'check detergent' message after Vaska

CavimumJune 5, 2011

I did a full load of towels today in my Miele W4842, and used a full cap of Vaska, set it on MasterCare "Extra White" with 'Extended' feature.

We went out shopping, and came home to a completed cycle (as anticipated) and a "check detergent" message on my screen.

There is a "he" symbol on the bottle, but should I have used less than a full capful?

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I can't say about Vaska, have not used it or examined the product ... but the HE liquid detergents I do use nowadays (Wisk and Tide, for example) have measuring lines embossed inside the cap, and the dose for an "average/normal" load is one-half of a full cap. Problem is that the measuring lines are typically VERY difficult to see, likely leading the typical consumer to fill the cap full.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 5:49PM
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@dadoes - Thanks for your reply. I failed to include in my OP that the Vaska instructions say to use a full cap.

I wish I had stayed home and watched the 'show'. (well, it is interesting to watch the cycles-LOL) Then I might know why the machine had that "check detergent" message on the screen.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 6:10PM
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I don't know if this just happens with Vaska, but when my towels spin out a tremendous volume of suds is created. However, the suds are pretty much gone by the 2nd rinse. Is it possible these particular towels might have had some past detergent build-up in them?

Oh one more weird thing about Vaska. Yesterday I washed my sheets and pillow cases and used just 1/2 cap of detergent + full cap of Vaska liquid bleach. I didn't feel the need to use more because my machine was only about half full. I ran a warm, wrinkle-free program. I saw some minimal suds streaming down the glass porthole, as expected. What was completely UNexpected was that my white pillow case came out of the wash almost as dirty as it was when I put it in. This really grossed me out.

I immediately ran the load again, this time with 3 tablespoons of Persil Megaperls. The water during the first rinse was opaque and looked dirty, which made no sense whatsoever since I had just washed the load in Vaska. After washing in Persil, the white pillow case came out sparkling white and everything else was nice and clean. I don't know why the rinse water was so dirty, could the Persil have washed out dirt that the Vaska didn't clean? I've been cleaning these sheets in Vaska for a few months now.

If I were to glean anything from the above, I'd say that 1 capful is the minimum amount of Vaska needed regardless of load size. One half capful on a half sized load resulted in dirty laundry for me. And I have soft water.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 6:54PM
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I believe that Vaska bottle says to use 1.5 capful of detergent to HE machines..
BTW, where do you buy Persil Megapearls? I wanna try it.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 8:17PM
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Wow ... we analyze detergent to death here eh?

I've been using Vasak in my Miele W4842 with no issues. My Miele has done a few "weird" things that I equate to something weird with the sensors nothing to do with what detergent I was using at the time. If it does it again I may call Miele but so far so good.

I have washed white towels with Vaska for quite some time and they still look nice and white. I always add some oxygen bleach.

@ sshrivastava, I was told by a "high end" linen retailer that good linens should not be washed with detergent that contains enzymes. She said best to avoid optical brighteners too but for sure enzymes.

She also stresses washing bed linens once a week. Here is what she said:

"My friend is trying to convince me that I should change and wash my sheets once a week! Is this necessary?

Au Lit Fine Linens
Yes. Not washing your sheets on a weekly basis will allow your natural oils to sink into the fibres and leave a permanent stain.

Tip: When washing whites make sure to use hot water and if possible, always hang your sheets to dry."

This is what their website says about washing linens:

"Machine wash your linens in cold or lukewarm water using a mild detergent. Avoid detergents that contain bleach, ammonia or enzymes as they may cause discoloration. Cotton satin linens should be washed in cold water before use to set the fibres and prevent pilling.

Hang to dry. Do not use the dryer as the heat destroys the natural fibres and will considerably shorten the life of your linens. Press, if necessary, while damp.

Please be aware that skin creams and beauty products may stain or discolour your linens."

I have to ask ... why was the pillow case so dirty?

I try to keep in mind that detergents with optical brighteners will always make a load look different than without (not saying this was the cause but it def makes a difference with whites). Assuming you used Universal Persil Megaperls?

