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Need a cliff note version re: FL, HE detergents & suds

Posted by lkplatow (My Page) on
Thu, Nov 13, 08 at 12:42

My first FL washer was delivered Sunday and I've been washing away since. Now that I've dug out from under the laundry that piled up while we were washerless, I have a few questions. I've tried searching HE detergent and such on this forum, but so many threads came up that I was overwhelmed. Hoping someone has time to give me a cliff notes version of what I need to know.

I bought a jug of Sears HE liquid before my washer was delivered, and that is what I have been using. I'm only filling the cap halfway (using half the recommended amount) but I'm still seeing suds at the bottom of the door during the wash. Not many suds, just a few. I also see suds during the final rinse and sometimes the washer seems to be doing an extra rinse/spin thing, which I think might have something to do with the clothes not rinsing quite right.

The suds only happen on some loads and not others, which makes me wonder if it might be leftover detergent in the clothes themselves. But anyway, here's my questions:

1) Am I supposed to be seeing suds? How many suds are too many? What should I do - cut down on the amt of detergent until I don't see suds anymore?

2) Can I still pretreat stains with shout or lestoil? Will either of those cause suds or damage the machine?

3) If I want to use oxiclean, where do I put it? (Frigidiare Affinity with no prewash dispenser)

4) Is it ok to use vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser? This was a habit I got into with my last machine, which didn't clean or rinse worth a darn. I felt that the vinegar gave the rinsing a boost but I'm not sure whether it's necessary in the new machine.

5) What kind of detergent is better, liquid or powder? If it matters, I have a whole-house water softener and generally do most of my washes in ATC cold (65 degrees, I believe). I do not normally use bleach or fabric softener but do put vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser (unless you all say I shouldn't). I've always used liquid, but am thinking that if I'm using such small amounts, it might be easier to just keep a canister of powder out on the machine and measure by the tablespoon.

6) When I was doing the research, I read something about Frigemore machines having an issue with powder detergent (I think they indicated that powdered HE detergent contributed to the bearing failure) - is this true?

7) Is there a particular brand of HE detergent that works better in softened well water, especially for cold-water washes? I have always used Tide before this but read some bad reviews on the Tide HE liquid, so that's why I bought the sears stuff (plus it was on sale for half price, LOL!) I know a lot of this has to do with your individual water chemistry, but if you've had experiences (good/bad) with any detergent, I'd love to hear them. Please only stuff that is available fairly easily in the US - my husband would probably have me locked up if I told him I wanted to mail-order detergent from the UK.

Thanks very much for any advice!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Need a cliff note version re: FL, HE detergents & suds

1) Am I supposed to be seeing suds? How many suds are too many? What should I do - cut down on the amt of detergent until I don't see suds anymore?
Some suds in the wash cycle isn't unusual and is normal. Should you see them? Not necessarily but not a big deal if under control. Since you're new to this machine I'd use absolute minimal amount while you run things through the first time or two. You may have been overdosing before. It's a trial & error thing. Find the minimal amount to use that still cleans your clothes. You may have towels or something with a buildup that wouldn't even need additional detergent added.

2) Can I still pretreat stains with shout or lestoil? Will either of those cause suds or damage the machine?
The small amount you'd be using should make no difference. If you're using a cup or two of dish soap, that'd be different.

3) If I want to use oxiclean, where do I put it? (Frigidiare Affinity with no prewash dispenser)
Many just put it in the drum with the clothes. Some mix it with powdered detergent. Some use liquid Oxi and mix it with liquid detergent. Some will mix liquid and powder but personally I would not.

4) Is it ok to use vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser? This was a habit I got into with my last machine, which didn't clean or rinse worth a darn. I felt that the vinegar gave the rinsing a boost but I'm not sure whether it's necessary in the new machine.
You can use it if you like, many here do. I occasionally use a vinegar rinse in my TL.

5) What kind of detergent is better, liquid or powder? If it matters, I have a whole-house water softener and generally do most of my washes in ATC cold (65 degrees, I believe). I do not normally use bleach or fabric softener but do put vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser (unless you all say I shouldn't). I've always used liquid, but am thinking that if I'm using such small amounts, it might be easier to just keep a canister of powder out on the machine and measure by the tablespoon.
That's a topic of discussion and debate. Some prefer liquid and some prefer powder. Use what you prefer. But, 65 is awfully cold to get best cleaning results. There are cold water detergents out there, but they're not really designed for ice water.

6) When I was doing the research, I read something about Frigemore machines having an issue with powder detergent (I think they indicated that powdered HE detergent contributed to the bearing failure) - is this true?
I haven't seen anything credible to suggest this is true. Overdosing is the #1 reason for oversudsing which is bad for most any machine.

