Do you put powder detergent in dispenser in front loader?

marti8aFebruary 9, 2011

I finally finished the big bottle of liquid detergent we got when we bought the machines, and I said good riddance to the mess and bought some powdered detergent. I've used it twice and it is leaving clumps inside the dispenser tray.

For those of you who use powdered, do you put it in the tray or just toss it in with the laundry?

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I put mine in the dispenser. I've never had a problem with clumping.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 11:57AM
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Are you using cold water with the powdered detergent? Sometimes the water is not warm enough to disolve it.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 1:10PM
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I have gotten into the habit of putting the detergent in the tub before loading laundry. Works just fine and you don't have to worry about cleaning the dispenser drawer as frequently.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 1:20PM
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For a front loader, you must use an HE (high efficiency) detergent to begin with. Powders really should avoided (in dishwashers too) as they tend to leave accumulations of residue in both the tubs and the pumps over time. A good liquid detergent HE certified, like Gain or Tide (there are brands that are phosphate free as well for those of you on septic systems) There are also HE certified nugget packs that are hypoallergenic from a company called Nellie's Nuggets.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 2:41PM
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I have an LG front loader. It got a musty odor and after some reading I decided to switch from liquid to powder to try to avoid this. (We still have to wipe down the glass and sometime leave the door open, sometimes empty the little bit of left over water, too.)

Anyway, the instructions for my LG said to remove the container/dispenser for the liquid detergent and put the powder right into the tray. That's what I do and it has worked fine (using HE powder of course.)See if your machine's user guide says anything about powder vs. liquid in the dispenser.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 4:20PM
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I found I had more residue with liquids (in both my dishwasher and my washer) than when I use powders.

OP: What brand of detergent are you using? What is your water hardness?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 4:48PM
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chicagoans, I read that too and that is one of the reasons I wanted to switch to a powder, even though I haven't had any odor problems with the liquid. The other reason was because the spout on the liquid dripped.

The powder I bought was Gain HE. It was the only HE powder at the store. I've used it once with cold water and once with warm water and it left clumps with both.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 5:11PM
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I removed the liquid cap insert from the soap tray and put my powder detergent in without having had any residue so far. Whenever I do use liquid I use the cap insert.

I remember my mother often using a glass of water to flush down residue in her fl. I wonder if it has something to do with water pressure or the size of the soap dispenser? My LG dispenser is twice the size of my mothers Miele and when I open it during active water intake I get sprayed.

To manintheinthefridge I strongly disagree with the statement that liquid is better than powders and powders should be avoided. My father used to be a service and repairman in Europe for 40 years (Miele, Bauknecht, VZug, Rotel and Electrolux) before retiring. He has always advocated for powder as the better cleaning option but also has certain liquids he suggest for special loads of laundry.

Stiftung Warentest (german CR) and have done numerous test where powders always get higher rates. In fact, also the cheaper store powders did well. Except for major stains where only more expensive, top powdered and pearl detergents like Persil and Co were successful at 60 C/140 F. Plus powdered detergent got higher marks for being environmentally friendlier.

I do use liquids for certain loads like wools e.t.c.

Here is a link that might be useful: Stiftung Warentest link (in German)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 10:05AM
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My Duet has a little removable/changeable partition in the detergent compartment. One position is for liquid, the other position for powder. If I use powder with the partition in the "liquid" position, it doesn't dispense properly and leaves clumps. When the partition is positioned properly it works fine every time.

Would that be what's happening with your machine?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 11:58AM
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Could be asolo. I'll have to get out my book and find out.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 1:53PM
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Pull out your detergent drawer and clean out all the mold and gunk left over from the liquid detergent way back in there. This will allow a higher flow of water in the dispenser to wash all the powdered detergent into the tub.

And use hot washes from time to time lest your machine smell like the local sewer.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 11:00PM
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On adding the detergent to the drum, it will depend on your machine and what cycle you're using. For some it's no problem, in the big scheme, but others might not dissolve all the detergent or quickly enough to activate it thoroughly.

As the posts indicate, better to use the dispenser as indicated.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 11:50AM
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Is it possible the OP's machine just has a badly designed detergent dispenser, or that this detergent may be difficult to dissolve?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 12:55PM
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There wasn't any mold or residue from the liquid detergent. I pulled out the drawer and there is really no way to change it for powder detergent. It has a section for detergent wash (doesn't say what kind), softener, and bleach.

