How much HE soap to use for Front Load Washer?

taliaferroDecember 28, 2008

I'm so confused about the amount of soap to use for my Samsung Front Loader. Samsung just recommends following the detergent manufacturer's directions. I'm using Tide HE powder which comes with a cup with three fill lines for small, medium, and large loads. All my loads are large so I've been filling the cup accordingly.

However, I've read several posts on this forum where it seems folks are using a tablespoon of detergent per load! This of course conflicts with the detergent (Tide HE) recommendations.

What to do? I don't want to use more soap than necessary, but I do want to use enough to get my clothes clean.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Many of us have found that you get just as good cleaning from using less product, which will save you money.

Maybe you can try and reduce to the next line lower and see if your clothes are coming just as clean.


    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 8:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How soft is your water? I have soft water and use half the amount of recommended amount of Sears HE detergent.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 12:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have hard water. I follow the recommendation on the box and it seems to work well. I always use vinegar in my rinse however, to ensure no soap residue is left on clothes.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 12:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think our water falls somewhere in between hard and soft. We don't have any of the symptoms of hard water, but I wouldn't say our water is particularly soft either.

How much vinegar should one use in the final rinse, brutuses?

Also, I've read that some folks don't use fabric softener (liquid or sheets). I use the sheets and would love to eliminate them, however, my first load without dryer sheets had static cling and seemed more wrinkly. Any way to eliminate the static other than using fabric softener?


    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 12:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Think about WHO is recommending this amount: the makers of the soap! The more you use, the more you buy, the more money they make.

I use no more than a tablespoon of Tide HE powder, my laundry is very fresh and clean every time.

Vinegar in the final rinse should be about a tablespoon also. I just splash it in the dispenser. I don't do it all the time, once every month or so, just to make sure. I use so little detergent it really doesn't matter.

I do use FS, both liquid and sheets, but here in Phoenix it is so static-y in the winter you have to do something. If you live in a damper, cooler region you should dry your clothes on a lower setting, that will reduce the static.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 5:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When I use Tide HE powder, I use half the amount of the lowest line, sometimes less. That works well for me, but water conditions and soil levels vary, of course. Maybe start there and adjust up or down accordingly until you hit the sweet spot?

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 6:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good advice from ALL. Thanks so much. I've got a queue of 6 loads and it looks like I'll be experimenting:)

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 8:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Powdered Detergent is better than Liquid.

I leave an empty plastic "ice cream bucket" weighed down with a small brick, in the utility tub right under the washer drain hose.
Even after the washer has finished it's cycle, I can always see a sample of the "final rinse" water.
No need to empty it, it'll get flushed out with the next wash load.
Also, you can use up to 1 cup of vinegar (not for silk) in the f/s dispenser in every load to help eliminate the soapy residue build-up.

link: ReaderÂs Digest vinegar in the washing machine

link: Will Original Pine-Sol® Brand Cleaner help to clean greasy work clothes?

link: Pine-Sol® MSDS info

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 8:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

At times I suspect there's a competition between some posters over who uses less detergent. I think the advice to start somewhere and adjust based on loads and experience is best.

You'll probably have a sudsy load or two (just run an extra rinse or two to remove) as well as a few where you swear clothes can't be getting clean because there are NO suds. After a week or two it should all be old hat.

We find about a tablespoon or two of Tide HE usually does the trick for us, combined with around a quarter cup of vinegar in either the fabric softener or bleach compartment. We usually use the warm setting and almost always request an extra rinse. Good luck with your experimenting!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 3:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with chipshot here...

I use about one tablesppon of powder, sometimes I put vinegar in the fs dispenser, but maybe one wash day per month... or in the loads where I've got many 'cleaning' cloths with potential soap residue to start with...

I rarely see suds at all... maybe a bubble or two on the bottom of the door window... if I see more than that it's typically due to residue in things in that load... not from the amount of detergent I put in on purpose...

I typically use watm (except for towels/bedding which get sanitary and polarfleece which gets cold) and I ALWAYS do an extra rinse (skin issues)

it's trial and erro until you find what works for your water

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 5:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't even do an extra rinse, I think once you start seeing less suds you can eliminate that extra step. I have only used a teaspoon or tablespoon of Tide for years, even with my old Kenmore TL. Now that we have the FL, there are rarely any suds to be seen.

Now, when I have washed visitors' clothes, I have noticed LOTS of suds, which kind of proved to me that detergent does stay in the clothing if you use too much.

When I had a top loader I would set the wash cycle for 6 minutes, the minimum. I have read in several places that much longer than 6 minutes the dirt just gets pulled back into the clothes. I found this to be very sound advice.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 10:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you've been overdosing your clothes, you may well have a buildup in them anyway so using less isn't something to be afraid of. For some reason there's a number of people who feel you have to use so much more detergent than really necessary. There is no set amount. It will vary by the load for everyone. The volume of clothes, how dirty they are, the type of dirt, water temp plus other variables from area to area like hardness, mineral content, etc.

