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accidentally used too much laundry detergent

What Happens If You Use Too Much Detergent in a Front Load Washer?



The phrase “less is more,” can be applied to many situations, including how much detergent you use. Too much detergent in a front load washer can not only damage your machine but also result in clothes that don’t look or feel clean. To avoid these outcomes, we’ll review the effects and signs of too much detergent in washer cycles along with how to remove excess amounts.

Help! I’ve Used Too Much Detergent in a Front Load Washer!

Sometimes we don’t realize we’ve used too much detergent until we have a washing machine suds overflow. But this isn’t the only effect of using too much detergent in a front load washer. We’ll review other signs of this common problem and show how much detergent to use for the best results.

Effects of Using Too Much Laundry Detergent

Front load washers are HE (high efficiency) washing machines, meaning they use less water and energy to clean clothes. Using less water requires small amounts of HE detergent for the washer to function properly and get clothes clean.

Using too much detergent in a front load washer makes the washer work harder to remove excess suds, making malfunctions more likely. These suds can also block the washer’s draining system, impairing its ability to pump out water and leaving more suds behind.

Too much detergent can have a more personal effect too. Instead of getting clothes cleaner, repeated use of too much detergent can actually make clothes look worn and dingy. It also wastes money by requiring more frequent detergent purchases.

too much detergent in a front load washer

How to Tell If You’re Using Too Much Detergent

These signs are common indicators that you’ve been using too much detergent:

  • Washing machine smells bad: too many suds can leave a residue in the washer that breeds smelly bacteria and mold.
  • Clothing is dull and spotted: excess detergent won’t properly rinse out of clothing, leaving behind spots and making clothes appear dull. Clothes may also feel itchy when you wear them.
  • Washing machine has too many suds: these suds are often left behind in the washer but severe excess can also cause them to leak from the machine.

How to Remove Excess Detergent

So what can you do if you’ve accidentally used too much laundry detergent? Knowing how to clean a front load washer properly can help remove residue, mold, and bacteria. However, follow these steps to immediately dissipate excess suds:

  • If your washer has a cleaning cycle run it to reduce suds. Adding a commercial washer cleaner can also help remove residue.
  • If your washer doesn’t have a cleaning cycle, add ½ cup of white vinegar to the detergent dispenser and run a rinse cycle with an empty washer.

Best Detergent for Front Load Washers

The best detergent for front loaders is a high-quality HE detergent to lessen suds and still get clothes clean. But how much detergent to use in a front load washer? This depends on the size of your wash load. A standard load of laundry can weigh between 12-15lbs, requiring just 2 tsp. of regular liquid detergent or one premeasured pack or pod.

While you can double these amounts for a larger load, avoid adding more for heavily soiled clothing. Presoaking especially dirty items can be more effective at removing stains than risking too much detergent. Your washer’s use and care guide can also provide more detailed recommendations for your model washer.

If using too much detergent in a front load washer results in a malfunction a washing machine repair service may be necessary. Call Solar Appliance for a fast and professional repair!

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