Putting washing powder in drum

Can You Put Washing Powder Straight in the Drum?

When faced with the prospect of cleaning out a gunky washing machine drawer, you may wonder if you could avoid the hassle by sticking the washing powder into the drum, instead. It all goes to the drum anyway, right?

You can put washing powder straight into the drum, but only if you’re skipping the pre-wash cycle. You should use good quality washing powder and a high temperature. Otherwise, you may end up with powdery streaks on your clothes and clumps of powder in the drum.

I’ll tell you more about how best to use washing powder in the rest of this article, and I’ll also sprinkle in some washing powder recommendations to leave your laundry streak-free.


Tips for Putting Washing Powder Directly into the Drum

If you’ve opted to ignore the powder drawer and want to get straight to business, you should ensure you’re not harming your machine or ruining your load.

Follow these tips to get the most out of your cycle.

1. Put the powder in first

If you’re adding powder directly to the drum, it’s best to put it in first, creating a small pile at the bottom of your drum.

Throwing powder on top of your load increases the chance of it getting stuck between the folds, causing you to find powdery clumps and discoloured patches on your clothes.

The water will also reach the powder first when it’s placed at the bottom, allowing it to dissolve fully.


2. Measure out your powder

There’s an optimal amount of powder for each load, and getting the dosage right will make your wash worthwhile.

When you stick washing powder straight into the drum, you know that all your powder will be used, as opposed to the drawer’s careful sprinkling.

However, if you’ve added too much powder, your machine might use more electricity on extra rinse cycles to clear the suds. It could also leave partially undissolved powder, damaging your machine and clothes.

Ariel has a measuring guide for washing powder dosages, which works out the dosage by considering the size of your load, the softness of your water, and the dirtiness of your clothes.


3. Use a washing powder scoop

laundry in the washing machine and detergent powder scoop

If you’re confident in measuring by eye, sprinkle on! Otherwise, you should invest in a measuring scoop or cup for your powder.

Here’s a cheap measuring scoop and spoon set, and here are a couple of 100 ml measuring beakers available for a few pounds. You can easily find measuring cups in most supermarkets, too.


4. Don’t use a pre-wash cycle

If your laundry is dirty enough to need a pre-wash cycle, you should just stick to the powder drawer.

Otherwise, any powder added straight to the drum will be drained away during the pre-wash, leaving the main cycle to wash without detergent.

Most normal loads don’t need the pre-wash cycle. Unless your clothes are caked in dirt, food, urine, or other unsavoury things, you can comfortably skip the pre-wash.


5. Don’t wash at a very cold temperature

warm wash temperature

Washing powder needs a higher temperature than laundry liquid to dissolve fully, so you should wash your load at 40 degrees Celsius or higher if you’re sticking the powder in the drum.


6. Use a mesh bag

Try sticking your powder into a small mesh bag before putting it in the drum; this stops clumps of powder from hiding in your machine and bunging it up.

Detergent brand Persil even advises that a mesh bag will help your washing powder dissolve quicker. You can find small mesh bags on Amazon, like this cheap pack of ten. They should be available in your local supermarket, too.


7. Use washing powder that dissolves quickly

If you’re forgoing the powder drawer, you’re going to need a good brand of washing powder that dissolves quickly in the drum.

I’ve scoured through some washing powder reviews, searching for powders that both dissolve well and thoroughly wash laundry. Here are the best fast-dissolving washing powders.

Daz Professional Regular Washing Powder

Daz PX69640 Regular Washing Powder, 90 Washes

Daz promises to dissolve quickly, clean deeply, and leave whites looking as pure as fresh snow. It also comes in a massive box, so you can cross washing powder off the shopping list for a few months.

It generally receives dazzling reviews, leaving customers pleased with their white clothes and gunk-free washing machines. It has irritated several people with sensitive skin, though, so be careful.


Ariel Original Washing Powder

Ariel Washing Powder

It’s a timeless classic, known for its fresh fragrance and powerful cleaning abilities. Plus, Ariel washing powder claims to dissolve quickly without leaving powdery streaks on your clothes.

Ariel has a cult following of customers whose mothers and mothers’ mothers used this product, so reviews may be a little biased. However, most people seem extremely pleased with this powder’s performance, and many have used it exclusively for decades – they swear no other powder can match.


Persil Bio Washing Powder

Persil Bio Washing Powder 100% recyclable pack for stain removal first time 130 Wash

Another household name, Persil washing powder dissolves quickly, even in low temperatures. It gets clothes stain-free and, like Ariel, has been relied on by families for decades.

Buyers praise its low-key scent, and those with sensitive skin were pleasantly surprised by the powder’s gentleness. Some customers would have preferred a stronger fragrance, though.


Is it Better to Put Washing Powder in the Drum?

The powder drawer is there for a purpose, so opinions on loading the powder straight into the drum are divided.

It’s been the hotly contested subject of forum posts for decades – but the answer boils down to personal preference, alongside variables like your choice of powder, your washing machine, your clothing, and how much powder you use.

Some cleaning gurus, like this lady featured on the Sun Online, swear that adding powder to the drum is the best for both your washing machine’s health and the lasting freshness of your load.

However, certain washing powders, like Surf, specifically caution against adding it straight to the drum, and instruct you to use your machine’s powder drawer.

Unless your chosen washing powder warns against it, try running a cycle with your powder in the drum instead of the drawer and see which method you prefer!



If you follow the tips I’ve provided in this article, it’s perfectly fine to put washing powder straight into the drum of your machine.

Ensure that you add an appropriate dosage of fast-dissolving washing powder and use a warm water cycle without a pre-wash. Add the powder to the bottom of the drum before your laundry and try using a mesh bag to keep your powder from clumping inside the drum.