How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Gary Your Own Question
Gary, Handyman
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 246
Experience:  25 yrs experiance in home related repairs..This includes carpentry, electrical, plumbing, appliances
Type Your Appliance Question Here...
Gary is online now

WDF16BA. Cannot open detergent tray. Seems to be held by a

This answer was rated:

WDF16BA. Cannot open detergent tray. Seems to be held by a detent but machine has run a full cycle.

Hello there,

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Please note, I am just a moderator for this category, I can only try and find experts to help, I can't answer the question itself.

Thank you!


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Not too urgent. Machine works OK but cannot use conditioner. Drawer seems to be held by a detent although washer has completed cycle.


We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.

Thank you for your patience,


Hi and thank you for using Just Answer.

Per your machine, is there an error code that comes up? When you say you cannot open up the tray, is it automated or manual? (two different versions) If it's automated, do you hear any clicking? Any noise at all?

In order for me to help you further, I will need the complete model and serial number of your unit. There has been some changes with these machines, and in order for me to assist you further I need to know which generation it was made it so I know where to look.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Machine is Smeg WDF16BA ser. no.70119 1223 0, purchased May 2007.

There are no error codes showing on any programme selected.

The detergent tray is manual.

There was no pre-warning of any problem. One time the tray was OK then the next time the machine was used, the tray would not open.


Well how handy are you? In order to get access to your tray, you will need to remove the top cover of your machine. In the front there should be just clips holding it together. As for the back, it could be one of two things ... 1) it could be clips, 2) you should see a hing on each side. What you will need to do is very carefully on both front corners use a bar and lift carefully as to not damage/scratch the machine. It might take a bit of jarring as well for these clips to let go. Once you have the front release, you should be able to lift like a car hood if you have hinges. Otherwise there are clips on the back corners as well in which you will have to do the samething.

Once you have the top of your machine exposed you should see your detergent tray. My guess is that you have a lot of soap build up and it finally stuck. With warm water and a wash rag, you should be able to to go around the tray and clean up the soap. You might want an old toothbrush to go around the slide rail to help remove the build up. Once you have worked at it, try to open your tray. When you have that open, make sure you clean the slid rails really well. When you have it all cleaned, your tray should work just fine. Just remember Before pouring thick additives into the tray, dilute them with a little water to prevent them from obstructing the trap to keep this from happening again. If you have any other questions, please let me know.

I wish you the best.

Gary, Handyman
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 246
Experience: 25 yrs experiance in home related repairs..This includes carpentry, electrical, plumbing, appliances
Gary and other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you