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How To Use Laundry Detergent Pods (Types & Advantages)

female hand puts laundry pod into the washing machine

Not long ago, powder and liquid laundry detergent were the common choices for most people washing laundry. However, many people also started using laundry detergent pods after they became extremely popular in 2012. Nowadays, laundry detergent pods are widely available, and you can purchase them in almost any store. However, since most people are accustomed to regular powder/liquid detergent, using a laundry detergent pod for the first time can be confusing.

Read on to learn how laundry detergent pods work, what are their advantages and disadvantages, and get answers to some frequently asked questions about them.

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How Do Laundry Detergent Pods Work?

Laundry pods are meant to be extremely easy to use, making them one of the most convenient choices for detergent. Since these pods cost a bit more than regular laundry detergents, using single doses is the best way to go. For a standard load of laundry, use a single pod, while an extra-large load can go with two pods. The crucial thing to remember when using laundry pods is never to place them in dispenser drawers. Laundry pods are made a certain way that allows them to be placed directly into the drum, where they will dissolve and provide your laundry with both the detergent and the fabric softener. These pods can best dissolve in warm water, although when using a single dose, they will dissolve easily in cold water as well.

The most important rule of thumb is to always place the laundry detergent pods into the drum before adding in the clothes. Most people forget this rule and are left with an improperly dissolved pod, which can cause damage to your garments. Spots and streaks from the detergent can happen even if you overload the drum, leaving little space for the water to dissolve the pod.

Capsules for washing laundry detergents
Image By: Avocado_studio, Shutterstock

What Are the Different Types of Laundry Detergents?

There are three main forms of laundry detergents, including detergent pods. To understand how detergent pods work, it is important to differentiate them from the rest. These pods are used differently to achieve the same result, so read on to find out how each type of detergent is used.

Powder Laundry Detergent

Powder laundry detergent is often the cheapest option on the market, lasts longer than pods, and is more eco-friendly. With powder detergent, you can easily customize the amount of detergent you add depending on the load size. While it is convenient to use, it tends to become quite messy, especially since you always have to measure the adequate amount.

Liquid Laundry Detergent

Liquid laundry detergent dissolves fastest in the water since it is already liquid before being added to the load. It is least likely to leave any residue and is least messy when used. Since the package of the liquid detergent is always made from plastic, this type of detergent is the least eco-friendly. It is also very easy to miss the correct dosage, causing an inadequately washed load of laundry.

Detergent Pods or Tablets

Detergent pods and tablets are incredibly easy to use, providing the fastest and most convenient way to wash your laundry. You don’t have to do any measuring, as the correct dosage for one load comes packed in a small plastic sachet. It makes zero mess when used.

Advantages of Laundry Detergent Pods

There are many advantages to laundry detergent pods, which make them convenient and easy to use. One of the best things about them is that they are premeasured and have a better balance of cleaning ingredients.

Laundry detergent pods also have many other advantages, such as:

  • Laundry pods are tiny and lightweight, which makes them easy to store.
  • They are efficient and good at keeping your clothes clean and fresh.
  • Easy to use.
  • Using them creates zero mess, unlike powder and liquid forms of detergent.
  • No measuring is required; everything comes in a perfect dose for one load.

Disadvantages of Laundry Detergent Pods

Laundry detergent pods have a lot of positive sides, but they also have some disadvantages you should know and consider before using them.

One of the biggest disadvantages of these pods is that they can be pretty dangerous. They are toxic to humans and animals and can cause severe poisoning after ingestion. In 2012, over 500 kids had laundry detergent pod poisoning, which just shows how dangerous they can be.

Because of that, you should keep laundry pods away from kids and animals. Here’s a list of other disadvantages you should be aware of:

  • Laundry pods are the most expensive option for laundry detergent.
  • Sometimes, a pod may not be enough for the load, and you may need to use more of them at once.
  • Other times, the pod may be too large for the load, and you may end up wasting a pod.
  • Pods are typically unable to eliminate stubborn stains.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Detergent pods in washing machine with laundry
Image By: LumenSt, Shutterstock

How Many Laundry Pods Do You Need to Use Per Wash?

Depending on the size of the load, usually, one laundry pod will be enough to wash a regular load. If you use a front-loading washer with a 20-pound capacity and you fill it with laundry, then two pods are recommended for the best result.

What Happens with the Plastic Wrap of Detergent Pods?

If you’ve ever wondered what exactly happens to the plastic wrap once a pod dissolves in the drum, it is actually not a huge mystery. These tiny, valuable sachets are made from PVA plastic, which is meant to dissolve in water easily. However, while this plastic won’t affect your laundry or washing machine, it will exit the system through the drainage pipes and is released into the environment. While this impact is minor, it still slowly contaminates nature with more plastic.

Is Fabric Softener Also Available in the form of Pods?

Many brands produce both detergent pods and fabric softener pods. These pods are meant to be equally effective as liquid softeners and are tossed into the drum during the rinse cycle.

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Laundry detergent pods are amazing tiny gadgets that are meant to take the pressure off of adding a correct dose of detergent to your machine. They are effortless to use, convenient, and practical. Once you learn how they work to provide you with a clean batch of laundry, you will likely fall in love with the concept and want to use them all the time.

Featured Image Credit: TShaKopy, Shutterstock


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