Cleaning, Laundry, Maintenance

How to Tell if You’re Using Too Much Detergent

Yes, it’s possible to use too much soap in your front loader. I found this fantastic series of videos on front loaders, which explain why the washer is stinky, won’t drain, or leaves residue. My favorite part of the video is when the washer is full of suds, because it’s a moment of “look how bad that is!” It inspires me to make sure I’m using my machine properly and makes me want to run a cleaning cycle in my washer. I get a great feeling of satisfaction after I’ve cleaned something or knowing that I’m cleaning something properly. Goodness, that was super cleaning nerdy; oh well, I like it.

With that in mind (the video, not the nerd moment), here is a quick picture tutorial on How to Tell if You’re Using Too Much Detergent.

Step One: Run a cycle without any clothes or detergent.

Step Two: Once the washer is filled and agitating, pause the washer.

How to tell if there's too much soap
Check during the “Add a Garment” part of the cycle.

Step Three: Open the door and check for suds.

Too much soap in washer
The water should look something like this.

If there are lots of suds, you are using too much detergent, don’t worry, I tell you how to fix it. Remember, using more soap does not mean it will get cleaner. If there are no suds means, congratulations, you use the appropriate amount of soap.

To get rid of the excess detergent, add a cup of vinegar to the washer and run without clothing. Do this until no more suds appear in the wash cycle. Depending on how long you were using too much soap will determine how many cycles you’ll need to run.

HE washers only need a few teaspoons of detergent to get your clothes clean. Typically, front loaders use 2-3 gallons of water per wash so a few teaspoons of soap is plenty to get clothes clean.

Happy Cleaning!


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