Wondering Where Detergents Go in Your Washer? Let’s Find Out - SimplySwider.com

Wondering Where Detergents Go in Your Washer? Let’s Find Out

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Jason Carter

Wondering Where Detergents Go in Your Washer? Let’s Find Out

It goes without saying:

Washing machines make life easier. You just have to load the drum, add detergent and watch the machine do the dirty work.


If you’re new to using a washer, you may face several challenges while trying to figure things out. One of these challenges is knowing where to put your detergent.


If you’re facing this problem, stick around. We’ve got all the answers and more.

Where to Put Detergent in Washing Machine

Wondering where to put the detergent in your washer? Well, you can put liquid and powdered detergent in the drawer of a front-load machine and inside the drum of a top-load machine. Place capsules and tablets inside the drum of both top and front-load machines. For a washer without a dispenser, pour the detergent inside the drum.

Where to Put Liquid Detergent in a Washer

Know this:

Where you put detergent will be determined by the type of washer you have.

So let’s look at the two main types of washers and how their liquid detergent placements differ.

Front-Load Washers

As the name implies:

A front-load washer comes with its drum door located in the front. It uses paddles to rotate and agitate clothes inside the drum.

If you have one of these, try to locate the special detergent drawer.

In most cases, it’s labeled and located near the washer controls. If not, just check to see if there are any drawer-like compartments on the front face of your washer.

washer detergent


Inside the drawer, there are usually three compartments with different symbols;

  • Pre-wash – I
  • Main-wash – II
  • Fabric softener – A star or flower symbol

Here’s what you need to know about each…


This section is designed for extremely dirty or stained clothes.

Here, the toughest stains are removed before the main wash cycle. Simply put, this is when you fill the pre-wash with detergent and run a pre-wash cycle.

However, if you run this cycle without pouring detergent in the right compartment, your clothes will go straight to the main wash.


Your laundry won’t come out as clean as it should.

Main Wash

This is the drawer’s most used and the only must-use compartment. Why? Because it is the section that facilitates regular washing.


Before pouring the detergent, read the instructions on the bottle or packet to know the required amount.

Fabric Softener

This is the smallest slot in the washer drawer.

Fabric softener penetrates your clothes to reduce clinginess and ensure they stay soft and smooth.

Some softeners are fragranced.

So, they will also leave your clothes smelling nice. Advisably, you should add fabric softener towards the end of the main wash cycle.

Top-Load Washer

Pouring Liquid Detergent Inside Drum

Get this:

For a regular top-load washer, the drum door is on the top of the machine.

Unlike the front load washing machine, this onehas agitators that break stains by rubbing against clothes.

So, where do you put the liquid detergent?

Here, the liquid detergent should go into the drum. Simply load your clothes inside the machine, then use a dosing ball to measure liquid detergent.

Next, put the dosing ball on the clothes and choose your preferred wash cycle and temperature. You can also empty the dosing ball in the laundry.


With top-load laundry machines, you can fill the drum with water and add the liquid detergent before loading the clothes.

This ensures that the detergent is evenly distributed before the clothes go in.

But, remember…

Always refer to the dosing guide to know the required amount of detergent.


Well, adding excessive detergent can damage your machine. Whereas, adding too little may not get your clothes properly cleaned.


If there are clothes with stubborn stains, try pretreating them before loading the drum. Simply apply a small amount of detergent directly on the stain and rub it.

Where to Put Powdered Detergent in a Laundry Washer

powdered detergent washing machine


Powdered detergents have a similar placement (the drawer) for front-load washers as liquid detergents.

So, to put powdered detergent in your front-load washer, you can follow the liquid detergents guideline above.But…

With powdered detergents, there’s one slight difference.

You see:

Unlike liquid detergents, a powdered cleanser should not be poured directly into the drum.Instead, you put it in a mesh bag before placing it inside the drum.


Powdered detergents dissolve slower than liquid ones. However, mesh bags help expedite the process.

Where to Put Capsules and Tablets in Washer

Laundry Capsules


Capsules and tablets are the respective variations of liquid and powdered detergents and can be used similarly.


Unlike regular liquid detergents, capsules (or pods) can only go inside the drum (for both front and top-load washers). Never put them inside the detergent compartment.

Instead, place capsules at the back of the drum before loading the clothes on top. This allows them to dissolve completely.

Also, the capsules are pre-measured, so you should use one per load.


What about laundry tablets?


Tablets are the least popular types of detergents for laundry machines since they take more time to dissolve.


They are designed to go into the drum.Thus, simply place the tablets at the back of the drum first, then add your laundry and run the washing cycle.

This applies to both front and top-load washers.

Where to Put Detergent in Washer Without the Dispenser

Here’s the thing:

There are top-load washers that don’t come with a detergent compartment or special drawer.Even worse, some older models of front-load washers don’t have detergent dispensers.

