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Accidentally Put Tide Pod in Dispenser? Do this next

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The washing machine has simplified laundry a great deal, but using one can sometimes be confusing. For example, it’s easy to put your Tide pod or fabric softener in the wrong place. So what happens in that scenario?

If you accidentally put a Tide pod in the dispenser, it won’t damage your machine or clothes. The pod will dissolve as the water flows while the machine works. However, it may take a while for the soap from the pod to wash off completely from the dispenser, leading to longer washing sessions.

Putting the wrong thing in different spots in your washing machine can be concerning, including accidentally putting a Tide pod in the dispenser. Read on to find out what happens and if it’s serious enough to damage your appliance.

Tide Pods in Your Washing Machine

Tide pods are a brand of single-dose laundry detergent pods which are convenient, effective, and simple to use. These products work well in most types of top and front-loading washers. However, they’re meant to go directly into the drum. So if you put them into automatic detergent or fabric softener dispensers, pods don’t work well.

It’s often best to add all laundry detergent pods into the drum before adding the clothes and water. If you put the pod into a dispenser or on top of the clothes, it’s unlikely to dissolve all the way. The result will be streaks and spots left on clothes. You’ll also need to wait longer for the machine to wash off the detergent from the clothes.  

Putting tide pods in the dispenser or on top of your clothes can increase the total washing time by more than 200%. In addition, you have to rewash the clothes multiple times without detergent to eliminate the spotting and streaking from the wrong pod usage.

You’ll also need to use the largest load capacity setting to ensure the clothes are immersed in enough water. You’ll also have to repeat the process for as long as you need to. This ensures the detergent stains are gone, and there are no more traces of the pod in your dispenser.

If you’re in a hurry, leave the stained clothes for when you’re ready to remedy the situation. Don’t dry any detergent-stained clothes. The heat in the dryer will only make the stain a lot more challenging to get rid of later.

What Happens if I Put Laundry Detergent in the Fabric Softener Spot?

If you put laundry detergent in the fabric softener spot, the machine will wash your clothes without using the detergent. Since the softener is typically added at the end, the dispenser will also add your detergent towards the end. 

Adding the detergent to the fabric softener spot won’t damage the machine or spoil your clothes. However, with the detergent added towards the end of the washing cycle, you’ll have to repeat the washing process to get your clothes properly cleaned and wash off the detergent thoroughly.

You can think of it as using a conditioner on your hair when you had intended to use hair shampoo or liquid bathing soap first. By the time you grab the hair shampoo, you’ve spent a few minutes conditioning your hair and wasting your time. Shampooing your hair after you’ve conditioned it won’t damage your hair; you’ve only just messed up the usual order of things.

Keep in mind, though, that with the detergent taking over the fabric softener spot, you won’t get any of the benefits of using fabric softener while washing.

What Happens if I Put Fabric Softener in the Laundry Detergent Spot?

A man preparing a washing machine for use

If you put fabric softener in the laundry detergent spot, your dirty clothes will go through the washing cycle without detergent added to the water. However, the fabric softener will soften the dirt, making the clothes easier to wash when you do add the detergent.

Unfortunately, the fabric softener may also damage or discolor some of your clothes if you put it in the laundry detergent spot. 

Suppose you have any of the following materials in the washing machine. In that case, you may need to check them for discoloration and damage:

  • Moisture-wicking sportswear
  • Microfiber towels
  • Baby clothes
  • Velour fabric
  • Fleece fabric
  • Terry cloth
  • Towels

The fabric softener may ruin the absorption properties of some of these fabrics while discoloring others. If your clothes don’t include any of the above, simply fill in detergent in the correct dispenser to complete your washing session.

If any of the clothes require the use of fabric softener, don’t forget to put some in the right dispenser.  

What Happens if You Put Laundry Detergent in the Bleach Dispenser?

If you put laundry detergent in the bleach dispenser, your machine will work as it should without damaging your clothes. However, the washing will begin from the very first rinse cycle when the bleach is meant to be added. 

In this scenario, you’ll need an extra rinse cycle to eliminate all the excess soap. You may also need to add bleach in the rinse cycle to ensure all stains are removed. By altering the schedule, you can complete the washing session without incident.

Don’t forget to wash the bleach dispenser to remove any remaining soap from your previous mistake. If you don’t wash out the detergent properly, it may keep the bleach from reaching your clothes in your next washing cycle, and you may end up with dual washing sessions as well.

Learn if you can mix laundry detergent and bleach here.

Final Thoughts

It’s easy to make mistakes while using a washing machine. The dispensers look the same on most models, so it’s easy to put the wrong thing in the wrong dispenser without full concentration. It’s also easy to confuse your fabric softener with the laundry soap if they have similar containers.

Fortunately, most of these mistakes are rarely costly. In most cases, you’ll only end up with a longer washing cycle to get your clothes properly cleaned out. Once you’ve completed your laundry, be sure to clean out the affected dispenser so you won’t have a long wash cycle next time.

Next, you can learn how to clean your washing machine properly, or find out what’s better: Pods, liquid, or powder detergent.

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