Washing powder should be added to the detergent drawer on washing machines. On most front-loading washing machines, the detergent drawer is located to the top-left of the device’s front. Pull a draw towards you to reveal 3 or 4 individual, plastic compartments – each compartment’s function is not universal and there are many differences between different brands of washing machines.
Generally, the largest compartment is for the main wash. Depending on the brand, washing powder or washing liquids may be used. The other compartments are usually for prewashing powders or liquids, bleaches, fabric softeners or water-softening salt.
Do I Have To Use The Detergent Drawer?
Sometimes, but not always.
The detergent drawer is connected to various pipes and pumps inside the washing machine. Each compartment in the detergent drawer is designed to release detergent at different stages of washing (i.e. during the pre-wash, main wash or fabric softening stage).
If you put washing powder directly into the drum, it’ll quickly be diluted and rinsed away during the pre-wash! For clean-smelling clothes, it’s best to put powders in their designated detergent drawer compartment. According to some sources, washing liquids and washing capsules may be added directly to the drum but check your device’s manual first.
Automatic (Front-Loading) Washing Machines
If your washing machine has a round door on its front, used to move laundry in and out of the drum, you have a front-loading washing machine. These are by far the most common types of domestic washing machines in the UK.
Where Does Powder Go In Washing Machines?
Almost all washing machines in the UK have a detergent draw on the front of the device. The detergent drawer is typically positioned to the top left of the washing machine’s front; dials and displays are often located to the top centre or top right on the machine’s front, above the loading door.
The reason behind putting the detergent drawer here isn’t clear. However, it’s at an ideal height for people to load powder into. Additionally, placing the detergent compartments above the drum enables washing machines to pump water into the 3 detergent compartments (pre-wash, main wash and fabric softeners) and then use gravity to feed the soapy mixture into the drum.
Laundrette and Token-Operated Washing Machines
Approximately 98% of UK households contain an automatic washing machine. However, laundrettes (laundromats) remain a common sight on the high streets of towns and cities across Britain.
Even if you are a proud machine owner, the laundrette is a Godsend when your home washing machine suddenly breaks down!
Laundrettes typically contain between around 10 and 50 separate front-loading washing machines and tumble dryers. Some laundrettes also offer additional services such as professional dry cleaning; hydrocarbon cleaning agents are used instead of everyday, household cleaning chemicals. Ironing, tailoring and repair services may also be available.
The majority of laundrettes use tokens. These are exchanged for hard money via a token machine or over the counter, then fed directly into an individual machine.
Can You Use Powder Detergent In A Laundromat?
Yes! Almost all laundromats in the UK will have powder detergent for sale. Some laundrettes explicitly require the use of washing powder.
This is because many laundromat washing machines are almost antique in age; they aren’t designed for use with gels, liquids and pods. However, it’s probably not the end of the world if you do use these – ask if you’re unsure!
Where Do I Put Washing Powerder In Laundrette Washing Machines?
Many newer models of laundrette washing machines feature a standard front-loading tray, with between 1 and 4 individual compartments. Some laundrette washing machines, especially older models, are top-loading; a black panel or flap on the top of the unit is lifted to reveal the washing compartments.
Fortunately, every laundromat in the UK will have detailed instructions on how to use the machines correctly on hand.
Instructions (sometimes containing handy pictures or diagrams) are readily available; these will explain specific details regarding the washing machine’s powder compartments and wash cycles.
Portable, Compact and Mobile Washing Machines
Portable washing machines are typically used in tents, caravans, campervans and other scenarios where space is a factor. These washing machines take water from a tap, shower or garden hose. The dirty water is drained out via an external hose.
Due to the compact size of portable washing machines, they have some major differences in their design and often offer limited washing functions. Most mobile washing machines are either top-loading or front-loading, depending on the make and model.
Budget-friendly models might not feature any powder drawers or compartments. In these instances, it’s best to use liquids, gels or laundry pods in your wash rather than washing powder; these products are less likely to clog the inside of your machine.
In a pinch, you could potentially add washing powder directly into the portable washing machine drum.
Top-Loading Washing Machines
Compared to the United States, Britain is severely lacking in top-loading washing machines. As their name implies, laundry is moved in and out of the machine through a door on the top of the device. Top-loading washing machines require more water than conventional front-loaders as they fully submerge the clothes in water during washing.
Front-loading washing machines are comparably more energy efficient than top-loading washing machines, as they use less water. This reduces the total weight of the drum and as less electricity is needed to rotate a lighter drum, the total amount of electricity used per wash is reduced on top-loading washing machines
British and European Union laws are keen energy-efficiency promoters; various regulations restrict households, and the appliances in them, from choosing low-carbon and environmentally-friendly electronic devices over less efficient devices.
Many American household appliances (e.g. double fridges, super-powerful vacuums, food processors etc.) fall foul of energy laws as they typically waste an unjustifiable amount of electricity!
Washer-dryers are ideal for people who can’t own both a washing machine and a tumble dryer. Despite looking similar to conventional washing machines, washer-dryers rely on a completely different drying method.
Tumble dryers heat the clothing, slowly converting the water into steam. This steam is usually exhausted through a vent during drying.
On the other hand, washer-dryers seldom use an internal or external vent. Instead, they turn the hot steam back into the water using a condenser – the water is then drained out through pipes on the rear of the washer-dryer.
Where Does Washing Powder Go In Washer-Dryers?
Generally, the washing powders are added into washer-dryers through a detergent drawer. This is often in an identical position (top-left) to standard washing machines. Check your washer-dryer instruction manual for more detailed advice – there is no universal “standard” detergent drawer among washer-dryer brands.