7) Is there a particular brand of HE detergent that works better in softened well water, especially for cold-water washes? I have always used Tide before this but read some bad reviews on the Tide HE liquid, so that's why I bought the sears stuff (plus it was on sale for half price, LOL!) I know a lot of this has to do with your individual water chemistry, but if you've had experiences (good/bad) with any detergent, I'd love to hear them. Please only stuff that is available fairly easily in the US - my husband would probably have me locked up if I told him I wanted to mail-order detergent from the UK.
Again and ongoing debate. There's powdered cold water detergents you could try. I'd suggest you try some different ones and see which works best for YOU. People come here all the time and scream that one brand is the BEST and others will find it doesn't work for them. It's a complicated chemistry with the way wash is done, the type of soil, the time in the wash, the water itself, hardness, mineral content, how much detergent is used, whether pretreated or not, type of fabric, etc, etc, etc.

It's worth your time to read the myriad of posts on the topic. You'll find a lot of valuable info in there.


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RE: Need a cliff note version re: FL, HE detergents & suds

I have a Frigidaire Affinity so maybe I can help too.

1) Am I supposed to be seeing suds? How many suds are too many? What should I do - cut down on the amt of detergent until I don't see suds anymore?

It is okay to see some suds during the wash cycle. You should only be seeing a trickle amount at the very bottom of the door. No more than a very small handful of suds.

2) Can I still pretreat stains with shout or lestoil? Will either of those cause suds or damage the machine?

As long as you do not use too much you should be okay. However, if you are concerned you can mix up your own in a spray bottle with the HE detergent you are using and water. (I recommend an HE detergent with enzymes for this.) For instance, you would put the maximum amount of measured detergent into a 32 oz spray bottle and fill the rest of the way with water.

3) If I want to use oxiclean, where do I put it? (Frigidiare Affinity with no prewash dispenser)

I usually add oxi clean to the detergent dispenser. If I am using powder detergent I just put it with the detergent, if washing with hot water. If I am using liquid I disolve it in a bowl or cup first and then put it in.

4) Is it ok to use vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser? This was a habit I got into with my last machine, which didn't clean or rinse worth a darn. I felt that the vinegar gave the rinsing a boost but I'm not sure whether it's necessary in the new machine.

I add vinegar all the time. I usually put it in the bleach dispenser and the fab dispenser if needed. I have had no probs.

5) What kind of detergent is better, liquid or powder? If it matters, I have a whole-house water softener and generally do most of my washes in ATC cold (65 degrees, I believe). I do not normally use bleach or fabric softener but do put vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser (unless you all say I shouldn't). I've always used liquid, but am thinking that if I'm using such small amounts, it might be easier to just keep a canister of powder out on the machine and measure by the tablespoon.

I prefer powder, but I have found I have to predissolve it in warm water if doing a cold or warm water wash. Otherwise the powder doesn't seem to be fully dissolved until right before the rinse kicks in. I am going to eventually switch to liquids once my powder is gone to prevent the hassle.

6) When I was doing the research, I read something about Frigemore machines having an issue with powder detergent (I think they indicated that powdered HE detergent contributed to the bearing failure) - is this true?

If any washing machine has aluminum parts, powder detergents can cause problems. Most powder detergents have sodium carbonate and that will slowly eat away aluminum.

7) Is there a particular brand of HE detergent that works better in softened well water, especially for cold-water washes? I have always used Tide before this but read some bad reviews on the Tide HE liquid, so that's why I bought the sears stuff (plus it was on sale for half price, LOL!) I know a lot of this has to do with your individual water chemistry, but if you've had experiences (good/bad) with any detergent, I'd love to hear them. Please only stuff that is available fairly easily in the US - my husband would probably have me locked up if I told him I wanted to mail-order detergent from the UK.

I was one of those who complained about the Tide Liquid HE. I have hard water, about 8 to 10 grains to be exact. It didn't over suds, but it would never completely rinse out either. No matter what, I would see suds develope during the final spin cycle on the door window and my clothes got harder and harder with each wash if I didn't use fab softener. I also had to make sure I put my washer through a wash/maitenence cycle once a week to get rid of detergent build up. It isn't the detergents fault really except for the fact P&G has not caught up with these new "Add A Garment" HE machines. They use even way less water than traditional HE machines.

So far the detergents that I have tried that seem to be okay as far as sudsing and rinsing go are....

1)Tide HE powder cut back to smaller amounts(draw back is the sodium carbonate and the pre disolving)

2)Sears Powder HE (drawback is the predisolving and sodium carbonate)

3)Charlie's Soap Powder (drawback predissolving, but they do offer a liquid version. It also has sodium carbonate, but the amount used is really minimal)

4)Mela Power HE liquid (drawback is you have to go to melaleuca.com and become a member to order it)

5)Homemade liquid detergent minus or with reduced sodium carbonate(washing soda). In the homemade recipe I cut the amount of washing soda in half and then made up for it in borax. Borax is a natural anti redepositing agent and you need more of that than the other due to the low water usage.

6)All Free and Clear HE liquid(drawback is it still leaves a little suds but no where near as bad as Tide and what is left behind doesn't irritate the skin. However, pretreatment of stains is definitely needed. At least you can find it at any store which is a plus.

In the end, if the Sears HE liquid is working for you and you can still get it, why change. No sense in fixing what isn't broke. Otherwise it will be trial and error as different people's needs determine ultimately what they will like from a detergent.