You need to experiment. I'd start way less than you think you need. You can always adjust up. You can also get a feel for it by testing the water to see how slick it feels when you rub your fingers together. You can even adjust downward from there.

Suds don't clean your clothes. Suds inhibit cleaning in a front load actually. So adjust downward and you'll probably get cleaner clothes and defintely save some money.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 4:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you cynic. I'm not seeing many suds while using the recommendations on the box. I am reluctant to reduce soap usage to a tablespoon, because it just doesn't seem sufficient to properly wash a large load of laundry. Although I don't want any soap residue in our clothing, I don't want to wash my clothes in nothing but water either. However, I am reducing my soap usage slightly.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 4:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

For a *full* load in my Calypso or Neptune TL (equivalent in water use to a frontloader), I use four to five 1 oz. scoops of Tide HE powder. Or fill the Wisk HE 2x cap to the 3rd line, maybe a tad more. The Calypso rinses very well, so sudsing or detergent residue is never an issue. The Neppy's rinsing is a less intense, but no sudsing trouble with it, either. A small load, 2 scoops to 3 scoops. 2nd line of Wisk, or 1st line if a VERY small load.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 7:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

One thing to remember about suds is that they are only there for the consumer to see them and make you think that more is better. Suds have nothing to do with cleanliness. Shampoo and dish soap manufacturers do the same thing, and much consumer testing has come to the following conclusion: consumers feel like something is cleaner the more suds there are. We watch shampoo ads where the girl pours her hand full of shampoo, when in reality just a pea size amount or so is plenty. Same thing with toothpaste; how nice does that long squirt with the nice curl at the end on the toothbrush look? SO nice that that must be how we have to do it. I use a tiny dollop, brush and floss very well and use about 1/10 of what the ad is trying to push on me. I haven't had a cavity in years.

This is how we are trained, and it is hard to get people to adjust their thinking.

Everyone on this forum has a different setup, from brand of washer to hardness of water to temperature of water to brand of detergent. It will take a few washings to find your happy medium, so start by using less detergent on clothes for a month or so. If you aren't happy with the cleanliness add a bit more detergent, or if you have a lot of suds then use less detergent.

Also, the clothes themselves wash each other. It is the motion of rubbing against other clothes that is the real cleaner, the detergent just helps loosen dirt.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 11:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks dadoes & michelle! I have been experimenting to see what works best.

Sometimes I find a bit of powder residue on the window of the washing machine, but sometimes not - even when using the same amount of soap and the same size load.

I did do one large load with half as much soap as recommended by Tide HE powder (fill line 1) and the clothes didn't smell like they were freshly laundered.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 5:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When you say "the clothes didn't smell like they were freshly laundered", do you mean that they didn't smell like Tide? Perhaps they were just rinsed so well that all the fragrance had left the building. Did you note whether all stains had been removed? To me that's better evidence of being freshly laundered.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 5:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Tide HE powder has very light scent. When using it, I don't find my clothes have much residual scent ... unless I use a scented softener. I prefer my jeans and shirts not be scented, so I use Downy Free & Sensitive (white bottle) on them. My jeans and shirts just smell like jeans and shirts. On the other hand, liquid Wisk HE 2X has a slightly stronger residual scent. The rather "loud" Fab Spring Magic powder (low sudsing, I use 3 scoops for a full load) leaves a much stronger residual scent.

Rather than using the included measuring cups that are marked only with lines (that may or may not be labeled with arbitrary numbers), I have several 1 oz. scoops from oxybooster or drink mixes. It's much easier and consistent to measure powder with a level 1 oz. scoop than eyeballing a line in a larger cup.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 6:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here's my question. I use vinegar in the rinse as well. The fabric softener dispenser doesn't allow you to put much of anything in it. I fill it with vinegar until it hits the "full" tab. But I've read where some are using a cup or 1/2 cup etc....How are you getting this much in your dispenser?

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 8:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Depending on when your washer dispenses, putting vinegar in its bleach compartment is also a possibility.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 9:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Chipshot: Yes, I meant the clothes did not smell like Tide (compared to how they smelled with my old washing machine.) I haven't found any stains that didn't wash out, so it could be that the detergent smell was faint because of superior rinsing with this washer.

Dadoes: I agree that the included scooper is not very precise. I'll try using 1 oz. scoops for more consistency. Thanks for the suggestion:)

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 11:36AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Electrolux 70 series....where's Larsi
A friend of mine is looking at Electrolux 70 series...
Getting ready to buy Speed Queens
Actually did purchase a pair of Speed Queens for home...
Does Persil Liquid ProClean from Walmart USA contain....
optical brighteners. Their website is next to useless...
Good sheet set, stand up to laundering...
Hi all: I placed this post in the laundry forum because...
Combo washer-dryer in USA?
Do they allow to purchase and use an all-in-on e washer+dryer...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™