Thread Number: 31848
OK --- How much detergent do you use in your front loaders?
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Post# 480224   12/7/2010 at 23:45 (2,364 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Didn't want to take the Neptune thread off topic, but thought this might be interesting. John Lefever posted that he feels using the right amount of detergent prevents a lot of crud build up issues. He states he uses the full amount of Tide based on the scoop.

Since I got my FL machine I've been using perhaps 1/2 that amount and getting good results, clothes are very clean. Now I'm wondering if I'm setting myself up for issues down the line. I'd use more, but at this point I'm more than happy with the results I'm getting.

How much is everyone else using?

Post# 480234 , Reply# 1   12/8/2010 at 00:14 (2,364 days old) by ronhic (Canberra, Australia)        

ronhic's profile picture
....are many factors that will influence how much you will use such as:

- capacity of the machine
- how full it is
- how hard the water is
- how dirty the laundry is

Choice, our consumer magazine, ran a one-off test earlier this year when testing powder detergents. Using their standard test method (Machine filled to stated capacity, 'cold' - 20c wash, normal/cotton cycle) they retested the top performing front load detergent, OMO for Front Loaders which is part of the Lever (Persil...) family, at reduced doses to see how it would clean.

- At full dose it scored 86%
- At half dose, it was still strong on grass/tomato...though no score is available but I remember reading at the time it was still the top performer.
- At quarter dose, it scored 80% which put it in third place (second scored 81%...4th 79%)

Their comment below is very valid and would go someway to improving the rinsing many complain about:

'Comparing our data over the past two decades, the amount of water used by front-loaders has halved, and while the recommended detergent dose has also reduced, perhaps it hasnít reduced enough for todayís exceptionally water-efficient washing machines. This could be partially to blame for detergent residue on clothes.

While we tested only one detergent at one-quarter dose, you may find similar results with your favourite detergent'

Personally, I very rarely dose at 100% with high end detergents and generally use 1/2 the recommended amount. I have never had an issue with either performance of product or appliance...

As someone who has never had a 'washing machine smell' (and I DON'T use bleach), I will give you this suggestion....



use 1/3 the quantity of fabric conditioner watered down (if you must use it)

Scrud (grey waxy buildup...smelly and often mouldy) is actually mentioned in Fisher and Paykels manuals is caused by cool/cold water washing, liquid detergents and fabric conditioners...remove the first and reduce the last and you should never have an issue....

Post# 480236 , Reply# 2   12/8/2010 at 00:18 (2,364 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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About the only time I fill the scoop to the upper line with Tide powder is when I'm doing a large load of heavily soiled clothes.

Most of the time I use about half a scoop.

It also depends on how much extra water I will be adding manually. With more water, you get a lot more suds. The combination of a full scoop and additional water can result in a thick sudsy froth all over the window, and I've read many posts here about too much suds ruining spider arms.

Post# 480251 , Reply# 3   12/8/2010 at 03:32 (2,364 days old) by dj-gabriele (Bologna (ITALY))        

I live in a very hard water area, at around 40 French degrees (24 grains per gallon USA friends) and use the suggested doses for "normally hard water" that are effectively 1/3 less than what is suggested.
My washer never smelled and clothes still get clean but rinsing is an issue but I state it again, it depends on my crappy Whirlpool machine!

As far as softener goes, I use the full recomended dose otherwise my towels are hard as a rock as they get line dried.

Post# 480253 , Reply# 4   12/8/2010 at 03:37 (2,364 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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I use about 4-6 tablespoons of UK Persil Bio powder for loads of greatly-stained kitchen whites in conjunction with liquid chlorine bleach.

For other loads, I use liquid Tide HE with Bleach Alternative (or whatever it's called this week), usually filled to the line for "average" loads.

I still use Amway's SA8, usually on loads of bath towels, as they are lightly soiled. It rinses out better than Tide, but isn't as expensive as Persil. I use a scant 2-1/2 tablespoon scoop per load.

Post# 480254 , Reply# 5   12/8/2010 at 04:15 (2,364 days old) by logixx (Germany)        

logixx's profile picture
I use what's instructed per the detergent recommendation.

Our water is considered soft (6 gpg) so I use 40 ml of Ariel powders. All loads come out clean, even stains get removed. Our washer is clean and smell-free, which I contribute to the fact that I run 140F washes regularly.

Post# 480268 , Reply# 6   12/8/2010 at 06:18 (2,364 days old) by mrb627 (Buford, GA)        
Follow ...

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package directions. Never had a crud issue either.


Post# 480271 , Reply# 7   12/8/2010 at 06:32 (2,364 days old) by hoover1100 (U.K.)        
For a full load (4.5kg, 10lbs)

I use the recommended dosage on the pack for "normal soil" (or "heavy soil" if the load is particularly soiled). I go by the medium water hardness recommendations at my house, but at my parent's the water is soft.

With Persil powder, that is 135ml for normal soil, which I work out as roughly 8 tablespoons.

Heavy soil is 215ml, which I work out as 12 tablespoons.

Never have suds issues, nothing comes out dirty and the machine has no build up or smells.


Post# 480272 , Reply# 8   12/8/2010 at 06:50 (2,364 days old) by ronhic (Canberra, Australia)        
I've always.....

ronhic's profile picture
...dosed on the lower side and never had an issue.

When we lived in London, which has harder water, I used a half dose of calgon gel and the minimum dose of Persil/Surf with no issues at all...

Post# 480275 , Reply# 9   12/8/2010 at 07:04 (2,364 days old) by RevvinKevin (Between Mickey Mouse & the Queen Mary (So. Cal.)        

