For top-loading washing machines, Downy fabric softener can be used with an automatic dispenser, a Downy Ball dispenser or manually. Which of these methods is best to use depends upon the exact type of washing machine that is in use and what specific features it has.
If a washing machine has an automatic softener dispenser, it is usually located on a central column in the middle of the machine. Liquid downy fabric softener is poured into this dispenser up to the fill line, and the washing machine automatically dispenses the softener throughout the washing cycle.
A Downy Ball is useful for machines that don't have a central column dispenser. The Downy Ball is a plastic ball that is filled with liquid Downy fabric softener and then placed into the washing machine at the start of each load of clothes. The Downy Ball automatically releases the fabric softener into the machine during the rinse cycle.
If using a Downy Ball isn't an option and the washer doesn't have an automatic dispenser for fabric softener, the softener may be poured directly into the load of clothes at the start of the rinse cycle. If this is done, the softener should not be directly poured onto the clothing, otherwise stains may result.