How to Use Liquid Detergent

by Michael Monet

Washing clothes once involved a body of fresh water, a washboard and a lot of elbow grease. Today, you can simply dump your detergent into the washer, fill it with water, and let the machine wash your clothes. Liquid detergent is no more difficult to use than powder detergent, and can be dumped directly into the body of the washer itself or into a filter at the top of a washer that comes equipped with this feature.

Step 1

Sort your clothing. Make a pile of dark clothes, light-colored clothes and whites.

Step 2

Pour a drop of liquid detergent directly onto any tough or dark stains. Rub the detergent into the stain and let the detergent sit for 10 minutes before washing.

Step 3

Set the color and water temperature settings for whichever pile of clothes you plan to wash first. If you do not have color settings, wash dark clothes in cold or cool water, and light and white clothes in cool or warm water.

Step 4

Uncap your liquid laundry detergent and look for the fill lines inside the cap. Most liquid detergents have a "Regular" fill line for regular-sized loads and a "Large" fill line for large loads. Fill the cap to the appropriate level. If there are no fill lines, fill the cap just below the top.

Step 5

Pour your liquid detergent into the liquid detergent filter, or directly on top of your clothes if your washer does not have a filter. Front-loading washers come with a filter, as soap cannot be poured evenly over clothes in this type of washer.


  • Do not leave liquid detergent on tough stains for over 10 minutes. This could damage the fabric of your clothes permanently.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

About the Author

Michael Monet has been writing professionally since 2006. At the San Francisco School of the Arts, he studied under writers Octavio Solis and Michelle Tea, performed his work in Bay Area theaters and was published in literary journals such as "Paradox," "Umlaut" and "Transfer." Monet also studied creative writing at Eugene Lang College in New York and Mills College in Oakland.