by Erika Boucher on 10/02/14
NOTE: If you see suds - you are using too much soap
ANSWER: You should be using approximately 1 TABLESPOON, yes, 1 Tablespoon of HE detergent in your washing machine. If you are using more, you can damage your machine and your clothes, and cause a mold and bacteria build up in your washer.
TRY THIS SIMPLE TRICK: Try washing a couple of your towels WITHOUT soap. If you see any suds in your water, that means you are using too much soap.
Because there is so much less water use than a top load machine, you need much less laundry detergent. It is also very important to use a detergent that is formulated for a high-efficiency machine. These are labelled with the he logo and are formulated to produce very few suds. Seeing lots of bubbles or foam is actually an easy way to ruin your front load washer. The bubbles will overflow the washer and can destroy electronic systems. Plus with lower water levels in the rinse cycle, the bubbles and detergent will be left in your clothes.
Some washers have dispenser drawers that will slowly release the correct amount of detergent from the reservoir for each load. If you are adding the detergent yourself for each load, use no more than one tablespoon of HE (High Efficiency) soap.
The same rule of using very small amounts applies to fabric softener and bleach. One teaspoon of fabric softener will soften a full load. For chlorine bleach, two tablespoons should be used in the dispenser or 1 tablespoon if it is concentrated.
For single dose detergent pacs or pods, always place them in the bottom of the washer while it is empty - before loading clothes. This will give the pac first exposure to water so it will dissolve correctly.
By Mary Marlowe Leverette
Laundry & Laundry Rooms Expert