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How To Use a Washing Machine Drawer

Woman Doing Laundry At Home, Closeup On Hands

Washing machines have made our lives easier by taking care of the tedious task of washing clothes. With technology advancing in every field, washing machines have developed and evolved with new and innovative features.

One of these features is the introduction of a washing machine drawer. A washing machine drawer is a compacted space installed in a washing machine that dispenses detergent or fabric bleach while washing.

You fill the drawer with the detergent, and it distributes it while cleaning, making sure your clothes are being correctly washed.

Depending on the model of your washing machine, the washing machine drawer varies.

Let’s find out how to make the best of your washing machine drawer.


Washing machine drawers help dispense soap and detergent when washing laundry. Using a washing machine drawer can be tricky for people who are unfamiliar with it and are used to conventional methods of washing clothes.

To find out how to correctly use your washing machine drawer, you need to know the type of washing machine drawer you have. Different washing machine models have different drawer settings.

Here’s a list to give you an idea:

  • Drawer for dispensing detergent.
  • Drawer with double or triple compartments for dispensing detergent, softener, bleach, etc.
  • Auto-dispensing drawers with compartments.

Once you recognize the type of drawer your washing has and its function, it will be easy for you to do your laundry next time.

In this article, we’ll discuss the purpose of a washing machine drawer and how to use it appropriately. In addition, we will also learn about different types of washing machine drawers and how to use them as per your need.

How To Use a Washing Machine Drawer

With so many washing machines available in the market, each with new and innovative technologies, it can be hard to wrap your head around their features.

All these advanced features can make the simple task of washing clothes seem confusing and complicated.

If you have just bought a new washing machine with a detergent drawer that you want to use, the following guide will help you understand the mechanics of it better and teach you how to use it accurately.

1. Know the Type of Drawer Your Washing Machine Has

Plastic Empty Drawer Container Macro Close Up View

Every washing machine comes with an instruction manual for your to understand how the washing machine works.

If you read this manual, you will find the instructions and function of your respective washing machine’s drawer and how to use it.

Usually, there are two types of washing machine drawers.

Manual-Dispensing Drawers

Washing Machine Drawer Compartments

Depending on the model of your washing machine, manual-dispensing drawers can have single or multiple compartments. A single-compartment drawer can dispense one type of detergent while washing.

A drawer with multiple compartments has separate spaces for cleaning detergent, fabric softener, and bleach. You can put either of these cleaning or softening agents depending on the type of wash.

For example, If your clothes are already washed, and you only need to soften them, pour fabric softener into its compartment and leave the remaining containers empty.

A manual-dispensing drawer will dispense all the detergent filled in the drawer, regardless of the size of the laundry.

Therefore, if you have any heavy laundry, add a small amount of laundry detergent and other cleaning agents to the drawer.

Auto-Dispensing Drawers

Industrial Laundry Machine Soap And Fabric Softener Top Ports Or Detergent Dispenser Drawer

Auto-dispensing drawers automatically dispense detergent, softener, or bleach following the settings you input for the wash.

You can fill all the compartments with different cleaning agents at once, and it will automatically dispense each one at a time, according to the input instructions.

For example, if you fill the distinct compartments with cleaning detergent, softener, and bleach (each agent in their respective compartment), set the washing machine for a gentle wash.

It will only wash the clothes and not dispense the fabric softener or bleach unless you put the washing machine settings as such.

Another impressive feature of an auto-dispensing washing machine drawer is that it dispenses laundry detergent depending on the size of the laundry.

This means if you have filled the drawer to its maximum capacity but have put fewer clothes in the washing machine, the drawer will dispense a small amount of laundry detergent and keep the rest of the detergent intact.

Similarly, if you put heavy laundry in the washing machine, the sensors will detect it, and the drawer will dispense more detergent to effectively wash your clothes.

2. Check the Capacity of Your Washing Machine Drawer

Woman Pour Powder Into The Washing Machine

Since there are many types and models of washing machines in the market, each washing machine drawer has a different detergent capacity.

You can determine your washing machine’s drawer capacity from the instruction manual.

Do not overfill the drawer, as it will make it hard for the washing machine to dispense it. The detergent may get stuck, leading to poorly washed clothes.

Therefore, to prevent that, it is vital to know how much detergent your washing machine drawer can hold so you can put the appropriate amount of detergent in the drawer.

