Can you soak clothes overnight in a front loader?

lov2gardenJuly 20, 2007

My family manages to get some clothing dirty enough to require overnight soaking. I've always had a top loading washer to do this. Can you soak clothes overnight in a front loader?

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My He2t does have a soak cycle, but it's not long--only about 30 minutes I think, after which the tub drains itself and you pick another cycle.

I think most if not all FLs (and maybe TL's? I don't know.) have ways to add extra time to a normal cycle via prewash or stain treat options, plus an extended cycle for very dirty stuff.

We can have some pretty dirty clothes here as well. My dh does a lot of volunteering with a nature group and I swear I've never seen clothes as nasty as some of what he comes home with depending on what he was doing that day! I've been amazed at how clean everything comes out. You may find that between the longer cycles of a FL and the way it cleans, your clothes won't need to soak. I specifically wanted a soak cycle on my new machine b/c I also soaked stuff in my old TL (not overnight, but 30 minutes-hr or so with Oxyclean and detergent). I very rarely use the soak cycle though.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 7:09AM
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I use a 5 gallon bucket to soak things. Most of the time I don't need to soak, but tablecloths or other items yes. Nice thing about the bucket is it is easy to pick up and pour the whole thing right in the FL.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 7:36AM
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Cindy Noll

My Bosch 3200 has a two hour cold soak & I think the newer 500 has the same. I do use it sometimes for whites and it works well. It drains itself, but you have to set the next cycle. Most things have not needed a soak with this machine & my landscaping son gets pretty dirty.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 8:36AM
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I've got a Whirlpool Duet and I was wondering the same thing.
I'm going to guess that the manufacturers didn't put an overnight timer on for soaking because they didn't find it necessary to soak that long.

CDO ducks from the things thrown at her by other gardenweb users for writing that the manufacturers did the right thing.
: O

Okay - I've just soaked the dirty clothes I have
for 35 minutes.
I used warm because cold didn't work last time.
I agree with adding a slight amount of bleach.

I will now wash this stuff on a normal load and see if it came out clean.

Otherwise, it's back to the bucket method.

CDO and Doug

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 11:07AM
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When you use the soak cycle, does the FL fill with enough water to completely submerse the clothes in water?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 12:14PM
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My duet has a soak cycle but I rarely ever use it. If something is dirty enough that I don't think the washer will clean it without soaking, I use a bucket-- then I just dump the bucket in the washer when I am ready to wash. Works really well for me!!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 2:16PM
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Sure. If the machine doesn't have a soak selection, start a cycle, let it fill and get the clothes saturated, then disconnect the power plug for as long as you want. :-)

A soak cycle on a frontloader typically fills a little more than it does for a standard wash, and rotates the drum one revolution or so every few mins to keep all the clothes wet. The "manual" method won't flip the load, so would work best for just one or a few items.

Soaking with bleach is probably not a good idea. Bleach is very hard on fabric, and whatever effect it will have pretty much maxes-out in about 5 mins. That's why automatic bleach dispensers on frontloaders typically trigger either in the first rinse, or at the last few mins of the wash phase.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 3:30PM
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I have a soak cycle on my FridGEmore washer, it will tumble for a few min. to make sure the clothes are wet, and the soap is into the clothes, then it will go into soak mode for about half hour.. it will tumble every now and then, and drain..

I use this for our electric mattress pad, as it that what it calls for for washing.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 12:04AM
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Thanks for all of the helpful answers & facts! Now I'm not afraid to make it a FL next.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 10:57AM
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I have an older very simple FridGEmore, which has a prewash cycle, which is not the same as a soak cycle on some of the new machines. It tumbles for a while and does a "preliminary drain". I don't know what else to call this; the pump pumps out the water, but it doesn't spin the clothes dry. At the end of the cycle, they are sitting in the machine very wet. No rinse, so whatever laundry products I put in the presoak are still on the clothes.

Then I have to start the wasy cycle myself (as I said, a very simple machine). I sometimes let the prewashed clothes sit in the machine awhile, soaking in the laundry chemicals, before I start the wash cycle. When I've had a load with, for example, some food stained shirts this has worked well for me.

YMMV, of course. If I had a soak cycle, I'd use that, but I've been able to work with the 4 very simple cycles that I have: normal, delicate, presoak, heavy duty.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 11:42AM
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I soaked the clothes for the soak cycle and that didn't clean them - so I had to use the bucket for a longer soak - which did work - after I ran them in the washer again.
See - the machine manufacturers need to read our gardenweb forum. : ]

dadoes -
I like the idea of turning the machine off to soak for a while.
What do you soak in? regular detergent and not bleach?


    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 8:25AM
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When I do soak clothes, I use a oxygen bleach with a little bit of detergent. I am sure it is the oxygen bleach that does the work while soaking...

You have to unplug the machine to hold the soak cycle (or at least on the machines I have seen). If you just cancel the soak cycle, it partially drains the water out.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 9:34AM
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