Oversudsing in new Miele - possible old clothes issue?

RoundRockMomJanuary 21, 2012

I have a Miele 4842 that is about 3 weeks old. I've done about two dozen loads in that time, mostly with the Miele powders that the dealer gave me, but some with Tide HE. Have not observed any suds at all on any washes to date.

Today, first load of the day, kids' clothes - there were visible suds left after the normal wash cycle. I freaked out and called the 10 year old to show me how much detergent he used. It was the correct (small) amount of the HE bottle we've been using. So that's not the problem.

I put the sudsy clothes through a 'quick rinse' cycle and the clothes continue to produce suds. I'm now on the THIRD 'quick rinse' cycle and still seeing more suds than I typically have seen with this washer.

The only thing I can think is, perhaps there was an excess of regular (non HE) detergent residue from clothes that haven't yet been washed in the new washer? The old TL it replaced had problems with the agitator, so it's possible it was not rinsing well.

What, if anything, should I do to get the soap out of this load of clothes? I don't want to put them in the dryer at this point, I feel like they're not clean/rinsed if they continue to extract suds.

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@ RoundRockMom

Congratulations on your new Miele! I have no doubt you will enjoy years and years of happy laundering.

Cavimum, another member of this forum, may be of help to you. He has the same or similar Miele washer and also had sudsing issues from older clothes that had previously been washed in a TL machine.

My suggestion would be to run a rinse cycle on any clothes that have not been previously washed in the Miele. If you see suds, keep rinsing until the suds disappear. If you have a whole house water softener, bypass the softener for the rinse cycles if you are seeing suds. Hard water will wash the suds away more effectively than softened water. When the suds go away, it's safe to wash.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 2:36PM
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@ RoundRockMom, add white vinegar to the quick rinses. Vinegar helps to remove detergent residue.

You might try the beach towel setting. I believe it uses higher water levels.

Depending on your water chemistry, you may need to reduce your dose. Sometimes it takes a little trial and error to figure things out.

I also find, since these machines use such little water, you must be more precise in your dosing. For example, when a load is not very dirty and the drum is only half full, I use half the smallest dose.

I have the Miele W4842 and love them. Congrats!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 3:13PM
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RoundRockMom - Yes, it can definitely be an old clothes issue, but it might be more than that. You can go back and find some of my old posts on this very issue, by putting "detergent residue" in the Search function here, as well as "suds". Here are my two-cents: I'm no expert nor do I pretend to be, except regarding our local water quality+laundry+detergent dose in our Miele W4842, all learned from trial-and-error. Maybe some of my information can be helpful.

First and foremost, find out the soft/hard rating for your water. If you can't find it on the internet, call the local utility office. The Miele uses so little water that dosing is really important. I encourage you to read my most recent two posts on this same issue are in this current topic, link below:

For example, our local water is on the low side of moderately hard at 4.1 GPG (that is 70 mg/L to 74 mg/L of calcium hardness). I must use 1/4 dose of whichever detergent I use, or I have will suds in the final rinse and must spend hours and more water, getting it out. It wears out the clothing and wastes my time.

One of my HE powders is the Sears Ultra. The Sears Ultra HE powder doesn't suds much in our water, even at full dose, but the laundry comes out of the dryer feeling very scratchy, and that is detergent residue from overdosing. Using the labeled amount of Tide liquid may be too much. Liquids can suds up more than powders.

If our laundry is not super-soft after a wash & dry cycle in our 9-month old Miele washer & dryer, it is because of detergent residue. I cannot imagine why I would ever need fabric softener with these machines. I have never had such soft laundry.

---> The "Normal" cycle on the Miele W4842 does not engage the water heater. I never use that cycle. The "wrinkle-free" cycle is nice because it puts a lot more water into the rinses. Some say more water causes more suds. I disagree. IMHO, the detergent residue is there and less water hides it. Before I got all the old residue out and the "learning curve" on dosing sorted out, often there were no suds at the end of some cycles. By immediately running the Rinse/Spin cycle, there were a lot of suds in that same load of laundry, which meant detergent residue or overdose.

Even with your Miele detergent, when a load of laundry finishes, run it through a Rinse/Spin cycle and watch both fills for suds. OR, use the wrinkle-free cycle and watch the final rinse for suds. If there aren't any, either the Tide was overdosed by your son and he 'conveniently' can't remember (ask me how I know about that....) or the Tide liquid dose needs to be at least cut in half or down to 1/4.

BTW, When it appears I have misjudged dosing for a load (it still happens occasionally), and I have suds at the end, I do not immediately run another rinse or detergent-free cycle on that load. I empty the drum and run an "Express" cycle on WARM with ~nothing~ in the drum and soap cup. That rinses out the whole tub and gets a lot of suds out, before I put the laundry back in to re-rinse. Otherwise, I'm trying to rinse soapy laundry with soap residue in the tub. It seems to work very well for me.

