Kirkland (Costco brand) Detergent in front loader

nvkayMarch 5, 2006


This is my first post, and I have a question.

I am getting a GE front loader washer and dryer delivered from Home Depot tomorrow.

I have been using liquid Costco Kirkland brand ultra detergent in my old top loader. It has worked fine for my family and we all like it.

It said on the label that it is HE compatible. Is there any reason why I should not continue to use it?

My old washer is 17 ½ yrs old and my dryer was bought 4 years ago for $40.00 dollars at the thrift store. So you can't believe how excited I am!

Thanks in advance!

I'm back to painting my laundry room!

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I use this too. Some say it's more sudsy than other brands. I've had good luck with it myself.

Anyone use the Kirkland Free and Clear? (Maybe it produces less suds?)

    Bookmark   March 5, 2006 at 2:56PM
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Hi! We have the Kenmore he3t washer and have had it for about 4 years now. We have always used Tide or Gain HE. About a year ago my mother-in-law bought the Whirlpool Duet and while shopping at Costco found the Kirkland brand detergent and said she was going to try it because it said it could be used in both a front or top loader and ask if I wanted to try it to. At that time neither Sams nor Costco sold a HE detergent in bulk and I read that Consumer Reports gave Kirklands reg. detergent high marks. When my mother-in-law had her top loader she only used the Reg. Kirkland detergent and loved it. I thought based on these point I would give it a try. I used it a couple of times based on their instructions and my SUDS indicater kept showing up. It seemed no matter how little of that detergent I used it was too much. I even called called Costco to let them know that this really didnt need to be protrayed as being HE compatable or the instructions on them needed to be changed. My mother-in-law had the same problem using it in her Duet. I was kinda dissapointed because it really is a good deal. But now Sams sells Tide HE in bulk so thats what we both get now. Ive noticed that Sams has their brand of detergent that they say can be used in both a front or top loader for around the same price as Kirklands. I dont know if this will be the same for everybody and this was about a year ago, so I dont know if it has changed, but according to my experience unless Sams or Costco comes out with a true HE detergent,stick with the Tide HE you can get there. It may cost a little more but you know its made specifically for your front-loader. Sorry I went on so long and hope this helps. By the way you could always try it yourself and if you didnt like I know Costco will give you a full refund with receipt.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2006 at 3:15PM
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Since you already have the detergent, you could certainly try it when the washer arrives. If you get detergent-related symptoms (like ultralong cycles or clothes still wet after the spin) then the detergent is suspect. FWIW, like smile we found it unusable in our FL - DR

    Bookmark   March 5, 2006 at 10:41PM
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I know nothing about the detergent you mentioned (though I always think it's worth a trial of using a much reduced dose of a familiar detergent when you start with Fls) but I wanted to send you another message of encouragement about the GE machine.

I felt a pang when you wrote (in the other thread) that this morning you went from being happy and excited about your new machines to fear you had made a terrible mistake. I think your machines will work be fine; that other poster is just troubled. I am glad others chimed in right away to help you feel more positive - I hope you were able to go back to happily painting your laundry room. I didn't want to post on any of those other threads, so I was glad to see you had done one of your own.

Meanwhile, welcome to Laundry World. If you've never had a FL before, you're in for a treat. Please feel free to come back and ask any questions you like. I've been using Fls for many years, and I think the early cycles can be summed up this way: put in a little more stuff than your experienced Top-loading eye thinks is OK, and put a lot less detergent than you think is right. Let us know how it goes. And um, just in case you've gotten the wrong idea from our enthusiasm for Fls: no, these amazing machines DO NOT fold and put away your stuff. Still gotta do that yourself!


    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 1:40AM
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I just checked out these machines on the GE web site -- wow! I'm pretty picky about appliances, but it looks to me like GE did its homework on this one.

Two things concern me, however. First, the maximum spin speed appears to be 1,000 RPM. Most of the smaller euro models go to 1,600 (some 1,800) and I know that the larger the drum, the slower the spin needs to be in order to exert the same centrifugal force on the clothes -- so is this 1,000 RPM in a larger drum equivalent to 1,6000 RPM with a smaller drum? Otherwise, I don't know if 1,000 RPM is enough.

