What are the 3 Sections for in a Washing Machine Drawer?

Posted by smol on

Free Laundry Trial


If you’re a smol capsule user you may well be scratching your head right now. Washing machine drawers? We’d forgotten we had them!

But if you still use a softener, like a splash of starch, or haven’t discovered the joys of a capsule yet, then understanding the separate compartments in your washing machine drawer and using them correctly can make all the difference to your laundry. So let’s look at those 3 all-important sections.

diagram showing the compartments of a washing machine and where to put pre-wash, main wash and softener

Check your machine manual but for most of us the 3 separate sections will be labelled with an I, II and flower symbol.

The ‘pre-wash’ compartment. 

If your machine has a pre-wash feature and your clothes are exceptionally dirty then you might be tempted by a pre-wash cycle. This setting is essentially a wash that happens before your clothes experience the main wash cycle, so it’s mostly used to remove really tough dirt or starch.

And in that case you’ll need to pop some detergent in the pre-wash drawer compartment which is usually marked with a 1 or an I.

It’s worth noting however that a pre-wash is really only for exceptionally dirty laundry. Most of the time it’s a waste of time, money, energy and detergent because modern capsules, powders and liquids are powerful enough without the pre-wash. So you might find this is one drawer compartment that you’ll never need to use!

The main-wash compartment. 

This is the section labelled II (or sometimes 2) and is the one that you’ll need to use for your doses of liquid or powder if you’re not a capsule convert.

It’s also the section you’ll need to use if you’re adding a stain remover to your wash.

Always make sure you’re measuring out the correct amount of detergent for the type of wash and amount of laundry you are doing (another reason to switch to capsules because there’s no need to measure and you just toss them in the machine drum instead!).

Regardless of whether you’re using a bottled liquid or a boxed powder the detergent will need to go into this bit of the detergent drawer.

The conditioner compartment. 

The third and tiniest section in your washing machine drawer is the place where you will pour your fabric softener or conditioner. You’ll notice that it’s marked by the number 3, III, a flower or a star symbol.

Fabric conditioner will help to soften your laundry and usually adds further fragrance but it’s not a vital addition to your wash and won’t impact the level of cleaning.

Make sure you don’t overfill this section of your washing machine drawer and check where the max line is displayed so that you don’t go over it when adding in your conditioner.

Of course there’s no danger of that with smol’s animal fat-free fabcon with its intensely concentrated formula, just 4 tiny pumps is enough for a standard load of laundry. One bottle will likely last you for months so it’s great value for money.

Your fabric conditioner should always be administered via the detergent drawer and never directly into the drum. Any “all-in-one” capsule that includes conditioner is wasting your money. If you’re adding the conditioner at the same time as the detergent (ie. in the capsule) then the detergent is simply going to treat the conditioner as dirt that must be removed through the wash.

Your fabric conditioner section of the drawer only rinses through during the end parts of your cycle when the detergent has drained away. This ensures it stays on the fabric during the final rinse.

Easy as I, II, III. 

So there we have it, the 3 sections of your machine detergent drawer really DO have their separate parts to play.

Free Laundry Trial

Older Post Newer Post