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You can pour detergent into these washing machines only once a month

Washers with detergent tanks can save you time and money


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What if you could pour a full bottle of liquid laundry detergent into a tank on your washing machine once a month or so, and forget about sloshing and measuring every time you do laundry?

If you watched the 2017 Emmy Awards show, you probably saw a commercial for a GE washer that touted this function. GE calls it SmartDispense, and they have built it into their GTW750CSLWS top-loader.

Whirlpool Dispenser
Credit: / Jonathan Chan

Automatic dispensing on a Whirlpool washer. Remove the tank, and you can do a single load with whatever detergent you want.

But this amazingly convenient bulk dispense feature has been out there for years. (I’m not a fan of conspiracy theories, but is it possible that the detergent companies didn’t want us to know?)

Other manufacturers have integrated the technology into some of their top-of-the-line front load washers. Whirlpool calls their version Load N’ Go and includes it on its high-end washers. Maytag offers an Optimal Dose Dispenser on its top-of-the-line MHW8200FW.

These washers can figure out exactly how much detergent is needed each time and dispense it from the tank, saving you time and money. You can run every laundry load without worrying about how much detergent to add, and avoid the impossible search for that nearly invisible measuring line on the inside of the cap. It's safer than using pods, too.

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And—my favorite part—kids can do their own laundry without spilling half a bottle of detergent on the laundry room floor or dumping way too much into the washer, potentially damaging the clothes and the machine.

Our testers are fans of the technology, and online reviewers tend to agree. Many owners comment that they love the automated dispensers because they're more efficient, use less detergent, and hold enough for several loads.

Is a once a month fill-up of a bulk detergent tank more convenient than throwing a pod into the washer? Borderline. Will it save you effort and money every laundry day, while making sure that each load gets exactly how much detergent it needs? Almost certainly.