FL detergent questions

vatmarkApril 24, 2012

I will be purchasing my first FL washer and dryer. I am using a 10 year old TL Fisher & Paykel Ecosmart right now. Can anyone give me some information on detergents. I assume I have to use detergent specifically meant for FL to get the best results? Is it best to use powder or liquid? Can dryer sheets be used in the dryer. Right now with for our TL we use powdered Tide and throw a dryer sheet in the dryer. Any help and suggestions would be appreciated.



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Use a detergent that is HE approved.

All dryers are front loaders, so of course u can use your dryer sheets. :)

Don't use much detergent! An ounce to two ounces should be sufficient, depending on the load size. too much detergent in an HE washer will result in soap residue in the clothes, AND in the washer, promoting smells that will require more frequent maintenance cycles. ALWAYS leave the washer door open and dry out the seal and detergent compartment. It takes just a minute or two to do that and will prevent grief (odor and/or mildew)

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 12:36PM
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FWIW.....I have 3.8 nominal capacity FL. I have soft water. I use about 1/4 cup Tide HE powder for a full "normally soiled" load and get consistently excellent results, thorough rinsing, and no residue. Perhaps this experience may be used as benchmark for your own new machine.

Harder water will require increased dosages. A little experimentation will have you right in no time.....but be wary of overdosing. Suggest starting out with less rather than more.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 1:02PM
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FYI, I was using measurements for liquid detergent and having zero grains of water softness (that's max softness).

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 3:15PM
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I just switched to a front loader about two months ago, and I learned pretty quick not to overdose the detergent. :-) Start with the above suggestions--but, after a month or so, you may find that you need to up your detergent a little. My old laundry pair (workhorse Maytags, almost 20 years old) didn't do the best job of rinsing, and it took about a month to get all the residual stuff totally rinsed out. I began to notice that I needed a little more detergent to get the job done, and I've settled pretty much on two to three tbs of Tide with Bleach powder for towels and whites, and just to the bottom of the 'minimum' line on for Tide Total Care liquid--it's about 1/4 cup. You'll need to experiment to find out where your "sweet spot" is with your machine and your water type.

Enjoy your new machines!


    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 5:31PM
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"....I learned pretty quick not to overdose...."

Some years ago, when not many people had the HE/FL's it seemed that almost everyone had at least one "suds experience" with their new machines before they got the message. Among my friends and neighbors, it usually had to do with wanting to use up the "old" non-HE detergent and/or not being able to grasp (after a lifetime of conventional TL experience) how such a little amount of detergent could possibly work.

With so much more experience person-to-person available, now, such mistakes are less common. The HE/FL's are pretty much like dishwashers, now. The soap doesn't make suds, so no visual clues, and you don't need much of it. Like DW's, if you use too much you'll create problems.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 6:00PM
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I would suggest he detergents, I know some people use regular but we won't. I use very little detergent. For powder I use 1/2 cup when I use purex or 1/4 cup when I use gain. I use purex liquid too and use half of the smallest reccomended dose on full loads and clothes come out perfect, same when I use gain liquid I use fill the cup halfway to line 1 for full loads. We also have VERY soft water. I use no liquid fabric softner for my clothes but use purex crystals for towels and dryer sheets in the dryer.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 8:11PM
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Thanks for all the responses.

Are there times when liquid is better to use like with certain types of laundry or is powder fine for all loads? What exactly would I look for to know I am using too much detergent? Will there be some kind of residue that I can see on the clothing or is it something I would feel? Sorry for all the stupid questions. I never really thought much about doing laundry. Just threw the clothes in with some detergent and started the machine.

Any HE detergents that work better then others. We have always used regular tide. How is the HE tide?

I'm just trying to gain some information. I know to leave the door open when not in use, dry the seal and detergent compartment.

Ok this is going to be a really dumb question but is the detergent compartment used to store the detergent or is this where you pour the detergent in for each load?



    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 8:35PM
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1. don't "store" the detergent in the compartment. add it when you are going to wash (of course, if you choose the Delay Start feature, the detergent will sit there for a while, which is OK, but don't make a habit of leaving it in there )

2. there are lots of detergents and many people swear by their favorites, so to get a less biased opinion check out Consumer's Reports or other publications' detergent comparisons. Some of the Tides are very well regarded and AAMOF, because of that, I recently picked up my first bottle of Tide Free and Clear. Normally I use All Free and Clear which isn't rated at the top, but it's not at the bottom, either. :) I like using Oxiclean powder (free) also, for whites. I almost never use "real" bleach--last time I used it was for the Pure Cycle to get out a trace of sourness. That smell was fixed by running PC with bleach and hasn't come back in many weeks. I've had the washer (Samsung 520) since late last year and it's as fresh as the day it was delivered--I dry the seal and det compt.

As far as liquid vs powders, I'm not in a position to recommend one type of the other. Others will offer their opinions, I'm sure. Again, check for recommendations from consumer pubs.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 10:03PM
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"What exactly would I look for to know I am using too much detergent? Will there be some kind of residue that I can see on the clothing or is it something I would feel? "

Suds in the final rinse is a simple, easy, visual clue of too much detergent. Especially helpful is a cycle like perm-press/wrinkle-free, where there can be a higher water level in the rinses and making it easier to see. A good flashlight helps to see the if there are suds in the final rinse.

Using too much detergent can make the fabrics feel crunchy and/or scratchy. They won't be soft.

Even minor overdosing of detergent, which may not make the clothing crunchy or scratchy, can leave a residue in clothing that causes itching and rashes on the skin. Ask us how we know . . .

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 10:31PM
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