Laundry Pods: 12 Answers you should know

Laundry Pods can be an excellent replacement for standard washing detergents. It comes with pre-measured small packs that simply take the guesswork away.

Initially, this form of detergent became popular when it was introduced by Procter & Gamble under the trademark Tide Pods (1).

Having said that don’t be confused if you hear terms such as “Packs” OR “Liquitabs” as there is no real difference, it’s the same as Pods.

Furthermore, these small packs are so popular in some countries, that they outsell the standard powdered detergents.

Here are 12 Answers about laundry pods that you should definitely know.

What are Laundry Pods?

Laundry Pods are pouches containing highly concentrated detergents that easily dissolve in water. The outer coating is made up of water-soluble polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) that easily dissolves in the washing machine. Therefore, you can use these small packs in your washer without having to worry about the plastic.

The chemistry of laundry pods is similar to a liquid detergent and there is no difference in ineffectiveness.

READ: 11 Things you should know about High-Efficiency Laundry Detergents

How to use Laundry Pods in Washing machines?

Using a Pod is easy, all you need to do is put the pods in followed by clothes and then finally select the appropriate washing cycle.

Try to follow the below order:

Step 1: Place one or two packs of Pod in your washer’s empty drum.

Step 2: Add the Laundry.

Step 3: Select the Washing cycle based on the fabric type.

If you are using a top loader, you can always add the pods, followed by clothes and then water.

But remember, the Ideal quantity of pods depends on the load size. Refer to the below table to get an approximate idea of the dosage.

1 Pack2 Packs3 Packs

READ: How to Clean Portable Washing Machine

Where do you put pods in the washing machine?

You should place the pods on your washer’s empty drum.

Always follow this order:

  • Place the pods on an empty drum
  • Add Laundry
  • Run the washing cycle if it’s an automatic machine OR add water if it’s a manual machine and then run the washing cycle.

READ: How to Hook Up Portable washing machine

How to hand wash clothes using Laundry Pods?

Follow the below instructions to hand wash using Laundry Pods.

  • Take a bucket of water
  • Add 1 pack and mix it until it dissolves
  • Put your laundry in
  • Start washing the stains manually either by your hands which is not advisable OR use a portable manual washing machine to run the washing cycle.

While it is possible to hand wash your laundry using pods, it’s not recommended as Pods are highly concentrated and it can trigger skin allergies. If you want to go for a manual hand wash try to stick with liquid OR Powdered detergents.

READ: How to Troubleshoot Portable Washing Machine?

How many laundry pods should you use?

The Ideal quantity of Laundry Pods depends on the laundry size.

While there is no fixed protocol to use ‘X’ number of pods for ‘Y’ amount of clothes you can follow the table below to get a better idea.

Normal1 Pack2 Pack3 Pack
Hard Water2 Pack3 Pack5 Pack
  • Medium Laundry: Approx. 7 T-Shirts
  • Large Laundry: Approx. 12 T-Shirts
  • Extra Large Laundry: Approx. 20 T-Shirts

The above categorization of Medium, Large and Extra-large is just to get a rough idea of the load size. You can always use other items like socks, skirts, sweaters, and so on by maintaining the right balance.

READ: 14 Things you Shouldn’t wash in Portable Washing Machine

Do Laundry Pods clean better?

Pods are not only convenient but also take away the guesswork on how much to use.

When it comes to cleaning, pods are equally effective as liquid OR powdered detergents. Having said that, laundry pods are expensive and lack flexibility. You may have to use an entire pod to just wash 2 or 3 clothes, on the other hand, powdered OR Liquid detergents are much more flexible.

So, pods are convenient as it has pre-measured doses of detergents and you know exactly how much to use depending on the laundry size.

READ: How to Use Portable Washing Machine effectively

Are Laundry Pods better than liquid?

Liquid detergents have a slight edge over pods. No doubt laundry pods are convenient to use as it rules out the guesswork to measure how much to use, it simply doesn’t match the efficiency and potency of liquid detergents.

Furthermore, liquid detergents are extremely flexible as it can be poured directly on stains before putting your clothes in the washer. Pouring a small number of liquid detergents on the stain and rubbing it gently before running the washing cycle helps to get rid of adamant stains.

READ: Top Load VS Front Load Detergents

Do Laundry pods work in cold water?

Laundry pods can dissolve in both cold and warm water; therefore, it works just as expected even in cold water. However, if the water temperature is colder than usual, it may take a little longer to dissolve.

READ: Can Vinegar Damage your Washing Machine?

Does fabric softener come in Pods?

Laundry Pods do not contain fabric softener in general and it’s purely used as a detergent. You may want to use a softener separately if you like using it. Having said that there are products like Tide Pods 4-in-1 Plus downy that contain built-in softener.

READ: What is RPM in Washing Machine?

Are washing pods made of animal fat?

Processed animal fats are often used as a surfactant in laundry products. Therefore, Animal fats are not only used in pods but it’s also used in powdered as well as liquid detergents. Having said that, there are brands like Tide that have started introducing plant-based products which are beginning to gain traction.

What happens to the plastic in laundry pods?

The plastic coating on Pods is actually made up of a water-soluble polymer known as polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), which easily dissolves in water. PVA is a synthetic polymer that easily mixes with water, therefore it does not cause any clogging.

READ: How to choose the best Portable Washing Machine?

Can Laundry Pods clog water?

Laundry Pods do not clog water.

It’s designed in such a way that it dissolves easily in cold as well as warm water. However, using excess pods for small laundry sizes repeatedly may eventually lead to clogging. But you shouldn’t be worried about clogging if you use it in the appropriate quantity.

READ: How to wash a Down-Jacket in the washing machine?

Final thoughts

Pods are super convenient and becoming increasingly popular. We shouldn’t be surprised if it surpasses the popularity of powdered detergents.

It not only takes the guesswork away on the number of pods to use for ‘X’ amount of clothes but it’s also equally effective as conventional powdered detergents.

Lastly, while using pods, do not put them in the detergent dispenser section of your washer as it will ruin your washing machine.

Refer to our Portable Laundry FAQ section for queries related to the washing machine, as we may have already answered the queries there.

Hemant Sarkar is a seasoned techie with a diploma in computer science and an impressive track record of over 15 years in dealing with speakers, kitchen appliances, and various home appliance-related issues. He is widely recognized for his exceptional expertise in repairing dryers and washing machines from all major brands. In addition to his appliance repair prowess, Hemant maintains engaging blogs on topics related to music and speakers. For any inquiries or assistance regarding appliances or tech-related matters, you can reach out to him at: hemant (at)