first spin!

Post# 164232 , Reply# 10   10/31/2006 at 19:13 (2,947 days old) by toggleswitch (New York City, NY)        

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Here is a pic of a GE filter-flo softener dispenser, with the actual Filter-flo filter-pan beneath it.

I got if from flea-pay. It was caked up and GROSS with a waxy residue. A razor blade (literally) and s scrubby-sponge and here we are, all presentable!

(Softener is for display and demonstration purposes only; WAY too much! LOL)

Post# 164235 , Reply# 11   10/31/2006 at 19:31 (2,947 days old) by westytoploader ()        

None of my machines have FS dispensers (well, except the GE, but I never use it); since I'm down there watching them anyway, I just add it manually! :)

The dispenser on the Power-Fin of the Dependable Care, however, ALWAYS gets used!

Post# 164240 , Reply# 12   10/31/2006 at 20:07 (2,947 days old) by dadoes ( )        

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I use my F&P agitator-mounted dispenser fairly often. I also have a Downy ball and use it occasionally. F&P dispenses pretty well, doesn't lose any of the charge prematurely during the first spin .... but it has a problem on high water level with wash water splashing into the dispenser cup and flooding it. I'm pondering on fashioning a splash shield of some ilk. The cup capacity is a bit on the small side for mixing softener & vinegar.

Post# 164246 , Reply# 13   10/31/2006 at 20:30 (2,947 days old) by mickeyd (Hamburg NY)        
Sorry, Dude

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My KA dispenser works great. If I get another KA agitator, I'll send it to you.

Helpful hints: When not using fabsoft, fill dispenser with hot water to flush it out.
White vinegar "neat" works wonders too. Just make sure you press the extra rinse buzzer. So silly--I love buzzers.

Love note: You are so good to everybody in this club, so inclusive, so supportive, always there for every one, and never mean, I hated seeing you get slammed the other day; but it made me appreciate you and your gifts all the more.

Here's to you Frigilux, so cool and full of light.

Post# 164256 , Reply# 14   10/31/2006 at 20:58 (2,947 days old) by dadoes ( )        

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Getting back to the KA of the OP, Frigilux, the dispenser on my 1991 KA does/did sometimes dribble a little. I think due to insufficient speed to hold all the liquid at the start of spin (the leakage eased a bit if I didn't fill the cup to capacity), and also as if the centrifugal force and capacity of it isn't able to hold the full contents of the cup. I even called KA about it a few years in, they sent a new dispenser, which of course did the same thing. So with two dispensers on-hand, I installed one in my grandmother's Design 2000 back in the day.

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