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Turns Out, You’ve Been Using Laundry Pods Wrong Your Entire Life

If there is one chore I hate, hate, hate doing it’s the laundry. It just NEVER ends! I’m pretty sure there isn’t a bottom to the laundry basket — at least I’ve never seen it.

When laundry pods (like Tide Pods) became a thing, I jumped for joy. It made doing the laundry just a wee bit easier. Anything that makes the dreaded laundry chore just a little bit better is a plus in my book.


But, have I been using them correctly?

There are a few ways to make sure you are getting the maximum benefit from your laundry pods. Don’t worry. I got you. Keep reading to find out how to best use your laundry pods.

What exactly is a laundry pod?

Laundry pods are a straight-up gift from the laundry gods.

They are a premeasured amount of laundry detergent in a convenient little squishy package. This squishy package is actually a “water-soluble polymer related to Elmer’s Glue.”

(Now, this is important. Hear what I am saying. Although they look a little like candy, DO NOT EAT THEM.)

When your laundry pod hits water, it starts to dissolve, and all that concentrated detergent-y goodness is released into your laundry.

The pods are clean, easy to store in your laundry room, and completely portable. They make laundry while you are on vacation super easy!!

How do you use laundry pods?

You may have tried to use laundry pods before, and they didn’t dissolve all the way. You might have had a gooey, sticky mess that you thought would never come out.

That’s because you weren’t using them correctly.

In order for the pods to completely dissolve and work their magic, they need to have as much contact with the water as possible.

Throw them in your empty washing machine drum before you put in your clothes. That way, as the water fills up the drum, the pods will have the maximum opportunity to soak and dissolve.

NEVER put the pods in that little detergent dispenser drawer thingy.

How many pods do I use? Is one laundry pod enough?

I can just throw one pod into my washing machine, and call it a day right? Wrong.

Like it’s liquid counterpart, it totally depends on the size of the laundry load you are trying to wash.

If you have a small load in the washer, sure, one pod is enough.

Medium loads of laundry call for two pods, and large loads should get three pods.

What if my laundry pods didn’t dissolve all the way?

That means one of two things: either you didn’t put the laundry pod in the empty washer before adding your clothes – or – your washing machine was too jam packed full of clothing.

Just run the clothes through another cycle, but don’t put any detergent in. This should dissolve any remaining pod — and make sure your clothes are SUPER clean.

How do I store my laundry pods?

Just keep them in the container they came in — either a plastic tub with a sealable lid or a plastic resealable pouch.

Always keep them sealed up, that way the humidity in the air won’t make them start to dissolve prematurely.

Of course, just like with normal laundry detergent, you want to keep them out of reach of children.

Can’t I just use regular laundry detergent?

Sure. If you want to.

You have to weigh the benefits of both.

Powder or liquid detergent is definitely cheaper, but laundry pods are super convenient.

The pods are less messy than detergent, they are compact and concentrated, and they are portable.

I also tend to think that the pods get my clothes cleaner than normal detergent, but that’s just my opinion.

Are the laundry pods safe for my machine?

In a word, YES.

Liquid laundry packets are safe to use [in] all commercial washing machines, including [high-efficiency] washers

Jessica Zinna, PhD, Tide senior scientist

So, use whatever is best for you and your dirty clothes, but I am team laundry pod all the way!!