The other thing is the on-board heater -- can it heat cold water to the right temperature or is it just a "booster" for tap hot? What is the maximum temperature it can achieve?

Other than those two concerns, it looks like an awesome machine -- love the glass door on the dryer!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 12:16PM
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1000 rpm on a big drum is nowhere near 1600 on a small one. The force is linear in the radius, but increases as the square of the speed. So, to make up for the increase from 1000rpm to 1600rpm, the drum would have to be over 2.5 times as large!

On the other hand, water extraction is not proportional to centrifugal force, so it is not the case that a 1600rpm machine extracts twice what a 1000rpm machine does, even at the same radius. (People have posted some real world values here; the Federal Register also has some, as entered into the congressional record by the EPA.) - DR

    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 3:29PM
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Don't think EPA can enter *anything* into the Congressional Record -- only members of Congress can. EPA can enter things into the Federal Register, as dross correctly points out, and into its own administrative records.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 4:38PM
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Testimony before Congress, including that by federal agencies, is often included in the CR, but in this case you are correct, the laundry standards are just the Federal Register. - DR

Here is a link that might be useful: Federal Register laundry link

    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 6:13PM
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Dross, loved the link! Who knew, an link about FLs in the FR. My inner policy wonk is pumped.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 8:58PM
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I had the Costco stuff when I got my FL and found that it suds way too much and added time to the cycle. I have since switched to ALL Free and Clearr HE and The Sear Powder HE in the pails. I like the ALL better as the Sears does leave a scent and does not feel like it is totally rinsing out.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2006 at 3:47PM
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I'm a huge fan of Costco, and their Kirkland dishwasher detergent rocks, but their Ultra HE "compatible" laundry detergent is another matter.

Not only is the Kirkland Ultra "He Compatible" laundry detergent too high sudsing to be called "HE", but the dosage instructions are totally wrong. They appear to have reversed the dosing for regular and HE machines - with the HE machines getting a much higher recommended amount, which of course if obviously wrong.

Someone at Kirkland needs to buy a clue about HE detergents.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2006 at 3:24AM
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To those of us that have these huge bottles on hand, what about mixing them with a very low sudsing liquid version?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2006 at 11:04AM
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Suggest you dig out your receipt for the Kirkland detergent and take the product back to Costco for a full refund. They may even give you a refund w/o receipt, seeing as how only Costco sells the stuff.

Like I say, Costco goofed on this one.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2006 at 9:10PM
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Sheesh, I can tell you really don't like this stuff! =)
Have you tried the Kirkland Free and Clear version? Wonder if that one suds (no pun intended) up alot too? I think that one said HE, but now I'm questioning myself???

    Bookmark   March 17, 2006 at 12:00PM
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I was shopping at Wal Mart the other day and saw Tide Free HE is back so I picked up a bottle.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2006 at 12:17PM
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Yes, I have bought and tried the (liquid) Costco Free and Clear version. It's OK, but suds up too much in my Neptune.

Right now my favorite HE liquid is Method HE. It's fairly strongly scented, but it doesn't throw out a lot of suds and it seems to leave bath towels relatively soft.

I just rather appalled at Costco/Kirkland's evident cluelessness about HE detergents. The recommendation on their packaging to add more detergent for an HE machine than a regular machine makes absolutely no sense. It kind of adds insult to injury. Please understand I love Costco and most of their stuff is great. They just didn't think this one through.

I also think the "HE Compatible" labeling should be banned. A detergent should either be HE or not. It's misleading to flash the readily recognizable HE logo, but then qualify it with the word "Compatible" in too-small print. Just what is "HE Compatible" supposed to mean, anyway? We have a hard enough time debating just what "HE" means!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2006 at 9:20PM
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Interesting, I'd not thought about the labeling saying "HE compatible". I didn't read the measuring labeling, since I feel all manufactures say to use more than is really needed. Take shampoo, toothpaste, etc. for instance. The more the consumer uses, the more they need to buy!

I'm a COSTCO fan myself, too bad I don't like Tide, since they(Costco) only have the three choices.

I'll start using the Trader Joe's Lavender liquid I've been hoarding and try their powder detergent too. Affordable and a good performer for my needs.

