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Can You Put Detergent in the Bleach Dispenser? (Explained)

A bleach dispenser is a feature that is not available in all washing machines. If your washing machine comes with one included in the making then it can be so much useful for you.

The dispenser works in a way that it dispenses the quantity of bleach you need when it matters the most and will be the most effective during a wash.

Usually, most of the time it will conveniently do its job by bleaching the clothes once the detergent has completed its time with the clothes. This in turn will clean the tougher stains that might be on the clothing that the detergent did not get out.

As you can see a bleach dispenser is quite convenient when it comes to washing clothes and it helps you get the best possible result when it comes to cleaning the clothes.

However, if you go ahead and put detergent in the bleach dispenser then what would happen? To know the answer to this question and to learn more about the precautions as well as how the bleach dispenser works, keep reading.

Can you put detergent in the bleach dispenser?

You can put liquid detergent in the bleach dispenser. The load won’t hurt to run. However, if you have a powder detergent going inside the bleach dispenser then there’s a chance it could prevent the bleach from traveling down the hose and into the tub. You can just rinse it away in both cases.

Many people have mixed opinions about detergent of any form going in bleach dispensers.

Some think it will ruin the machine or the current run when we put it in, by mistake or not. Some might say that it is the powdered one that only ruins the process and not the liquid detergent.

While the latter makes more of a sense than the other ones, we will go into detail briefly as to why that might be the case below as well as the liquid detergent. This will give us a clear idea about what to expect when they both get mixed.

Powdered Detergent:

This form of detergent is more viscous than the liquid one. This is not designed to enter such a narrow pathway. The powdered detergent will clog the way and ruin the machine.

Furthermore, even if we do go through with such an endeavor then we need to clean the inserts with warm water. There will be residues of the detergent left behind in the machine.

We will need to use a soft cloth or brush to remove the residue. Therefore, we can confidently say that we shouldn’t put powdered detergent in the bleach dispenser.

Liquid Detergent:

Many people make this common mistake of accidentally inserting liquid detergent in the bleach dispenser. This is rather harmless to the machine. This will not affect the run as much as the powdered one would.

Is it ok to put detergent in the “Bleach Only” slot on the washer?

While the topic might be indecisive, we have a clear idea of what to expect if we happen to give put detergent in the “Bleach Only” slot on the washer.

However, sometimes people will mistakenly put detergent in that slot while in a rush or while not paying attention as to what they were doing.

It is relatively okay to put liquid detergent in the “Bleach Only” chamber on the machine as they will be easy to clean out with just a simple rinse.

However, if it were the powdered version of the product then that might result in a clog and ruin the wash. Therefore, in the case of powdered detergent, it is not okay to put in the “Bleach Only” slot on the washer.

What happens if you put detergent in the bleach dispenser?

If we happen to put detergent in the bleach dispenser, it most of the time depends on certain things for it to cause problems.

Most of the time it does not ruin the wash or damage the clothing. However, we summarized below the things that could result when we use detergent in the bleach dispenser.

Liquid Detergent:

If it is liquid detergent then it will not hurt the load. The hose will carry the detergent to the tub and later on to clean off the detergent we might need to run an additional spin/rinse after it is done cleaning.

Powdered Detergent:

In the case of powdered detergent, it is quite the opposite and it might cause problems in the hose as the material is more viscous.

That is one of the main reason it might get stuck and present a clog. This in turn will prevent the bleach from traveling down the hose and into the tub the next time you use it.


In both cases of using the detergent in the bleach dispenser, there will be a residue that we would need to clean in order for the next run to be as it should be. A rinse will do the most work and later we just need to clean the leftover water with a clean cloth.

What to do if you put detergent in the bleach spot?

When we go about our days, these days people are always in a rush. Thus, during these times we might forget something or misplace something. That includes putting detergent in the bleach-only spot mistakenly.

Therefore, if we do find ourselves in such situations. You can opt to do a few things, first, you can simply just take the bleach spot’s drawer.

Then clean it out properly and reinstall it. However, if the spot is not removed, we can let it run once and then rinse out the residue properly.

After that, we can clean up the insides of the compartment with a clean dry cloth and remove any stubborn residue as well as dry off the inside.

How does the bleach dispenser in the washing machine work?

Not all washing machines contain a bleach dispenser. It is an essential part of washing clothes. If your machine has one, you need to know how to properly utilize it.

Therefore, keep reading below as we briefly discuss how the bleach dispenser works in the washing machine.

  • When we add bleach to the dispenser it gets directed down a spout between the inner basket where usually the clothes are.
  • It also goes in the outer tube of the machine where it is supposed to hold water.
  • After we put the required amount of bleach in the bleach dispenser, the machine will automatically release that bleach in the water once it is filled up.
  • This process happens because that way it will ensure that all of the laundry items are not exposed to any undiluted bleach.
  • As the washer fills up for the wash cycle the bleach will be diluted to a safe level. This ensures that no bleach ever reaches the clothes.
  • If we have a high-temperature compatible bleach then setting our machine to high temperature will help in activating the bleach to maximize its effectiveness.
  • Sometimes we might find by the end of the cycle in the dispenser. This is a normal thing to happen, so there is no need to worry.

Can you mix bleach with detergent? How do you clean a liquid bleach dispenser?

Yes, you can mix bleach with detergent. It is safe to mix bleach and laundry detergent even if it is in powdered form. However, we do need to be cautious about using it this way.

Furthermore, laundry detergents are powdered or liquid, they are formulated in a way to be mixed with bleach. That is why they should not cause any adverse reactions if it happens to come in contact with other surfaces too.

In case of cleaning the liquid dispenser, we have to wait for the washing machine to stop and unlock. Then we proceed to dry and empty the insides. We need to add ½ cup of liquid chlorine bleach to the detergent compartment of the dispenser.

Furthermore, we need to set the washer to the normal cycle setting along with warm water and that will clean the liquid bleach dispenser with the cycle.

Final Thoughts

Detergent in the bleach dispenser can be harmless. Liquid detergent goes into the inner compartment within the hose and cleans out with the cycle’s end. Also rinsing the bleach dispenser with water can clean out the detergent. So yes, be it powdered detergent or otherwise, it will be fine.