If you have such a washer:

The only viable alternative is to place the detergent inside the drum. If it’s a liquid detergent, pour it inside the drum before loading your clothes.


If you’re using washing powder, put it in a mesh bag and place it in the drum.

Best-Selling Washing Machine Brands and Their Detergent Placements


The detergent placement for various laundry machine brands is similar. You might note a few differences in design, however, functionality is seemingly the same.

So, here’s a list of thebest-selling or most popular washer brands and their detergent placements.

GE Washing Appliances

GE Front Load Washer


GE Appliances have some of the market’s most popular and best-selling washing machines.

For their top-load washers, they recommend loading the clothes and pouring the detergent (liquid or powdered) on top.

On the other hand capsules and tablets should be placed on the bottom of the drum before loading laundry.


If you’re using GE front-load washers, put the liquid and powdered detergent in the drawer. It’s usually located in the top-left corner of the washer’s front face.

But, remember, capsules and tablets should go directly inside the drum.

Samsung Laundry Machines

Samsung WA52A5500AC Washer

Get this:

Samsung has a similar detergent placement for both its front-load and top-load washers.


If you’re using liquid detergent, open the drawer and fill the detergent cup. Or remove the cup and pour powdered detergent directly into the compartment.

Like GE washers, capsules and tablets for Samsung washers also go in the back of the drum.


Samsung has another type of washer called FlexWash.

It features two washers (top and front) allowing you to do two loads of washing cycles simultaneously.


This laundry machine has two detergent compartments. The upper washer’s detergent compartment has a removable aqua pebble on the machine’s top.

How does it work?

Simply open the top door to remove the pebble from the bleach compartment.

Next, fill it with detergent, place it in the center of the drum, and load the clothes.


Never use capsules or tablets in a FlexWash’s top washer.

That said…

What about the lower (front) washer’s compartment?

The detergent compartments are situated right above the control panel on the washer’s top face; covered by the top lid.

LG Washing Machines

LG WM4200HWA Washer

LG is one of the market’s most popular and sought-after names.This South Korean brand has a wide range of top-load and front-load washers.


Much like Samsung, LG recommends placing the detergent in the drawer for both top-load and front-load machines.

Note that the drawer is usually in the top-left corner of the washer’s front face.

Do LG washers use capsules and tablets?

Yes. The placement for capsules and tablets is also the same as Samsung’s and GE’s. Simply throw them inside the tub before putting in your laundry.

Whirlpool Laundry Appliances

Whirlpool Duet Direct Drive

According to Statista, Whirlpool is the most popular washing machine brand in North America.

Get this:

For their front-load machine or top-load with a dispenser, put the detergent in the drawer (in the top-left corner).

But if your top load doesn’t have a detergent tray, you can pour the detergent inside the drum.


Do not put capsules or tablets in the detergent’s tray. Instead, throw them inside the drum before loading the laundry.

Bosch Washers

Bosch is a German electronic powerhouse that’s famous for building solid and highly efficient washers. The detergent placement for their washers is no different from that of Whirlpool washers.


We can all agree:

Washing machines have become essential in households across the globe.

However, to use one effectively, you must know where to put the detergent. That’s because improper placement can result in unintended consequences.

Having said that:

Here’s what you need to remember about where to put your detergent in the washer…

  • Put the liquid and powdered detergents in the drawer of front-load machines
  • Most drawers have three compartments — pre-wash, main wash, and fabric softener
  • Put the liquid and powdered detergents in the drum of a top-load washer
  • Place capsules and tablets in the bottom of the drum before loading the machine. This is for both the front-load and top-load washers.
  • If your washer doesn’t have a dispenser, place the detergent inside the drum

And that does it.

If you have any questions or thoughts about this topic, quickly reach us via the comment section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

When Do You Put Liquid Detergent in Washing Machines?

Typically, you add the liquid detergent before starting the washing cycle.

How Do You Put Laundry Detergent in the Washing Machine?

For a top-load machine, you can add liquid detergent to the drum before or after adding your laundry. If it’s a powdered detergent, put it in a mesh bag before placing it in the laundry.

If you’re using a liquid or powdered detergent for a front-load machine, fill the appropriate compartment or drawer with the detergent. Lastly, for capsules and tablets, place them inside the drum before loading your laundry for both front-load and top-load washers.

Where Do You Put the Detergent in a Washing Machine Without a Dispenser?

If your washer doesn’t have a dispenser, pour the detergent inside the drum.

Do You Pour Detergent Directly on Clothes?

Yes, you can pour liquid detergents directly into your laundry. However, this is usually ideal for liquid detergents. Powdered detergents can leave residue spots if not placed in a mesh. Also, make sure you don’t add too much to avoid over-foaming.

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