3. Fill the Drawer With Detergent

Women's Hands Putting Whitener In To Washing Machine.

You probably know the purpose and mechanics of your washing machine drawer. All you need to do is to use it. Pull your washing machine drawer and fill it with the detergent.

If it has separate compartments for other items, like fabric softener or bleach, fill each in their separate spaces. Be sure not to let anything mix. Add the correct type of detergent to the correct compartment.

Some machines have removable drawers. Take the drawer out, fill it with a washing detergent, and put it back.

4. Start Washing Your Clothes

Happy Housewife Woman In Laundry Room With Washing Machine.

Once you have filled the drawer with a washing detergent, load your washing machine with laundry and start the washing cycle.

Choose the right cycle and appropriate time needed for your laundry.

Most washing machines will give you options for gentle wash, heavy wash, rinse and dry, etc. After selecting the cycle, press the start button to begin the washing process.

How To Clean Your Washing Machine Drawer

Washing Machine Empty Detergent Container

If your washing machine drawer has gotten dirty, you need to clean it because a dirty drawer will dispense all that gunk into your laundry, making your clothes unhygienic.

Here is how you can clean your washing machine drawer:

  • If you have a removable detergent drawer, remove it and put it in hot, soapy water. For a non-removable washing machine drawer, slide open the drawer and pour hot water on it.
  • Use a non-abrasive brush or a sponge to remove any gunk or grime from the washing machine drawer. Be sure to reach the corners and scrub any grime stuck to them.
  • Rinse the drawer with hot water again. Hot water is more effective for cleaning stains.
  • Wipe the drawer with a clean cloth or towel to remove excess soapy water. Removing any soap residue is important because it can make the surface sticky. Dirt and debris will make it easy to stick to it later.
  • Rinse again to ensure there is no dirt or grime left.
  • Let the drawer dry before you put more detergent in it again. You can dry the drawer using a towel.
  • Once the drawer is dry, put it back in its place and start washing again.

Note that the non-removable drawers can be difficult to clean. Do not try to pull them too hard, as it may loosen their joints and cause them to break.

Use a damp cloth and a fine brush to clean the areas which are difficult to reach.

Things To Consider

  • Clean the washing machine drawer with a gentle cleaner whenever it is dirty. Use a mild vinegar solution to clean the drawer.
  • Use a damp cloth or sponge to remove dirt or residue.
  • Always ensure the drawer is dry before putting it back in the machine. A damp drawer can host bacterial growth.
  • Check for any potential damage or cracks and repair if necessary.
  • Always ensure that the drawer is correctly closed before starting a wash cycle.
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaners for washing your washing machine drawer or laundry.
  • Do not leave the drawer open for long periods, especially if damp. This can result in mold and mildew growth, and if not cleaned properly, the drawer will dispense the mold into your laundry while cleaning. This can cause health concerns.


The washing machine drawer is a very useful component of the washing machine if used correctly. It dispenses the detergent, assisting in cleaning your clothes properly.

The auto-dispensing drawers automatically use the right amount of detergent needed for the wash based on a load of laundry. In contrast, a manual-dispensing drawer dispenses all the detergent you add.

You may need to clean the drawer from time to time. Since every type of washing machine has its operating mechanics, it is advised to always consult the instruction manual before operating it.

Contact the manufacturer if you can not understand any particular aspect of the washing machine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Tide Pods in My Washing Machine Drawer?

You may use any cleaning agent if it fits in the drawer. Tide pods, cleaning beads, or other laundry pods can be used, but granulated and liquid detergents work best with a drawer dispenser.

You should pop the laundry pods and pour the liquid into separate drawer compartments. Be sure to check if your laundry pods exceed the capacity of the washing machine drawer.

If so, you may need to switch to a granulated or liquid laundry detergent. If you insist on using laundry pods for cleaning and dislike powdered or liquid laundry detergents, you can put them in with the laundry and start the washing cycle.

Can I Pour the Washing Detergent Directly on the Clothes for Washing?

If, for some reason, your washing machine drawer has stopped working or if you do not want to use it, you can put the laundry detergent directly onto the laundry and wash your clothes.

It typically does not impact the functionality of the washing machine or the detergent drawer, but it is best to consult the manufacturer before making such a decision.

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