General Question

pleiades's avatar

Why does the laundry machine ask to pour the detergent in first?

Asked by pleiades (6538 points ) May 24th, 2014

So what happens when the detergent goes into the holes? Does that detergent become reused?

Why shouldn’t I put the detergent on top of the clothes where the water ultimately lands on?

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8 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

You put the detergent in first and let the water start to run so the soap gets dissolved well and evenly throughout the water. While the washer is filling add the clothing.

If you use a delicate or pulse cycle the soap will not move around well at the beginning if you just have the soap sitting on the top.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Go ahead and put the detergent on top of the clothes and see what happens!

pleiades's avatar

@Dan_Lyons I’m literally trying to find the reasoning for the process.

@JLeslie I can’t start my washer with out it closed. I never knew the water detergent was being used still once it went through the holes! :X Hence the reason for this question. I was raised on pouring the detergent onto the streaming water vs the method my current washer is asking me. (It’s a community washer by the way)

Dan_Lyons's avatar

I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be flip. Here’s what you do. Put the detergent in first. Close the lid. start the machine. let it fill up a little. Then open it up and add your laundry. Then close the lid and let it go through its normal routine.
Liquid detergent is better than powder as it dissolves more readily. This is for a top loader.

Is it a front loader or a top loader?

If it is a front loader then it is easy; just put the soap in the holes on top of the machine and start your book.

pleiades's avatar

@Dan_Lyons Will try that method next time around! (Top loader) :D

JLeslie's avatar

In wash mode the “water” is not draining. Below the holes there is still the bottom of the tub.

Your washer won’t fill with water if the lid is open? It’s a top loader right?

Seek's avatar

Basically, it’s because some fabrics and dyes are very sensitive to concentrated detergents, and direct application of the detergent can leave spots on the fabric. The instruction is there to protect the washing machine company from complaints of people’s ruined clothing.

Kind of like the warning on your chainsaw that says “Do not attempt to stop blade with hands, feet, or genitals.”

Adagio's avatar

I have a top loader, clothes are added first, detergent on top, on the recommendation of the washing machine repair man I only use 1tb powder concentrate, clothes come up perfectly clean. @Seek makes a very good point about the possibility of spots on fabric though, that hasn’t happened to me but it makes perfect sense that it could, probably depends upon the kind of detergent I would imagine.

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