How to Add Fabric Softener to Washer without Dispenser

If your washer doesn’t have a soap or fabric softener dispenser then you are going to have to add it in manually during the rinse cycle. And as you add the softener directly to the clothes, ensure that you don’t touch them to avoid staining. Important to note is that for you to use the fabric softener with washer models that have not been built with a fabric softener component. You must first ensure that the washer model has a fabric softener option also known as a power rinse or a deep rinse, and has inscriptions saying “Use when adding fabric softener.”

If your washer has this option then you can add the fabric softener directly to the clothes in the washer or better yet you could add the fabric softener ball during the deep rinse.

If your washer model doesn’t have the fabric softener option this is what is going to happen, the unit will drain water and then spray rinse, drain the water again, and then finish with a final spin. Remember that it is supposed to spin when starting the rinse cycle so that it can release the fabric softener, now washers that have incorporated the fabric softener option will fill with water, which will be used to dilute and distribute the fabric softener.

But for washers without the fabric softener option, the unit will not spin to release the fabric softener and that is why it is impossible to use the softener with that type of washer.

How to Add Fabric Softener to a Top Load washer

washing machine loader

Now that you know how the washer operates and the essence of having a unit that has the fabric softener option in the control panel, here is a way of using fabric softener in a washer without the fabric softener option courtesy of downy.

Thanks to innovation and creative thinking, Downy has come up with a device that can easily get the fabric softener to your clothes even if your washer does not have a fabric softener dispenser. A downy ball is a small device that can easily fit into your washer while containing a fabric softener, here is how it works.

Once you have put clothes into your top loader, get your downy ball and pour in it the correct amount of fabric softener. And then pull the ring at the top of the ball to close it, now toss the downy ball into the washtub before the top load washer begins the wash cycle.

So what happens is that during the wash cycle the clothes are spin slowly and the downy ball can’t release the softener at this stage. But when the rinse cycle is initiated, the washtub will spin fast and cause the lid of the downy ball to be released. The fabric softener inside the ball will then be poured onto the clothes.

Other Methods of Adding Fabric Softener to Washer without a Dispenser

Modern washers come with various customizable and timing features. Currently, new washer owners can get notifications of the progress of their washers on their phones. Other traditional models are equipped with timers that inform you of the current operation of the washing machine. So, if your washer doesn’t have a fabric softener dispenser or the little pockets under the lid that are used to contain the bleach, detergent, and softener, here is another clever way of getting softener to your clothes in the washer.

If your washer is equipped with customizable features, then you will need to set a timer to alert you when the first rinse cycle is about to start. Once the alert is sounded either for the first or the second rinse you can stop the washer and then add the fabric softener and then close it and leave it to finish washing.

Important to note is that you should always dilute your fabric softener anytime that you have to add it manually into your washer. Also, avoid adding it directly to the clothes in your washer because there are high chances that your clothes could get stained.


Adding the fabric softener during the wash cycle will have the softener washed away and that is why you must add the softener during the rinse cycle. The easiest way to work with a washer that hasn’t incorporated a fabric softener dispenser in its design is by using the downy ball, you can also set the timer to alert you when the first or the second rinse cycle is beginning so that you can put in the fabric softener.


Must I use Downy’s fabric softener in the downy ball?

No, it is not a must for you to use Downy’s fabric softener in the downy ball, while the fill lines have been premeasured for use with downy ball, you can use any type of softener in the ball.

Can I use the detergent slot with fabric softener?

No, you cannot use the detergent slot with fabric softener because it will instead be dispensed during the wash cycle instead of during the rinse cycle.

Dennis Vaughn

Dennis Vaughn is a certified plumber and has been offering apprenticeship experiences to most of his employees for the past 12years. Dennis owns and runs an appliance store, and has a team made of different expertise from electricians, appliance repair individuals, and plumbers. According to him dealing with appliances is one thing but the after-sales services are what makes for the loyal clients. Many people don’t know who to call when their appliances break or become faulty, and a good number are not aware of the varieties of appliances in the market tailored to fit their expectations. The above is what necessitated the creation of the extensive excerpts on the washing machine units, which come complete with directions on the simple home repairs.