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How do you know how much soap is enough in a front loader?

11 years ago

I replaced a 19-year-old top loader and dryer with a Bosch Vision 500 washer and dryer about eight months ago. I love them! Even so, there has been a learning curve for how to load and use the new machines for the best results. I think I have a lot of this worked out, but one thing I'm still unsure about is this: what are the indications that I'm using the right amount of detergent, and specifically, not too much of it?

The washer manual states that I should follow the manufacturer's recommendation for the proper amount of detergent. I am using liquid Kirkland Ultra HE in very soft (conditioned) water. Judging by the foam produced and the suds on the door after final rinse the one time I tried the recommended dosage, that amount is waaaaaaay too much. I cut back immediately, and started experimenting.

While trying to arrive at the right amount of detergent to use, I watched what happened while the washer was running. I decided that in the first wash I would expect to see light suds during the fill and tumble and minor soap residue on the door during first spin; but I didn't want to see anything more than very minimal suds during the second washing and virtually zero soap residue on the door after final rinse and spin. Does this seem the right way to assess to you?

I'm currently using about 1 1/2 tablespoons of detergent to wash a full load. The clothes always smell and look clean after washing and any stains are removed, but the occasional load sometimes seems to dry stiffer than usual. Sometimes, too, there are traces of soap suds on the bottom of the door after final rinse.

Another question is what to expect in this regard when additional laundry products are added. I wash whites with detergent and Oxyclean on either the Hot or Xtra Sanitary settings, and sometimes I add borax to various loads if some clothes have organic or acidic stains. I use about a tablespoon of each and sprinkle over the clothes in the drum before starting the cycle to get the benefit of the hot or very hot water respectively. Is there a better way to add these products? I also notice putting these additives in tends to result in increased suds. Should I be decreasing detergent and/or additives when using them together?

Thanks!

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