Laundry Pods Not Dissolving? 6 Reasons Why & What to Do

Laundry pods have gained immense popularity with their convenience, effectiveness, and user-friendliness in comparison to traditional laundry detergents and powders.

However, occasionally, these pods may fall short of expectations, failing to dissolve as they should, leading to the inconvenience of having to rewash your laundry.

In this article, we will discuss why this happens and how to prevent it. Plus, 4 tips that will help you get better results when using laundry pods.

Why Are My Laundry Pods Not Dissolving?

Laundry pods not dissolving is caused either by using a less efficient washing machine not designed for their use, overloading the appliance, or adding too many pods per wash. 

Below, I explain the different causes in more detail.

Read also: 8 Laundry Detergent Ingredients to Avoid

Pods Are Inappropriate in Some Washing Machines

Laundry pods are not advisable for use with all types of washing machines.

The majority of top-loading washing machines are suitable for laundry pod usage. However, older front-loading machines – five years plus – deliver cleaner laundry outcomes when using liquid or powder detergent instead.  

A high-efficiency front-loading washing machine is what’s required when not owning a top-loading model. Budget appliance models often lack what’s needed for pods. 

Check the product manual to confirm this. Newer washing appliances usually mention the types of detergent that are compatible with that model.

Water Not Heated to a High Enough Temperature

They typically produce laundry pods using a polymer that’s soluble in water. While some pods are designed to dissolve in cold water too, most require (or perform best) in high water temperatures. They then fully dissolve and release all the condensed detergent inside.

Also, seasonal changes affect water temperatures too. This makes washing machines work harder to heat the freezing water.

Sometimes, this results in tepid H2O that fails to fully dissolve a laundry pod early enough in the washing cycle. Then clothes have streaks on them, or the pod’s polymer packaging is stuck on a garment or laundered bedsheets.

Older washing machine models with aging heating elements usually cannot achieve the required water temperature level. In this situation, consistent washing results using pods is unlikely or impossible. 

Top-performing front-loading models support high-temperature wash cycles. Yet, even low, or medium-temperature wash cycles prove insufficient. 

Overloading the Washing Machine

Loading too many items inside the washing drum packs everything in too tightly.

As a result, not enough hot water reaches the pods to dissolve them through water and heat exposure.

Using Excess Laundry Pods for a Cleaner Wash

Throwing multiple laundry pods into the wash does not lead to a cleaner finished product. However, it makes it likelier that, at least, some of the pods won’t get enough exposure to hot water to dissolve them.

For a standard wash, a single laundry pod is enough. For larger loads, like a 20-pound one, cleaner laundry may require two pods.

Check the instructions for the type of laundry pod to confirm whether using two pods for a heavily soiled, standard-size load is acceptable or not. 

Improper Laundry Pod Placement

The laundry detergent drawer is not the correct place for the pods. 

Instead, place them inside the washing drum first. Then add the clothing and other items to be washed on top of the pod. Not the other way around. 

Bad Storage Location

Exposure to the air or the sun potentially damages a pod’s surface layer. It hardens and then becomes more difficult to dissolve in the required amount of time. 

Humid environments are also problematic. It causes pods to clump together; when attempting to separate them, they often tear apart and leak detergent onto the floor. 

Store the pods either in their original box or in an airtight plastic container. Also, keep them in a dry location, away from heat– either sunlight or internal heating sources. 

How to Make Sure That Your Laundry Pods Dissolve

First, confirm that you’re using the correct type of washing machine for laundry pods. 

Once known, here is how to ensure the laundry pods dissolve early into the washing cycle: 

Only use a high-powered front-loading washing machine or a top-loading washing machine. An older or lower-powered washing appliance isn’t ideal. If that’s all you have access to, switch to using either powder or liquid laundry detergent for optimal results. 

Use only with a high-temperature setting. Selecting the high-temperature setting cleans more effectively but also dissolves pods faster. If a wash has finished, but the pod didn’t fully dissolve, then run a second wash using what remains of the pod. This takes care of any unsightly streaky, colored detergent on your just-washed items.

Reduce the size of each load. Halve the load that’s run each time. Avoid over-packing your appliance with too much dirty laundry. The smaller load will get cleaner, and one pod should be enough for a single run. 

Stop using the detergent drawer for laundry pods. Position the pod at the bottom of the drum before placing your soiled clothes inside it. 

Store the pods in a dry, cool location. Move any pods from a nearby heat source. Check the existing laundry pods for damage. Also, note any already sticking together like glue. These probably won’t be usable in the future. 

4 Tips for When Using Laundry Pods

For best results when using laundry pods, follow the tips below:

  1. Only use one pod per wash unless it is a 20-pound load.
  2. Place the pod in the center of the empty drum, then the dirty laundry after that.
  3. Use the high-temperature setting only. Washing delicate items, like lingerie or underwear, in a cold setting is incompatible with using laundry pods. Choose accordingly.
  4. Avoid storing pods in a damp or humid environment.
  5. Accept that less powerful front-loading washing machines and older models won’t achieve the best results for you. 

To Wrap Up

To ensure your laundry pods dissolve effectively, use the appropriate washing machine, opt for high-temperature settings, avoid overloading, and place the pod in the drum, not the detergent drawer.

Store pods in a dry, cool place to prevent damage. Remember, one pod is generally sufficient for a standard load.

However, for best results, liquid or powder detergent may be more versatile, especially for older or less powerful washing machines. While laundry pods offer convenience, they are not a one-size-fits-all solution, with their performance varying depending on your specific washing machine and laundry needs.

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