Let us know what happens. Also a good flashlight is helpful for looking into that drum for suds. ;-)

Here is a link that might be useful: sudsing & rinses in Miele

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 4:08PM
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This was very helpful. I'm still trying to figure out the mysteries of the various programs and what will work best for us. Our dealer didn't do much training for me, he just installed and left.

Which is the Rinse/Spin cycle? I see a Drain/Spin in Mastercare menu, and Express Rinse, but not a Rinse/Spin? I would not mind using a bit more water in some cycles, water in our town is inexpensive.

I've been using Normal on our darks (cotton Ts, jeans, sweatpants), and bumping the temp up to Hot. Is that hot enough or will the heater not engage at that cycle? (I use Extra White for our whites and the kids sheets, and been happy with those results).

I really want a setting or a SIMPLE group of instructions that I can use consistently for when I ask the boys to help start and rotate the laundry (We do at least 6 loads on the weekends). They would be doing their own stuff, cotton knits, jeans, fleece, and socks/underwear. (Anything requiring special attention would be done by me.) What else do I give up with Normal, if we set the temp to Hot?

I did search and find the other threads on sudsing. Mine were not as bad as those other pics, but were maybe a cupful of firm suds. On that problem load, I ended up doing a Express Rinse 3 times, then finally ran a normal wash cycle with no additional detergent, and felt like that last one finally rinsed clean with no suds extracting on the spin. The only other variable on that problem load - I found a crayon in the wash! Looked like a cheapie crayon, not a Crayola - maybe the crayon had soap in it and not just wax? (I'm shocked it hadn't melted. It wasn't even bent up and doesn't appear to have marked up the clothes.) Subsequent loads for the day did not suds up, but I used the Miele powders on those. I will be brave enough to try the Tide again today.

I HAVE noticed with the new washer, our towels are a bit scratchy, even more so than before - so if that is possibly detergent residue, I will experiment a bit on using less. I've been using half a measuring scoop of the Miele powder per full load, on the recommendation of the dealer. The tub is nearly always full (to the top but not completely jammed in there). We have never ever used a liquid softener or dryer sheets, I have 2 kids with eczema and so we don't typically add more chemicals than we have to.

The kids' skin sensitivity is another reason I will probably not buy the Miele powder long term, it's pricey and I don't see any better results in the regular wash than with the Tide, which we've used for years. I have definitely seen a difference in the whites but I assume because the Miele Whites powder has brighteners in it?

We do have a house water softener, I honestly don't know if the washer is fed softened water or not (will check with hubby), and will adjust detergent accordingly.

I agree with other threads - I wish the manual had a nice matrix showing you with each setting, the temperature, spin speed, water levels etc. I'm fairly computer savvy and would be comfortable messing with the programs if I had a better guide.

I love the new washer (and dryer). I just never expected to have to learn so much about doing laundry, at age 40. :)

(This forum is so helpful, I lurked for a month researching my purchase.)

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 2:49PM
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Adding one more piece of info after reading additional threads on this forum:

I'm running a Sanitize cycle right now, no clothes, and there are some suds (not huge amounts, but a few bubbles). That tells me there was some detergent residue either from the old clothes, or from what I've been using on the new loads. (As I said, the machine is less than a month old and has fewer than 3 dozen loads under its belt.) Hopefully running this cycle will flush the remaining detergent and I can get back to washing - with a much-reduced amount of detergent per load.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 3:08PM
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@RoundRockMom - My apologies for incorrectly calling it the the Rinse/Spin cycle. In my manual it is called "Quick Rinse."

As for the matrix you wish for, FWIW, I printed out pages 15 - 19 of the owners manual (available online from mieleusa.com's site in .pdf form) and keep it handy. As I used each cycle, I made notes regarding water levels during wash and rinse cycles, until I had a good grasp of things.

The Quick Guide in the middle of the printed manual has a nice chart that shows all the different water temp options and which spin speeds are available for each different cycle. I keep that handy, too.

I also put the various water temp settings on a 3x5 index card, so that I would know the target temperatures for each setting and could choose accordingly.

Months ago, I surfed the Miele UK site and found some washers that seemed close to ours in features, and then looked at their owner manuals online. One model had a chart that showed a list of cycle names as close to the ones on our W4842. This "Programme Sequence" chart showed wash cycle water levels, which cycles had real spins between rinses v.s. only draining the water (delicates, comforters), etc. I printed that out and it's with my other "cheat sheets", as I find it very useful.

I'm going to guess that your washer is getting the softened water, either via the hot water supply, cold, or both. At our previous house, the water softener fed the entire house, both hot & cold. No water softener at this current house.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 3:35PM
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@ RoundRockMom

If the detergent you are using doesn't specifically cite a dose for soft water conditions and your machine is being fed softened water, you might end up using as little as 1/4 the recommended amount of detergent. It's mostly about trial and error, but knowing whether your machine is getting softened water is probably the first step in determining an appropriate course of action.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 12:43PM
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