High Efficiency (HE) laundry detergent?

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I've had my front loading washing machine for a little over a year now, and during the time I've used both Cheer HE liquid and Tide HE liquid. Several months ago I started noticing a scummy buildup inside the washer and inside the detergent dispenser, which I attribute to the thicker, concentrated liquid laundry detergent.

I decided to change back to powdered HE detergent, thinking that might fix the problem, but couldn't find any of the powdered High Efficiency variety locally. So, meanwhile, I run an empty 'sanitizing' load (super hot) through it every week or so...with the hopes that this is helping to clean off some of the detergent buildup. Of course, that is wasting a lot of water and energy though.

Can anyone recommend an alternative brand of HE laundry detergent, possibly in powder form? Or, any other suggestions? Anyone else having this problem with their front loader?

Thanks.

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call/email your washing machine maker, ask them whats going on?

http://www.contentmart.com/articles/19727/1/Front-Load-Washers--some-facts-before-purchase-Part-2/Page1.html


The second consideration is that they seem to work better using a hot or warm wash temperature. A cold rinse is fine, but for the wash temperature warm or hot is better.

Again let me refer to the European models. They usually have a built in water heater to maintain wash and rinse temperatures. In North America we use household water tanks for hot water. For cold water we depend upon the ground water temperature. This means our washing temperatures can vary drastically depending upon the season. If the water temperature entering the machine is too cold the detergent will not dissolve. This can cause a buildup of detergent inside the working surfaces of the machine.

Can you do a cold-water wash? Yes, of course. If you need to wash delicates (lingerie or blouses) or other items in cold water go right ahead. For everyday (bedding, whites, permanent press) washing though the hot or warm wash, followed by a cold rinse will give the best overall results.


This problem has been recognized by manufacturers. Many are now adding a temperature sensor that will mix the hot and cold water to compensate for the ground water effects.

Lastly, poor washing practices can lead to odours from these machines. Do not leave wet clothes in them overnight. Do not allow dirt or grime to build up around the door or rubber boot where the clothes are inserted. It may even be a good idea to leave the door open slightly after using the washer. This allows the interior to dry. If there are small children in your home then wipe the interior dry when finished washing � then lock the door.

Also, it will be to your advantage to properly measure laundry products when using this type machine. Follow the manufactures suggestions about amounts and types of products. If unsure, contact the manufacturer. Most have a customers service department or website that can answer all your queries.

This is all very eye-opening - many thanks! I just purchased a front loader from Sears (I can't wait until they deliver it this Friday!!!) and I'm glad it has a built-in water heater!

Are you always doing cold wash cycles maybe the detergent isn't dissolving and rinsing properly. We do a mix of cold for delicates and things that call for cold wash. I use hot for socks and underwear and warm for most of the other outerwear stuff. I think my wife does hot for towels, socks and her whites. Warm for her thongs, bras and underwear, and warm for clothing unless it specifically says cold or delicate on the label then she uses cold and gentle cycle. We do separate loads since I don't like the ultra girly scented stuff she uses and she doesn't like the cheap stuff I use. But no build up after 2 yrs in our washer.

Not sure what kind of washer you have but I've had an LG WM2277H washer for about 2 years now and have used multiple brands of detergent (both HE and non HE) w/o a problem. I believe Sears has powdered HE detergent and I think Costco does also. I usually just buy regular detergent and put less of it into my HE washer and that has worked fine. My wife likes the scented detergents which I don't think are specifically designed to work in HE (Tide Simple Pleasures, Gain Joyful Expressions, etc) and they work fine, the detergent bin rinses clean and there is no gunk inside the washer.

I've used this stuff in my HE washer w/o problems Sears laundry detergent
bought it when it was B1G1 free and I had some coupons. I've purchased Costco's HE formulation and also the non HE and it has rinsed fine also.

I like [url=http://www.charliesoap.com/]Charlie's Soap[/url]It rinses completely from clothes and the wash machine and is also good for the environment. You only use a teaspoon for a whole load. They ship for free as well.

Thanks for the replies.

My GE front loading washer does have an internal heater, so while I do mostly cold water washes, I suppose the water isn't truly ice cold, so the detergent SHOULD be dissolving completely. But, obviously I'm still getting some buildup. I will follow the advice that a couple of you gave, and start trying to do some more of my washes with warm water.

Also, I read about a product called Glisten, which is supposed to clean out the gunky buildup in dishwashing machines. I wonder if it would help similarly in a front loading washer?

I think I'll definitely start looking for a powdered detergent as well. I don't have a Costco nearby, so maybe I'll try the Sears version, or the other one that someone mentioned.

Not sure how your GE works but my LG WM2277H has an internal water heater too but I think it only operates when you are using the super hot/sanitary cycle from the wording in the owners manual. I think on warm and regular hot it uses hot water from your water heater and on the super hot/sanitary cycle it uses hot water and heats it to a really high temperature to kill off germs an stuff.

Run an empty hot cycle with dishwasher detergent (powder, with enzymes). Use the same amount you would use in the dishwasher. It should help clean out the gunk.


I use Charlie's Soap and Sears powder detergent and depending on the season and load either hot, warm or cold loads (my water is frigid in the winter, so no cold then). Before I switched to these detergents I used Tide liquid, oh, and liquid fabric softener. Liquid fabric softener will gunk you up too. I use vinegar in the rinse and half of a Method brand softener sheet in the dryer if I need it (synthetics in the winter). No more gunk.

FWIW: KitchenAid recommends powdered detergent for its dishwashers (I know, different appliance) because it flows better, therefor more likely to get into the water to dissolve.

