Scratchy stiff towels since buying FL - Solved :-)

jetcityJuly 27, 2010

Since I got my new FL washer, my towels have been very scratchy and stiff. I searched this site for suggestions and figured it out... I wasn't using enough detergent. I was so worried about not seeing any suds I was under dosing.

I have med-hard water and I was using 3 TBSP of Persil Gold (not megapearls). I upped it to 7 which is closer to the recommended dose of 10. I did see a few suds during the wash cycle but none while it was rinsing. I didn't add any FS either.

Anyway, my towels came out super soft and fluffy like they did when I was using my old TL machine.

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This is a PERFECT example of where less is definitely not more. Complaints about scratchy towels have usually been met with advice to lower detergent doses, which actually can make the problem worse. Detergent suspends soils in the water. Without enough detergent, that soiling goes right back onto your fabrics and washer parts.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 12:59PM
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I also have the same problem with towels a lot of the time. I have in-between water. When i use more than 2Tbl, i see suds all the way through. I usually put it on extra rinse and that helps. I use the Sears detergent along with some borax. The suds always freak me out, so it tends to make me put less detergent to avoid them and i guess i am maybe not putting in enough detergent. It, a hard balance of how many suds are ok or no suds not enough detergent. I worry about detergent residue in my towels from using more too. So, how much suds are ok?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 10:11PM
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I don't think there should be any suds visible on the last rinse (?)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 11:41PM
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With the larger dose I used, I only saw a small "line" of suds on the bottom of the glass during the wash cycle. The towels themselves didn't look sudsy. Half way into the rinse cycle the "line" of suds was completely gone so I assumed it didn't have any trouble rinsing them.

DH says I watch the new washer more than the TV :-)

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 11:19AM
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I use 3-5 TBS of Megaperls depending on size of laundry in my Miele W4842. I have a water softener as well. For large capacity 6-7 kg machines Miele recommends 6 TBS of Megaperls for light soiling in soft water conditions. With small machines cut the dose by 3 TBS. For normal soiling in the typical American XL front loader, Miele recommends just over 7 TBS.

I have Maximum Water Level turned on and rarely see even a hint of suds or bubbles on the 2nd rinse. I enable a 3rd rinse for towels and beddings. I know people claim they can wash with 1-2 TBS, but honestly I don't see how that's possible. Most of the time I'm using 4 TBS in my 4 cuft machine with a water softener and zero water hardness. If a lot of people are using 1-2 TBS, especially in medium or hard water situations, I'm not surprised by the number of complaints regarding scratchy towels, dingy whites, and mildew.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 7:48PM
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It gets so frustrating with detergent. my water is in between hard and soft. When i use over 2 Tbl i see lots of suds in the wash, any wash. I have 4.7cuft electrolux. It's crazy! most of the time extra wash will be pretty free of suds or all way clear of suds. I do have a small line of suds on door, but a lot of the time you see the suds in the water or sides of tub when it pauses during tumbling. I have tried Persil Universal and got way too many suds and it took another cycle with no detergent to get it out and i only put 3 TBl. What i see as far as suds may be ok and i just think it's too much or am afraid of too much. It may be what yall see in yours and it is normal. I have never had a front loader before, so after reading mold prob, soap left on clothes, stuff like that make me paranoid. I will try more and see if it comes clear in the rinse. If not i may take a pic so someone can tell me if its an ok amount. Thanks

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 5:06PM
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rosesark - I'll take a pic next time I do a load of towels so we can compare and post it in this thread. I didn't see any suds on the drum and only a very small amount in the water. I have medium/hard water though.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 10:20PM
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I'm not one to use miniscule amounts of detergent. Our water is neither hard nor soft, just medium. Because my family members are active in sports and outdoor activities and my DH often does field work in his job, their clothes are often really dirty and stinky.

So I generally use the recommended amount of detergent for the size load, and I've never yet had a problem seeing suds or there being any detergent left in the laundry.

I do use white vinegar in the final rinse (half and half w/fabric softener for most laundry except towels), and that may make a difference. I use vinegar only in the final rinse when washing towels.

I've noticed baking soda softens the water, thus the laundry, and this is especially noticeable when washing towels. I put it in the washer drum before adding the laundry -- at least a 1/2 cup, sometimes 1 whole cup.

The towels come out of the dryer very soft, very fluffy, and smelling wonderfully clean and fresh.

I buy baking soda in bulk at a warehouse store. I keep a bag in the laundry room and another one in the kitchen because I do a good bit of baking. Baking soda is very inexpensive, yet is indispensable in this house.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 12:11AM
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I used right at 3 Tbl sears detergent and borax on my whites and towels. They came out cleaner. I didn't use the extra rinse to see if suds were still there or if i needed extra rinse. I think that i am more comfortable now with the amount of detergent, i will probably add maybe a half more just to "see". I do have the most problems with liquid detergent. I use either tide or purex, and you will see suds on back of drum and with liquid i usually do have to extra rinse. I am reading about cascade here but am leary of trying that. But thanks a lot for all the suggestions and help.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 2:33PM
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People try Cascade because in many states Cascade contains phosphates. If you live in a hard water area, you can use STPP instead of Cascade and get better results. You can get it at The Chemistry Store online. I don't recommend use of TSP - a similar product available at the local hardware store and recommended by Charlies Soap. STPP (sodium tripolyphosphate) is a non-precipitating water softener, meaning it holds the calcium and other hardness ions in a liquid suspension. TSP (trisodium polyphosphate), while sounding similar, is a precipitating water softener. It causes the hardness ions to clump together and form solids that settle out of the water. This is BAD NEWS for your washer parts, especially internal heaters. Stay away from TSP!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 12:47PM
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All Cascade versions are now phosphate-free, per the Cascade website.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 7:03PM
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Then there would appear to be no benefit to using Cascade, right?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 8:45PM
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I don't see the point of using Cascade anymore. It was probably never really safe for clothes, but was at least a readily obtainable source of phosphates. If Cascade still performs better than products labeled for laundry, now that the phosphates are gone, it's probably because of ingredients that aren't safe for laundry.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 10:25PM
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I had initially made the same mistake myself. I was so worried about suds and detergent residue that I was using way less and not getting good results. My wash comes out way better now.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 10:14AM
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