How to use detergent in your Samsung washing machine

Assorted detergent bottles in a row

Using the best kind of detergent in your washing machine may seem tricky. You definitely want your clothing and other items to come out as clean as possible, but you don’t want to accidentally overfill your machine with detergent or place it in the wrong compartment. If you’re wondering how much detergent you should be using, what type to use, and how to fill your particular machine, we have some helpful answers and tips right here.

Use the right kind of detergent

Caution: Do not use regular detergent, organic detergent, natural detergent, or HE detergents containing natural ingredients, such as vinegar or baking soda. Using these can cause damage to the washing machine.

There are a few things you should consider when choosing detergents, such as the type of detergent and its cleaning power.

Your Samsung washing machine requires HE (High Efficiency) detergent. The brand of detergent is entirely up to you, as long as it's an HE detergent. You can always switch detergents if the cleaning performance is not up to your standards.

High Efficiency logo

If you can’t decide between a powdered or liquid detergent, simply choose the type you personally prefer to use. The cleaning performance between the two is essentially the same, although powder can be harder to dissolve in cold water. 

Liquid detergent, however, can be used to pretreat stains if your clothing is heavily soiled, but you may accidentally use too much of it at once in your washing machine.

Use the right amount of detergent

Important: Going over the MAX line in your washing machine’s detergent drawer will stain or damage your clothes or washer. Try using the least amount of detergent necessary to clean your clothes.

When determining the right amount of detergent, keep in mind the number of items you are washing as well as the kind of detergent you are using.

Some detergent bottles will come with guidelines about how much to use. The bottle's cap may also act as a measuring cup, which can be used to accurately measure the amount of detergent you are adding. You can follow these lines so you always add the recommended amount! If the manufacturer's recommended amount exceeds the MAX line, you should reduce the size of your load or use a more concentrated detergent.

Detergent being poured in the bottle cap

HE (High Efficiency) detergent is very concentrated, so you won’t need to use as much. If you aren't happy with how your current detergent is performing, try switching to a different detergent instead of adding more. Using too much detergent will create buildup inside the washer, which will cause issues with the washer's performance.

Some of our washers come with an auto dispenser to help with measuring the correct amount of detergent and softener.

Add detergent to your washing machine

Depending on the type of washing machine you own, such as a Flex Wash, a Top Load, or a Front Load, the detergent needs to be added to a different compartment. Check out the sections below to find out more about your type of washing machine.

Flex Wash

The Flex Wash washing machine allows you to do two loads of laundry at once. That means there are two compartments for adding detergent. The upper washer uses the Aqua Pebble to release detergent into the wash. Open the top door of the upper washer and the protective cover. Remove the Aqua Pebble from the fabric softener container, and fill it with detergent, making sure not exceed the MAX line. Then, place the Aqua Pebble in the center of the tub under the laundry. You should NOT use detergent pods in the top washer.

Flex Wash showing Aqua Pebble container

The lower washer includes a detergent compartment. Start by opening the front cover, and then pour the detergent into the main wash compartment container on the left side. If you’re using powdered detergent, remove the container and add the detergent directly to the detergent compartment instead. If you want to use detergent pods, just add them into the drum with the clothes.

Top Load

Your Top Load washing machine has a detergent drawer directly under the lid. To begin, open the lid and then pull out the detergent drawer. Add your liquid detergent to the liquid detergent cup in the main compartment.

If you’re using powdered detergent, remove the liquid detergent cup and add powdered detergent directly to the compartment instead.

Or, if you're using detergent pods, place them directly in the washer's tub.

Top Load washing machine with the detergent compartment opened

Front Load

Your Front load washing machine has a detergent drawer located on the front of the machine. Simply pull open the drawer and add liquid detergent to the liquid detergent cup.

If you’re using powdered detergent, take the liquid detergent cup out and add powdered detergent directly to the compartment instead.

Or, if using detergent pods, you can put them directly in the washer's drum.

Samsung Front Load washer with detergent compartment pulled out

Add detergent pods to your washing machine

Detergent pods can be used if you prefer. However, make sure you are using HE (High Efficiency) pods.

Just toss them in the tub or drum instead of using the detergent drawer.

Note: Do not use detergent pods in the the top washer on the Flex Wash model, since it is too small for detergent pods to work correctly.

Tips for cleaner clothing

To make sure you’re getting your clothes as clean as possible, follow our tips for sorting, pretreating, and loading your laundry. You can also use different cycles and settings on your washing machine to ensure all of your items are being cleaned properly.


  • Sorting your clothing and household items into different piles will help clean each load more effectively. You need to sort your items into piles for whites, colors, and bedding before adding them to your washing machine.

  • Read your garments' care tags as well for more information about how to wash a particular item. Some items may require different temperature settings or may need to be washed separately.

Pre-treating and Pre-soaking

  • If some of your clothing is stained, you can pretreat it with a little color safe liquid detergent to help get rid of stubborn spots. Many of our washing machine models come with presoak and prewash options to help with this and some top load models even come with an Activewash sink or Activewash jet to help with pre-rinsing your clothes before starting your wash.

  • Loading

    • Make sure you're using the proper load size for your items. You should not add more items than your washing machine can handle. 

    • Adjusting the detergent amount to the size of each load will help as well. For instance, if your load is a lot smaller than usual, your detergent amount should reflect that.

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