Laundry is such a complicated mess - how I miss my ignorant days when I didn't know any better :)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 9:24PM
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I'm not intending to sound gross here, but I wear hair gel/pomade which causes my white pillow to get a little yellow and dingy where my head rests. This area did not get clean after washing in 1/2 cap of Vaska. Now remember, I had previously washed the same sheets and pillow cases in Vaska for a few months without issues. The reason I mention it this time is because normally my sheet/pillowcase load is full - I combine with other items to get to a full drum and I use a full capful of Vaska. In the latest case, I went with a half full drum and 1/2 cap of Vaska.

This is why I don't think using less than a full cap of Vaska does anything. This is the first time I've used it in a reduced amount with less than satisfactory results. What really had me scratching my head was why the rinse water was so dark and seemingly dirty after using Persil.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 11:37AM
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One of the main reasons I stopped using Vaska for general-purpose loads was the suds issue. When I washed a load of towels and/or ran a load of clothes on a cycle that used the internal heater (i.e. not cold) even a single capful of Vaska created a mountain of suds that often took a second full-cycle without detergent to remove. I think they designed the detergent primarily for cold-water washing and didn't take into account washers with internal heaters, which seem to increase suds production and "set" those suds into a foam that's really difficult to remove.

I still use Vaska for silk/wool/delicates, but those are usually washed on cold or cool, don't get that dirty and I never use more than 1/2 cap any more.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 2:51PM
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I get zero suds with Vaska. I use it primarily for warm washes but have tried it for HOT and Extra Hot (Sanitary) loads as well and had NO suds. I generally use a full cap for an average load, a bit more for really large loads. My washer is LG front load, water is fairly soft. I especially like Vaska for dark clothing - it works really well. I have noticed that it is especially good at removing white anti-perspirant residue from dark clothing. Liquid Tide HE used to always leave traces of anti-perspirant behind.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 3:15PM
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Cavimum, I forgot to ask whether the "check detergent" message" can only be caused by oversudsing? I was thinking about the fact that Vaska has really watery consistency - is it possible that the washer somehow thought that you forgot to add detergent?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 3:26PM
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I washed white towels just yesterday. My Miele W4842 was probably half full. I used one full cap of Vaska plus 1 tbsp of Borax and 3 tbsp of pure sodium percarbonate.

There were suds but not crazy and nothing left in final rinse. Towels look and smell clean and fresh.

One is a white towel I use in my main floor powder room that my kids use - can get pretty dirty. Looked good.

I used Extra White setting - hot - sensitive.

My Miele has never given me a check detergent message when using Vaska or any other brand.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 5:22PM
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I'm re-washing the towels again because there was a color run from some chrome yellow cheap towels. (NHL playoff 'crying' towels = freebies)

Today I'm using the same cycle and 65ml of Persil "Sensitive" megapearls and 15ml of Ecover oxy bleach ,,, although the Persil has oxy... I have to get that nasty color bleed out of my towels or they are toast. Once that cycle is done, I'll run the RIT color run remover and hope it works.

I'm seeing a fair amount of sudsing - from the Vaska? - and will be checking it frequently.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 5:46PM
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@ Cavimum

DO NOT USE RIT COLOR RUN REMOVER IN YOUR MIELE! Page 24 of the user manual explicitly states to NOT use dye removers in the MIele. Color run and dye removers often utilize the same active ingredients, so be careful.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 12:21PM
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@sshrivastava - Yipes! Thanks for the warning. That seems like something they should put in the front of the owners' manual, like on page #1. Maybe chlorine bleach or lots of oxy bleach will help fade it the color bleeding.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 1:51PM
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A good dose of sodium percarbonate (3-4 TBS for your size machine) plus HOT water (140F+) should help. I would also recommend using a detergent with OBAs. While the general opinion about OBAs seems negative, brighteners can mask the problem by increasing the general reflectivity of the fabric. That will make your white fabric look whiter than it really is.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 9:34PM
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No suds issues for me, but I an utilizing a HE TL machine.
Very frustrating when we fellow laundry forum geeks take extra measures with our laundering habits and have these things happen!
Hope you get to the bottom of it and soon! =)

My local Sam's Club is again carrying the Vaska in the large cube box. I'm relieved since it's one of my favorites for sheets, towels and dark clothing. Whew! They were completely out for a few months,

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 9:38PM
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I have not gotten the 'check detergent' message again.
I have not used the Vaska since, either. It may have just been a one-off. I'll use Vaska again on the towels, just to make sure.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 10:35PM
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