It's easier just to throw the powder in with the clothes.

It's a Frigidaire Affinity, btw

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 1:15PM
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I also have an Affinity (FAF/LAFxxxx) model.

There is no separation for liquid & powder so I just put the powder/liquid in the dispenser. Mostly I use powder but have been using Tide liquid (free & clear) for clothing; the powder is Sears but have used Tide a couple of times. Liquid for clothes & powder for everything else & add borax sometimes like when I do the microcloths, shower curtain/liner & bath/tub mat load.

No clumping; but was there clumping of the powder prior to putting it into the dispenser? I do break up any clumping of the powder in the container before using.

My only "leftovers" in the dispenser at times is in the fabric softener area but seems to be only when using powder!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 4:53PM
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No, you have to remove the detergent dispenser tray from the machine and THEN look back in the hole from whence it came.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 1:21PM
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I put the powder in the drum before adding clothes imthe reason is I notice my soap run downs the glass inside the door than into the drain around the seal I felt like the soap really wasn't getting in the clothes.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 7:51PM
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Yo jessica....don't know what machine you have but I can tell you from the little you wrote that you're not understanding how the thing works. You're fine.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 9:30PM
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I have a Frigidaire front loader and have had the clumping problem in the past. I think it was because my detergent was getting old, but also because the design of the drawer makes the first part of the powder stay a bit dry. It doesn't flush the front part. It was Sears brand detergent (which I love) and was the end portion of a big bucket that was at least a year old. I got a new container and everything was fine. It happened much more with cold water in the winter. Putting the detergent right in the tub worked well until I got the new container. Using warm or hot water helped some but I still had clumps at times.

FWIW, even though I practice very good front loader hygiene, this machine of mine will develop a musty sewer odor if I use a liquid detergent with any regularity. I've tried it many times over the years, the last being just a few weeks ago. No liquid detergent for us.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 1:59PM
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I use Gain powder and have no problem with clumping. I don't like to use liquid detergents on a regular basis as I believe it promotes buildup. Just put the powdered detergent in the drum with the clothes and it won't clump.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 3:55PM
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I have an affinity too. I just put my powder in the drawer. I sometimes have just a little residue left on the side of the dispenser in the detergent compartment but not a lot where it poses a problem. I use both Tide HE powders and Henkel Persil powders, if that helps.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 9:50AM
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@CME I used to have a Frigidaire earlier than the Affinity line and mine would sometimes leave little bits of powder in the tray. I think the design was not so good and washing in cold didn't help much either. mostly my problem was in the winter. where I live the water is much colder from the tap than warmer times of the year. I used to use liquid for cold washes in the winter. Now I have a Samsung. it has a cup you have to put in so the the liquid detergents stay in for the main wash, otherwise it would just go in to the tub that would be an issue if you selected a pre-wash. The Frigidaire did not have a pre-wash so what ever was in the detergent slot went in the tub. Powders would be washed in liquids would just run into the tub. With the Samsung I put main wash powder in the tray and it showers it down during the main wash fill with warmed water. the pre-wash is more to the back if the tray so if you use that option it only washes that area out during the fill. So far I don't see any left behind after the wash cycle with the Samsung.

I use Gain, Mexican Ariel and have used sears all seem about the same with real cold water but sears which clumps a bit more than the others.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 8:27AM
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Eliza Paul

The powder detergent needs water at 30*C to dissolve.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2015 at 5:54AM
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We have used liquid detergents in our front loader for over 3 years. Never a problem. We have the large bottle of Tide that has a dispensing valve. It sits on a platform I built about 5-6 inches above the dryer. Place the included cup underneath the valve, press the button to get the correct amount and pour it into the washer's dispensing chamber. What could be simpler?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2015 at 9:34AM
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I have the top loader LG 5101/HW and find that powder detergent do get the clothes cleaner. I was using the Kirkland powder from Costco but haven't been able to find in in the store recently. I was surprised because one of the review sites, maybe Consumer Reports rated it higher than Tide. Anyway, my machine has a little pull out drawer with an insert for the liquid detergent and you take that out when you use powder.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2015 at 8:37PM
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