Laundry detergent itself is nothing new — it’s been around for over 100 years. However, dissolvable detergent pods – such as Dropps laundry detergent – are a relatively fresh development in the world of clean laundry.
Detergent pods have taken over the laundry market for a number of reasons. They’re easy to use (and futuristic to boot). In many cases, they’re also more sustainable than traditional liquid detergents.
After using liquid or powder detergent for years, making the switch to an entirely different formula can be a bit intimidating. Fortunately, learning how to use pods in your laundry routine is incredibly simple.
Whether your interest is piqued by the sheer convenience of detergent pods or by their potential for eco-friendliness, you’ll find everything you need to know about this innovative product below.
How to Use Pods in Washing Machine: Step-by-Step
If you’re new to detergent pods and in need of a little reassurance, following these simple steps will ensure your laundry comes out as fresh and clean as ever:
- Read the product label to determine how many detergent pods to use for your load of laundry.
- Open the packaging and remove the recommended number of detergent pods with dry hands.
- Place detergent pod(s) into your washing machine’s drum.
- Fill the washing machine with laundry.
- Close the washing machine and select the desired cleaning cycle.
In our experience with testing and reviewing eco-friendly laundry detergent pods, these instructions are appropriate for all types of washing machines. However, the information found inside your washing machine’s user manual should always take precedence over general guidelines.
All You Need to Know About Detergent Pods and How They Work
Are Detergent Pods Better Than Liquid or Powder?
Pods may be better than other types of laundry detergent depending on your priorities. For example, detergent pods are easier to store and measure than the alternatives. Detergent pods are also extremely popular in the green living sphere because they reduce water usage and transportation emissions.
The biggest downside to detergent pods currently is that they tend to cost more than liquid or powder. Using only as many pods as needed per load is a great way to cut down on waste and reduce costs.
Do Detergent Pods Go in the Washer Dispenser Drawer?
No. Unless specifically advised by your washer’s user manual, detergent pods should never go in the dispenser drawer.
Laundry detergent pods are designed to go straight in the washing machine drum. Placing them in your washer’s dispenser drawer instead will prevent the pod from fully dissolving.
Are Detergent Pods Safe for HE Washers?
Yes, all detergent pods that we are familiar with are approved for use in high-efficiency machines. If you’re ever curious if a specific brand is safe to use in such machines, you can check the detergent pods’ label for the HE logo.
How Many Detergent Pods Should You Use per Load?
The number of laundry pods you should use depends on how large of a load you’re washing. Since different brands vary in strength, you should check the product label of your chosen detergent pods for exact guidelines.
Detergent pods are extremely concentrated, so you need less than you probably think to produce perfectly clean laundry. For most brands, one detergent pod will suffice for the average load.
Will Detergent Pods Dissolve in Cold Water?
Yes, high-quality detergent pods should dissolve in both hot and cold water. With that said, it’s normal for pods to take a little longer to dissolve the colder the water is.
Some pods won’t fully dissolve in extremely cold water — for example, when washing with tap water in the wintertime. The easiest way to solve this problem is by first dissolving your detergent pods in warm water before adding the solution to your washing machine’s drum.
Should You Put Detergent Pods in Before or After Laundry?
Most, if not all, manufacturers recommend putting detergent pods into your washer before adding any clothing. The reason for this is that detergent pods placed on top of clothing or linens may not fully dissolve. This tends to be a bigger problem in top-load washing machines versus front-load ones.
Can You Use Laundry Detergent Pods at a Laundromat?
Yes. Laundry detergent pods can be used in all residential and commercial washing machines, including those found at your local laundromat.
Due to their recent jump in popularity, many laundromats now provide instructions for using detergent pods in their machines. If you’re unsure how to properly add pods to your local laundromat’s machines, the best strategy is to ask an attendant for help.
Are Laundry Detergent Pods Safe for Homes With Children?
Yes, detergent pods are safe for homes with children as long as they are stored out of reach. The vast majority of laundry detergent pods sold today (including eco-friendly brands like Dropps) feature foul-tasting coatings to discourage children and pets from putting the pods in their mouths. However, it’s still very important to place detergent pods somewhere young kids cannot access them.
Can You Hand Wash Garments Using Detergent Pods?
Yes, you can hand wash clothing with detergent pods. Since most detergent pods are extremely concentrated and meant for full-size loads, however, it’s not always recommended.
If you want to utilize detergent pods for handwashing, Dropps recommends selecting a formula designed for sensitive skin and/or small loads. Doing so will prevent product waste and protect your hands.
Do Laundry Detergent Pods Cause Buildup in Washing Machines?
Laundry detergent pods can cause soap buildup in some washing machines. However, the problem is not the type of detergent but how much you are using. A layer of soap scum in your washing machine drum is a clear sign that you’ve been using too much detergent.
We recommend running a hot cycle using white vinegar instead of detergent to remove any buildup. You should also re-evaluate the number of detergent pods used per load of laundry to prevent a new layer from forming.
Do Detergent Pods Have a Shelf Life?
Yes. Most brands of detergent pods have a shelf life of at least 1 year. The best way to prolong your detergent pods’ shelf life is by storing them in the original packaging in a cool and dry location.
Rest assured, “expired” detergent pods are unlikely to pose any danger. The most likely differences between new and expired pods are a weaker cleaning power and loss of scent (if there was any).