Just adding a personal anecdote. We've been using our Kenmore HE4(or 5?)t for about a year now and have not had the issues you are talking about. We used powder (Tide, then Costco) at first and then went to liquid (again, Tide, then Costco). Wifey liked the liquid so we stayed with that. I would not reccomend the Costco liquid though. The dispenser sucks bad and leaks all over the place and the cup never completely empties, leaving a sludge in it. The Tide bottles integrate the cap as the measuring cup and is designed so that you never have to deal with the mess.

We also toss in some oxy clean in the pre-wash once in a while. We just had our service done (I had a weak moment and signed up for three years service) and the guy said it looked great. Like others have said, leave your door open and wipe out the boot once in a while and check to make sure you don't have a sock or something down there.

chiefmbh said: I like [url=http://www.charliesoap.com/]Charlie's Soap[/url]It rinses completely from clothes and the wash machine and is also good for the environment. You only use a teaspoon for a whole load. They ship for free as well.

I have been using this for a few years now and converting other people to it ever since.

daugenet said: chiefmbh said: I like [url=http://www.charliesoap.com/]Charlie's Soap[/url]It rinses completely from clothes and the wash machine and is also good for the environment. You only use a teaspoon for a whole load. They ship for free as well.

I have been using this for a few years now and converting other people to it ever since.



Just wondering...is it really just a TEASPOON that you use for a HE washer? Because the website says to use a TABLESPOON, even for a HE. Just wanted to check before ordering any. If you really do use a teaspoon, is that for a small load of laundry, or a large load? Thanks.

I have had my front loader for a little over a year. I have never used the HE detergent-I use regular liquid detergent. I also rarely use anything but cold water. I don't have any build up at all. Maybe it is the brand you are using?

The main cause for buildup and then smells seems to be overuse of liquid detergents, in all types of cleaning devices.

Cleaner manufacturers, just like toothpaste manufacturers, like to tell you to use way more than you need, it only helps them sell more product to you once you use it up. (i.e. dentists recommend a small bead of toothpaste, while the bottle and TV ads show a huge candy-like stripe as large as the bristles)

I never used to have problems in the 70's/80's and early 90's with powdered cleaners in my dishwasher or washing machine. Only after everything went to liquid (almost exclusively) did things start building up and for example, preventing the water level float in a dishwasher from floating easily, or causing tons of mold/mildew in my washing machine start to occur.

For the dishwasher, I found going back to powders or at least the powder cakes has helped keep it from getting gummy.

For the washing machine, I use half the liquid I used to (I don't have a HE), and then to clean it I used some of that enzyme stuff you can order online to eat off the mildew+gunk that is attached to the top of the drum. Unfortunately I don't think this stuff is recommended for HE use due to contacting all of the rubber and non-metal parts in a HE.

Believe it or not, Sears sells some excellent He powdered laundry detergent.

Soap Nutssherry7 said: I've had my front loading washing machine for a little over a year now, and during the time I've used both Cheer HE liquid and Tide HE liquid. Several months ago I started noticing a scummy buildup inside the washer and inside the detergent dispenser, which I attribute to the thicker, concentrated liquid laundry detergent.

I decided to change back to powdered HE detergent, thinking that might fix the problem, but couldn't find any of the powdered High Efficiency variety locally. So, meanwhile, I run an empty 'sanitizing' load (super hot) through it every week or so...with the hopes that this is helping to clean off some of the detergent buildup. Of course, that is wasting a lot of water and energy though.

Can anyone recommend an alternative brand of HE laundry detergent, possibly in powder form? Or, any other suggestions? Anyone else having this problem with their front loader?

Thanks.


My best advice would be to use Soap Nuts. They are environmentally friendly, are low sudsing, can be made into a liquid etc. Since using them, my washer has not had the gunk build-up at all! I've been using them for about 6 months. And the best part, is that they are fairly cheap - compared to commercial HE detergent.
Check out this link to some good deals on soapnuts.
http://stores.hotterthanhealth.com/StoreFront.bok

use organic products! then they dont use animal fat for fabric softener. i'm guessing those kinds of nasty things are what are requiring the higher heat

it's kinda silly to spend so much on the BMW/Mercedes of washing machines and not run them on premium gas (analogy); and remember all that stuff that gets flushed back into the sewer system.

Method sells at target and Amazon (coupon for Amazon right now) check them out.

rant over

rigor said: use organic products! then they dont use animal fat for fabric softener. i'm guessing those kinds of nasty things are what are requiring the higher heat

it's kinda silly to spend so much on the BMW/Mercedes of washing machines and not run them on premium gas (analogy); and remember all that stuff that gets flushed back into the sewer system.

Method sells at target and Amazon (coupon for Amazon right now) check them out.

rant over


animal fat isnt organic?

This is the OP checking back in. After LeoHouston mentioned that Sears had HE powdered detergent, I started to do a bit of research on it on the web. Turns out that alot of people like it. So, I made the plunge about 3 weeks ago, and bought a large bucket of it.

So far I really like it. It's getting our clothes clean, even my hubby's nasty work clothes. I also appreciate the fact that it doesn't have a strong scent. The best thing is that the build up in my washer is almost completely gone now...just simply from using this detergent, as opposed to the Cheer HE and Tide HE liquid detergent I was using prior. Oh yeah, I am also leaving the washer door open for a few hours after I do laundry now too...just to let things dry out good. Unfortunately, I have to check for a cat in there before I do laundry now, lol. (Someone a couple of posts ago mentioned about fabric softener. I don't use it, so that wouldn't have contributed to my buildup.)

The Sears powdered HE detergent is also very economical. I bought a 275 use bucket for $24.99. That would work out to 9 cents per load, before tax. However, I have soft water, and I am learning that with my smaller and less dirty loads I really only need to use about a 1/2 scoop...making my price more like 4.5 cents a load.

Thanks everyone for the replies.



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