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Are Laundry Pods Bad for Your Washer? Here’s the truth!

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You may have heard horror stories about laundry pods. Right now, you’re concerned whether laundry pods will damage your washer in any way.

Laundry pods aren’t bad for your washer. If you place them directly into the drum (rather than the dispenser) and let them dissolve before you put your laundry in, you shouldn’t encounter any of the problems laundry pod users report online. The instructions should explain how to use laundry pods. 

Keep reading as I’ll discuss the most common concerns regarding laundry pods, their environmental impact (if any), and whether or not they clog up your drains. I’ll also cover troubleshooting pods that don’t dissolve and whether laundry pods are more expensive than other laundry detergent types. Finally, I’ll discuss some of the best laundry pods available. 

Are Laundry Pods Bad for the Environment?

If you check the ingredients for most detergents, you’ll notice that most of them aren’t eco-friendly. So naturally, you want to know whether or not laundry pods are any different.

Laundry pods can be bad for the environment. Their coating contains polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). According to a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, PVA degrades only under specific conditions, and 8,000 tons of it enter U.S. waterways every year.

Suppose your laundry pods don’t dissolve properly and release nasty PVAs into the environment. Will they still harm your drainage or septic systems?

Are Laundry Pods Bad for Septic Systems?

You might have come across an online post about how laundry pods clog drains. After all, they don’t always dissolve well. But is this true in any way?

Laundry pods don’t clog septic systems. Despite viral social media posts that suggest otherwise, there’s no evidence to suggest that laundry pods harm drains in any way. Most drains are wide enough for pods to pass through. Substances more likely to clog drains include hair and waste residue.

Even so, you may still have concerns about laundry pods not dissolving properly. In that case, I’ll discuss how to make sure your pods don’t leave any unwanted mess. 

Is powder detergent bad for your washing machine?

Why Is My Washing Machine Pod Not Dissolving?

There are many reasons your laundry pod isn’t dissolving. Most of them have to do with not following the instructions on the label.

Your washing machine pod isn’t dissolving because of the following:

  • You put the pod in the wrong order.
  • You put the pod in the dispenser.
  • Your washer is overloaded. 
  • The surrounding temperatures aren’t warm enough. 

I’ll cover these reasons in more detail below.

You Put the Pod in the Wrong Order

Many people make the mistake of putting in laundry pods after the water and laundry. It should be the other way around. Here are the steps on how to put the pods correctly:

  1. Put the laundry pod into the empty drum.
  2. Pour water into the drum.
  3. Wait for the laundry pod to dissolve in the water.
  4. Put in your laundry.

You Put the Pod in the Dispenser

Unless you dissolve the laundry pod in hot water first, you shouldn’t place it in your washer’s dispenser. Laundry pods don’t dissolve unless they come into contact with water first. So if you put the pod into the dispenser on its own, it won’t dissolve, and you may end up damaging the dispenser.

Your Washer Is Overloaded

According to a Tide representative, there should be about a hand’s width between your clothes and the drum wall. Otherwise, there isn’t enough room for the clothes to rotate around the washing machine once it’s powered on. Also, laundry pods need plenty of water to dissolve, and the extra room will give them more space to disperse around the machine.

The Surrounding Temperatures Aren’t Warm Enough

Some laundry pods dissolve in all water temperatures, while others work better under warmer conditions. But if you live in a cold area, you can dissolve your pod in hot water before pouring it into your washer like a regular detergent. Otherwise, your pod will stay solid, and it won’t work as a dispenser.  

Learn about what temperature to wash your clothes in here.

Are Pods More Expensive Than the Alternatives?

Convenience is the main advantage of laundry pods over powder and liquid detergents. All you have to do is plop it into your washer per the instructions, and you’re good to go.

Pods are more expensive than the alternatives, such as powder and liquid detergents. That’s because extra resources are required to pack them into dissolvable pods. Also, unique expertise is needed to determine the optimal amount of liquid per pod.

When it comes to laundry detergents, you usually get what you pay for. I’ll recommend some brands in the next section if you want to try laundry pods despite their higher price. 

Best Laundry Pods

Not all laundry pods are created equal. Depending on their unique strengths and weaknesses, you may prefer one brand over another. Below are some of the laundry pods I recommend, available on

Tide PODS Laundry Detergent Soap

If you want a laundry pod that can do it all, you can’t go wrong with Tide’s 3 in 1 laundry pods. The pods dissolve quickly, clean thoroughly, and don’t have any adverse effects on your clothes.

The only real downside to Tide’s laundry pods is they may contain ingredients that don’t agree with sensitive skin. 

Grab Green Laundry Detergent Pods

As their name implies, Grab Green’s laundry pods contain mostly natural ingredients. That means you can wash your laundry efficiently without worrying about harming the environment.

Because of the natural ingredients, you’re not likely to experience allergies from Grab Green’s laundry pods. Also, since they’re unscented, you don’t have to worry about irritating sensitive noses in your family. 

Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent

When a product label has the words “free and clear” on it, it means the product doesn’t have additives and other chemicals that cause allergies and irritation. Seventh Generation laundry pods are tough on stains and gentle on your skin.

Whether you have family members who have sensitive skin or you want to minimize the environmental impact of using laundry pods, Seventh Generation may be the best pick for you.


No matter your stance on laundry pods, you can’t deny how much easier washing clothes is thanks to them. Based on what you just read, do you think laundry pods are a good idea overall? 

I have made a list of the top 13 laundry detergent alternatives available that you may want to read next.


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