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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8 Responses to How to Tell if You’re Using Too Much Detergent

  1. You’re welcome! The vinegar should also help deodorize your washer and remove hard water build up.

  2. I am one of those guilty of using too much detergent. I worry that the recommended amounts won’t clean as needed. Thank you for the information. I am going to try the vinegar.

  3. TanyaS says:

    Question about my front-loader. The elastic bands on some underwear and even some white socks have started turning blue. I was wondering if it is from the blue Tide I am using, and maybe using too much of it. Or am I not using enough, and they are more “dingy” than blue. Help!

    • It definitely might be your detergent. I did some research and found some people had this problem due to blue detergent. Try switching to clear detergent and see if that fixes the problem.

      Another thought is that it might be the blue fabric softener, if you put it in a ball then some clothes get more softener than others. Simply switching to vinegar can fix that problem. (I promise it does not make your clothes smell like pickles.)

      To get the stains out of your whites soak them in hot water and oxi clean (homemade version) or bleach. The oxi clean is also safe to soak your colors in too.

      Are there blue stains in your tub/shower?

      Good luck, I hope this helps.

  4. Sally says:

    This is such a great help! Thank you for sharing.. 🙂

  5. […] usually concentrated and will not suds up. If you see suds in your front loader, you’re using too much laundry detergent. When you use too much soap, it begins to build up becoming the perfect food for bacteria, hence […]

  6. Rakeshg says:

    So far I haven’t found any product that isn’t as good as a covatneionnl product. I’ve used 7th generation toilet paper, paper towels (I usually use cloth), and laundry soap. I’ve used method dish soap. I’m still waiting to run out of dishwasher soap to try a greener brand. For cleaning bathrooms and kitchens I use vinegar and baking soda. I use the baking soda like you would use comet, I wet the surface and sprinkle it on and wipe it down with a sponge. I rinse it and spray it with vinegar, I’ve done this for months, no funky smell and no mold, plus these things work great to unclog a hairy drain. I use soap and water to clan all my kitchen surfaces then use vinegar to get a streak free shine. If I have a spot that needs to be scrubbed I use the baking soda as a paste and let it set for a few minutes. I have all stainless appliances and vinegar works great on them too. I also use vinegar as a fabric softener in the rinse cycle. I line dry my clothes.

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