With so many choices of detergent and washing machines in the market, it can be hard to know whether you are using them properly.
How to correctly use laundry detergent will depend on the type of washing machine you have and which type of detergent you use.
Top-loading and front-loading are the two types of washing machines that will change how you use detergent. This is because front-loading machines have a drawer, while top-loading machines usually don’t.
Next, you will consider the type of laundry detergent. The most common types include:
- Single dose detergent (sachets or sheets).
Always refer to the manufacturer’s directions for the most specific instructions.
Please keep reading for a description of the most common types of laundry detergent and how to use them.
Types of Laundry Detergents
There are several types of laundry detergent in the market, each with its method of use.
The most common are powder and liquid, although sachets and detergent sheets are becoming more popular.
Powder laundry detergent is the traditional type of detergent. It is usually sold in a large box with an included scoop. This type of detergent is used the same way regardless of what kind of machine you have.
To use it:
- Measure out the desired amount using the included scoop. The suggested amount depends on the brand, but you should never exceed one full scoop.
- Then, pour the detergent into the main drum of the machine with the clothes.
- The powder will quickly and evenly distribute as the washing drum fills with water and will not damage your clothes through direct contact.
Avoid putting powder detergent into the drawer of your washing machine, even if one of the compartments says it is for detergent. This compartment was likely designed for liquid detergent.
Using powdered detergent in a washing machine drawer is likely to cause a buildup of detergent inside the drawer and can even cause clogging.
Liquid detergent has been standard for many years, and most front-loading washers are designed with this type of detergent in mind.
How you use liquid detergent depends on the type of machine that you have.
Washing Machines With a Drawer
Many front-loading (a.k.a. whirlpool) washing machines include a drawer near the top of the unit on the front side. This drawer is designed to feed products like detergent, bleach, and fabric softener into the washer.
These drawers release a product at predetermined times in the wash, so it is important to use the right compartment. The detergent compartment is usually the largest, marked with the roman numeral “II.”
Once you’ve located the right compartment, using liquid detergent is easy.
- Measure liquid detergent into the cap of the detergent container.
- Pour the detergent into the detergent compartment of the produce drawer.
- Add any other desired products, and close the drawer.
- Select your desired cycle and press start on the washing machine.
Washing Machines Without a Drawer
If you don’t have a drawer on your machine (common for top-loading models), you will put the liquid detergent in the main drum with your clothes.
- Measure out liquid detergent into the cap of the container.
- Pour the capful of detergent into the drum on top of your clothes.
- Select your cycle and start the washing machine.
Sachets are a relatively new type of laundry detergent that focuses on convenience. Sometimes called pods, this detergent is designed to be used without measuring.
Sachets should always be placed into the main drum, and you should only use one at a time. Never put a laundry detergent sachet into the drawer on your washing machine.
Sheets are quickly growing in popularity, especially among eco-conscious consumers. Unlike powdered detergent, it has all the pros of liquid or sachet detergent (convenient and lightweight).
Additionally, it avoids producing large quantities of plastic waste from empty bottles or partially dissolved microplastic.
To use laundry detergent sheets, you will take a sheet and throw it in the main drum of the washing machine with your clothes. Never put laundry detergent sheets into a drawer or detergent compartment.
Using laundry detergent is an important skill. If you have no drawer, your detergent will always go into the main drum on top of your clothes.
If you have a unit with a drawer, you can put liquid detergent in the II compartment of the drawer to take advantage of the unit’s timed release system.
All other types of detergent must still go into the main drum, as the drawer isn’t designed for solid products.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use Powder Detergent in My Front-Loading Washing Machine?
Yes, you can use any detergent in your front-loading washing machine. However, you’ll want to avoid putting powder or sachet detergents into the drawer.
You don’t want to put sachets and powder into your washing machine drawer because it can cause clogging. Instead, toss those directly on the clothes.
How Many Detergents Should I Put in My Washing Machine?
This varies slightly based on type and brand, so consult the packaging or manufacturer’s website for directions.
However, you should never exceed one fill of the included scoop for a powder detergent or one cap for a liquid detergent.