Thanks for your insight.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2006 at 12:41PM
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Hi all. I have been using this Kirkland brand HE detergent for the last year in my new fl Bosch and have loved the results. No problem with too many suds at all. My installer, as well as the manual both recommend using only a couple of Tablespoons of liquid HE detergent, so that's what I do. I surely didn't think this would be enough to clean clothes well, but I tried it and it was great! Whites their whitest. If I've got a tough stain I add a scant Tablespoon of liquid Biz and cut back a tad on detergent. Or I skip the biz and just use my stainstick. The results have been terrific - and I'm a hard one to please.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2006 at 3:49PM
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I don't have a problem with any of the Costco soaps.. however I live in Chicago and I don't have a water softener. I use the recommended amount of soap and double rinse (with vinegar of course). I use the powder in the big bucket for my whites and towels.

I don't use cheap soaps for anything but my whites.. and save the good stuff for the colors.... I have found over the years the cheap stuff seems to clean well but are much harder on colored fabrics.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 9:19PM
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Hi there, just wanted to chime in. I have a 5 month old Fisher Paykel and just had to have the service guy out because the washer started going nuts, soap soap everywhere, dumping soap in the rinse cycle, not draining etc. I ran 8 loads with no soap and it was still acting up. After finding nothing wrong with the machine and spending an hour on the phone with FP support, the service guy said quit using the Kirkland soap, stick with name brand. BTW, using Kirkland free and clear which says compatible with FLs. I will switch back to All or Wisk. Oddly, it didn't take half a bottle of the stuff to throw my near new machine off it's rocker. I also only used very little each wash.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 1:29AM
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While Kirkland detergent is very sudsy, it is hard to believe that it would have a cumulative effect resulting in problems months down the road. I think there is something wrong with your washer, like a kink or clog in a drain line. If the problem goes away just with a change in detergent, do let us know; I'm aways happy to be proved wrong. - DR

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 2:47AM
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I myself have a giant container of the Kirkland Signature Free & Clear HE Compatible detergent, and will be getting an HE washer next week. After reading all of your postings, I contacted Costco about this. After going back and forth with them over several e-mails -- asking if the instructions are reversed -- here's their final answer for me:

"The instructions are in fact correct for this detergent. You need to use more for an HE washing machine."

I guess I'll try it once in my new machine, but their answer still doesn't make sense to me.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 6:07PM
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My Costco carries the Tide HE so I bought that instead. I've heard such mixed reviews that I didn't want to chance the Kirkland brand in my brand new Kenmores.

Some things they do very well, like the Albacore tuna, other stuff not so much.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 1:11PM
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I have been using a couple of tablespoons of Kirkland he in my fl (frigemore and now wp duet sport) without any problems. Semms to me the info from costco is incorrect. Kris

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 4:11PM
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I've been using Kirkland's HE detergent ever since we bought our Duet and have no problems. Of course I don't use as much as listed in the directions. I never do, regardless of the product. I mean really, shampoos direct you to shampoo twice each time, but I don't do that either. I follow the directions on my washer, not the detergent bottle and my wash comes out clean every time - no problems. I add OxyClean with every Whiter Whites load out of habit from TL-days, but after reading all of the posts, I'm going to get the better carbonate products instead. I also never add softener and my wash still comes out soft.

The only times I got the SUDS error was due to my children's socks getting stuck in the drain pump. I posted that problem and fix on another link.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 8:59PM
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If you've tried any of the other Costco detergents in your front loader, please post your experiences here.

I picked up Kirkland Signature Ultra Laundry Detergent - Powdered, 120 load box back at the beginning of December. It was labeled "New! Fresh & Clean Scent" and HE Compatible.

Well... it's not compatible with my HE front loader - an LG. Had to return it. I'm wondering if they only test it in one of those big model Duet, older Neptune or similar units that have a higher water volume.

Anywho. I've sent an email to Huish - the private label manufacturer of the Kirkland laundry products - and given them the URLs of the forums here to come read about our problems.

- IT Geek

    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 2:53AM
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BTW, here's a link to the Costco Connection article about the new eco friendly Kirkland detergents that arrived in your local Costco in December.

The have a new cleaner, dish soap and laundry detergent.

PS... the dish soap the "the bomb" for hand washing delicates!

- IT Geek

Here is a link that might be useful: Kirkland Eco Friendly Detergents Arrive

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 11:40PM
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