I hope this helped at least a little. :)


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RE: Need a cliff note version re: FL, HE detergents & suds

OK, here's the Cliff note question: Are you satisfied with how clean your clothes are getting?

If yes, then try cutting back on your detergent by a measured amount to see if you can use less, with less residual sudsing.

If No, then do one thing first: increase your "normal" water temp to 85F (unless you're washing strictly cold-water things like delicate wools, etc.) and keep the detergent the same for a few washes. This may increase your suds, but improve the cleaning. If the cleaning improves with the boosted water temp, then work on reducing the the amount of detergent as noted above.

Sixty-five degree wash temps is very cold, for good general washing, particularly of any item with oily stains, ordinary body soil, or for underwear and towels. In a front loader, you aren't using very much water to begin with, unlike a TL which might clean OK in cold water simply by the effect of mass flooding. But rememebr in FL, you're only using a few gallons of water in the main wash period, so even if you heat it a bit, the energy cost is quite low.

I have seen special cold-water wash powders - and maybe liquids, too - that are new (and therefore presumably also HE, too). You might find one of them useful to try. (use less than the package to begin with says since you have a whole house softener.)

I have used FL for a very long time, and the best detergent for me is a regular big-brand, non- HE , but low-sudsing powder. You may not have to use an HE product, but it's best to start there. I find powders less sudsy than liquids, but YMMV. Don't panic if something you try causes less-than-perfect wash, or too many suds. All cured by an additional wash or rinse. It helps to keep good records and use measured amounts during the experiemnation phase, so you don't have to re-try the same thing over and over.

Some visble suds during the wash phase (a thin veil is how I describe them) is fine and normal. By the time the last rinse is in progress, I don't like to see any suds, but it doesn't make me nuts to see a few from time to time.

If you've just switched to a FL, chances are you do have some built-up detergent which will rinse out over the next few weashes. (You will be surprised by it again in the spring when you get out your summer clothes which haven't had the winter being washed in a FL.)

HTH,

Molly~


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RE: Need a cliff note version re: FL, HE detergents & suds

1) Am I supposed to be seeing suds? How many suds are too many? What should I do - cut down on the amt of detergent until I don't see suds anymore?

I have a thin layer of suds that slide down the door. Not gobs, they slide down in a single file. I would cut down if you are seeing anything more.

2) Can I still pretreat stains with shout or lestoil? Will either of those cause suds or damage the machine?

Yes, I pretreat without any additional sudsing. I guess it's the small amount.

3) If I want to use oxiclean, where do I put it? (Frigidiare Affinity with no prewash dispenser)

I don't have an oxy dispenser either. I've been putting powdered oxy in with my powdered detergent. If I were using liquid detergent, I would put liquid oxy into the bleach dispenser to allow the detergent to get a good 5 minutes to work before the addition of the oxy.

4) Is it ok to use vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser? This was a habit I got into with my last machine, which didn't clean or rinse worth a darn. I felt that the vinegar gave the rinsing a boost but I'm not sure whether it's necessary in the new machine.

I use 1/4 vinegar instead of fabric softener and I don't use it in every load.

5) What kind of detergent is better, liquid or powder? If it matters, I have a whole-house water softener and generally do most of my washes in ATC cold (65 degrees, I believe). I do not normally use bleach or fabric softener but do put vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser (unless you all say I shouldn't). I've always used liquid, but am thinking that if I'm using such small amounts, it might be easier to just keep a canister of powder out on the machine and measure by the tablespoon.

65 is awfully dog gone COLD! I have only been using powdered Charlie's Soap since I got my machine a little over a month ago. I don't have experience with liquids in my new FL (Kenmore Elite HE5t). I love Charlie's Soap, some folks here do not. It probably has a lot to do with the hardness of your water.

6) When I was doing the research, I read something about Frigemore machines having an issue with powder detergent (I think they indicated that powdered HE detergent contributed to the bearing failure) - is this true?

Sorry, can't answer this one.

7) Is there a particular brand of HE detergent that works better in softened well water, especially for cold-water washes? I have always used Tide before this but read some bad reviews on the Tide HE liquid, so that's why I bought the sears stuff (plus it was on sale for half price, LOL!) I know a lot of this has to do with your individual water chemistry, but if you've had experiences (good/bad) with any detergent, I'd love to hear them. Please only stuff that is available fairly easily in the US - my husband would probably have me locked up if I told him I wanted to mail-order detergent from the UK.

I have only done one cold water wash since I got my new machine. I used Charlie's Soap and it rinsed clean without any white residue. Of course, it is mail order, but here in the US.


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RE: Need a cliff note version re: FL, HE detergents & suds

If I were using liquid detergent, I would put liquid oxy into the bleach dispenser to allow the detergent to get a good 5 minutes to work before the addition of the oxy.
Be advised that some frontloaders dispense bleach into the first rinse, not the wash period. A rinse is typically less than 5 mins of tumbling (and in cold water), long enough for liquid chlorine bleach to work but likely not long enough for oxyboster to have much effect.


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