How To Put Laundry Detergent In The Washer

In the never-ending cycle of laundry, the most minor things can leave me feeling discombobulated and overwhelmed.

One of those things is where to put laundry detergent in the washer because it varies depending on what type of detergent and what kind of washer you use.

If you find yourself in this situation, you start wondering how to put laundry detergent in the washer.

To help you keep up with your laundry without all the stress, we did some research on how to use the four types of laundry detergent and the two main types of washers, so now you can effectively put laundry detergent in your washer.

What You’ll Need

To properly put laundry detergent in the washer, you need a few simple things.

  • Laundry detergent 
  • A washing machine 

Laundry Detergent

There are four main types of laundry detergent to choose from.


Laundry detergent capsules are pre-measured concentrated pods of liquid detergent.

They can come with stain fighters or whiteners already mixed in, which reduces the number of other laundry enhancers you need.

These are popular with people looking for a convenient way to measure laundry detergent.

If you are planning on using capsules or pods, as they are sometimes called, a great option is Tide Hygienic Clean Heavy 10x Duty Power PODS Laundry Detergent Pacs.

These capsules are an Amazon bestseller, get excellent reviews, and will work in all washers.

Liquid Detergent

Liquid laundry detergent is a liquid soap found in bottles.

It’s great for pre-treating stains because you can rub a little liquid detergent on a stain before washing it.

Gain Laundry Detergent Liquid Plus Aroma Boost, Original Scent is an excellent option if you plan on going the liquid detergent route.

Gain gets awesome reviews on Amazon and will work in all types of washers, even with cold water.

Remember to check your packaging for the recommended amount of detergent you should use and clean up any spills or drips immediately. 

Powder Detergent

Loose powder laundry detergent is a traditional form of laundry detergent.

It is designed to dissolve in the water inside the drum of the washer.

Remember to check your packaging for the recommended amount of detergent you should use; using more detergent than necessary is inadvisable.

If you plan to use powder detergent, Tide Powder Laundry Detergent, Mountain Spring is an Amazon best-seller with wonderful reviews.

Tablet Detergent 

Tablet powder laundry detergent is similar to loose powder laundry detergent, except the tablet powder laundry detergent comes in pre-measured, compressed tablets.

These are popular with people looking for a traditional form of laundry detergent without the mess of loose powder laundry detergent. 

A Washing Machine

Although there are a variety of brands of washers to choose from, there are currently two main types of washers available: high efficiency (HE) and traditional.

HE washers are designed to use less water, consume less energy, and be gentler on clothes than a traditional washer.

These high-efficiency washers only use 20-66 percent of the water and 20-50 percent of the energy a conventional washer uses because HE washers tumble clothes in shallow water.

The traditional washer fills the entire drum, but the HE washer only uses the water necessary for the load and rinses several times to rid clothes of detergent.

Even with multiple rinses, HE washers use less water and less energy than traditional washers. 

You should know which type of washer you use because HE washers need HE detergent, which comes in all four varieties of laundry detergent.

Regular detergent can damage a HE washer and leave unrinsed detergent on your laundry, so we recommend matching the type of detergent you use to the type of washer you have access to. 

Step By Step Instructions For How To Put Laundry Detergent Into Your Washer

Putting laundry detergent into your washer is simple if you follow these steps and suggestions.

For laundry detergent capsules

  1. Place one laundry capsule into the drum of your washer.

Pro tip: You only need one laundry capsule unless your load of laundry is unusually large or dirty.

In that case, you can use two laundry capsules.

  1. Place your laundry into the washer on top of your laundry detergent capsule.
  2. Wash your laundry per the instructions for your washer.

Pro tip: Check your laundry before you put it in the dryer for unrinsed detergent residue.

Detergent residue occasionally occurs with laundry detergent capsules, but a rinse in your washer before drying will remove the residue without staining your laundry. 

For liquid laundry detergent

  1. Place your laundry into the washer.
  2. Locate the detergent drawer on your washer. This is usually located at the top of the drum; it may be a drawer or a compartment. Check your washer instructions for the exact location.
  3. Measure a dose of laundry detergent and pour it into the detergent drawer. Use the instructions on your laundry detergent bottle to determine the recommended dosage.

Pro tip: You can measure your laundry with the bottle cap (most caps have measurements), or you can use a dosing ball. If you use a dosing ball, measure the appropriate amount of laundry detergent into it, and place the dosing ball on top of the laundry in your washer.

For powder laundry detergent

  1. Place your laundry into your washer.
  2. If you use loose powder laundry detergent, measure an appropriate dose according to the package instructions, and pour the detergent into the laundry detergent compartment of your washer.

Pro tip: If you are concerned about the loose powder laundry detergent clogging your washer, measure your laundry detergent into a fine mesh bag.

This helps eliminate clogging.

Place the mesh bag on top of your laundry in the washer. 

For tablet laundry detergent

  1. If you use tablet powder washing detergent, place the tablet into the laundry detergent compartment of your washer. 

Commonly Asked Questions

How much laundry detergent should I use?

While you should be careful only to use the recommended amount of laundry detergent, the recommended amount is usually a range when dealing with liquid and loose powder detergents.

The exact amount of detergent you need depends upon the size of the load of laundry, how dirty the laundry is, and the hardness of your water. All of these will increase the amount of detergent you need to use.

Where should I put bleach?

Never add bleach directly to your laundry; the bleach will damage your laundry if it is not diluted correctly first. Instead, most washers have a compartment for fabric softener and bleach.

Pour your bleach into this compartment and allow your washer to properly dilute the bleach to make it safe for your laundry.

How do I make my washer as effective as possible?

You can increase the effectiveness of your washer by filling it correctly (not over-filling or under-filling it) and by selecting an appropriate wash cycle.

In addition, don’t mix types of detergent, especially liquid and powder detergent.

This can clog your washer, which decreases effectiveness. 


I hope you have enjoyed learning how to put laundry detergent into the washer.

Regardless of which type of washer you use or which type of laundry detergent you prefer, keeping up with the laundry should now be more manageable and stress-free with your new understanding of how to put your favorite laundry detergent in your washer correctly.