What are the three washing-machine compartments for? Roman Kemp’s puzzled tweet creates a storm

·2-min read
Roman Kemp’s tweet about washing machines sent the internet into a frenzy  (PA Archive)
Roman Kemp’s tweet about washing machines sent the internet into a frenzy (PA Archive)

A washing machine is one of the most common household appliances, but not everyone is completely clued up on how they work.

Last week, Capital FM DJ Roman Kemp tweeted about not understanding what goes in each of the three drawers in his washing machine. He admits that he is 29 years old and is still unsure.

The tweet has racked up 51.6k likes, and responses to the tweet were a mixture of advice and solidarity with Kemp’s issue.

A jokey reply from Specsavers read: “Sausages go into the one on the right.”

Another comment read: “I’m Mick. I’m 30 years old and I put absolutely nothing in those and use this egg instead,” pointing to an “eco-egg” that means you don’t have to use detergent nor fabric conditioner.

Another user admitted that she puts detergent in all three, adding: “I just put a little bit of something in all of them and hope for the best! I’m just grateful I’ve put the wash in and hope I don’t forget about it.”

Kemp’s viral tweet also caught the attention of cleaning expert Laura de Barra - author of Gaff Goddess: Simple Tips and Tricks to Help You Run Your Home. She responded, “Ok. Listen up: There are usually 3 compartments: prewash, detergent, softener. Not knowing what is what can make clothes smellier, scratchier and actually not last as long or do what they should. Also, how doesn’t the machine wash all there down at same time?? Let’s learn…”

According to the official Samsung home-appliances website, the first drawer is the main wash compartment where you’d use detergent for the main wash, water softener, pre-soaking agent, bleach and stain remover. The second is the softener compartment (for the fabric softener), and the third is the prewash compartment, where you’d use detergent for a prewash.

Though it is also dependent on the model and brand of your washing machine.

Laura de Barra’s thread provides some more handy tips.

“Ok. Listen up: There are usually 3 compartments: prewash, detergent, softener. Not knowing what is what can make clothes smellier, scratchier and actually not last as long or do what they should.

“Sound manufacturers make it easy. L-R in order. So L is prewash, middle is detergent, R is softener. But as it’s not always the case… it’s also imperative that the right sh*t hits your clothes at the right time…

“Pre wash will have more surfactants to help remove heavy soiling so will need a lot of rinsing to remove, she needs to enter early doors. Softener is designed to linger, so needs only a rinse stage and detergent would never come off & clog fibres if it wasn’t followed by rinses.”