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I have a water softener even though our water is not nearly as hard as other parts of the country.

I use Kirkland (Costco brand) h.e. powder in the red box and use between 2 and 4 Tablespoons depending on how dirty the load is, what the load it (i.e. less for towels to prevent over sudsing) and the water temp.


Post# 480292 , Reply# 10   12/8/2010 at 08:54 (2,364 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

For the 6kg W1986, I use 1 coffee measure (2 level Tbs) of Tide HE powder and a little more than that of STPP. For the 5 kg W1918, I use a little less detergent, not quite a full coffee measure, unless I am washing undershirts in the load, then I use more detergent because of oil and deodorant to be removed and wash at 180F.

Post# 480296 , Reply# 11   12/8/2010 at 10:11 (2,364 days old) by mysteryclock (Franklin, TN)        

mysteryclock's profile picture
2tbs Persil Megaperls (Color or Universal) + 1tbs STPP for "normal" wash, 3-4tbs + 1tbs STPP for profoundly nasty stuff. I do pretreat with Persil Color Gel as required so I don't have to blast the whole load with what would otherwise be a "normal" dose of Persil (85ml, or 6tbsp+) just for a few bad spots.

Post# 480321 , Reply# 12   12/8/2010 at 11:38 (2,364 days old) by hoovermatic (UK)        

I have very soft water and have always used half the dose of powders, liquids and softeners. I have never had an issue with stain removal, rinsing or smells.

Post# 480342 , Reply# 13   12/8/2010 at 13:04 (2,364 days old) by labboy (SD, CA)        

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Our water hardness is about 14gr. In the LG front loader I use 3 tbsp. Persil Universal Megaperls with 1 tbsp. STPP for whites or light clothes. For dark colors, I use 1 oz Tide HE liquid with 1 tbsp. STPP.

It's interesting how the liquid detergent cup in the detergent dispenser has it's "normal" fill line set at a point where it requires use of much more liquid detergent than necessary. Throughout the manual (which no one reads except people like us) there are warnings about using only the proper amount of HE detergent yet the cup design encourages overdosing. I can see how it would benefit detergent manufacturers to have people overuse but you would think appliance manufacturers would want to encourage correct use to help reduce customer complaints (washer smell, etc.)

Post# 480348 , Reply# 14   12/8/2010 at 13:23 (2,364 days old) by jameseyboy (uxbridge, london UK)        

where i live just outside london we have very hard water and i always use a coffee mug full of detergent no matter what brand i use

Post# 480367 , Reply# 15   12/8/2010 at 14:50 (2,364 days old) by ronhic (Canberra, Australia)        
i always use a coffee mug .....

ronhic's profile picture

James, that is a HUGE amount of detergent even for hard water. You could save yourself a heap on costs if you get a bottle of Calgon gell as it will allow you to use the minimum dosage if you use in conjuction with a 'full cap'.....

Post# 480392 , Reply# 16   12/8/2010 at 16:19 (2,364 days old) by nurdlinger (Tucson AZ)        
After Five Years

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with the 3.5cf Frigidaire/KM machine, I have settled into this scheme:

I use kitchen measuring devices, never the scoops from the products.

I always use powder, never use liquid detergent or fabric softener.

For HE products like Sears and Tide, I will use 1/8 cup. For normal-strength products like Persil and Fresh Start, 1/4 cup.

If I've been lax in replenishing the salt in the water softener, I will add a similar quantity of White King.

I usually run smallish loads, a weeks worth of shirts for example. Nothing is ever greasy/muddy/stained.

So far, that works for me.

Post# 480395 , Reply# 17   12/8/2010 at 16:21 (2,364 days old) by brisnat81 (Brisbane Australia)        

3/4 of a scoop of Drive works for most loads with no additives.

It rinses well and everything comes out bright and clean.

Only if it's really greasy will I use a heaped scoop and do a prewash with 1/3 of the detergent.

Post# 480464 , Reply# 18   12/8/2010 at 23:41 (2,363 days old) by retropia (Central Ohio)        

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We've always used HE liquid detergents with our front-loader and typically follow package instructions to use the amount they recommend for load size. We've never had any odor problems. When shopping for detergent, I usually rotate between Gain, Wisk and All.

Post# 480511 , Reply# 19   12/9/2010 at 08:32 (2,363 days old) by mayguy (Minnesota)        

When I did use Tide HE powder, I used 1/2 or 1/4 of a scope.

The Norwex I use now is 1/2 to 1tsp.

Post# 480526 , Reply# 20   12/9/2010 at 09:31 (2,363 days old) by roscoe62 (Canada)        
He Powder vs He liquid

Can anyone help me here??
I have a FL duet and I cannot get a liquid HE to work in my machine. I love the powder versions of Tide and Sears , the only ones I can get locally but after using for some time the whites seem to get a little dull. Is there any thing I can use with the powder without the door blowing off the machine from a suds lock?
And believe me when I say this because I have had more than my share of suds lock with liquids because I have really soft water. No amount of varying the liquid works, I don't get it?
I have heard about Persils but that is not available locally either.
Signed Frustrated (huh)

Post# 480566 , Reply# 21   12/9/2010 at 15:55 (2,363 days old) by retropia (Central Ohio)        

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Well . . . a trick I learned here about how to knock down suds is to add liquid fabric softener. I've been experimenting with non-HE powder in our front loader. When the suds level looks ominous, I fill a measuring cup with hot water, add a tablespoon or two of liquid fabric softener, pour it in the detergent dispenser drawer, and that usually does the trick.

I don't have a clue about how to make your whites whiter, but the suds-knock-down trick might allow you to use a detergent you otherwise prefer for whites, but you've been avoiding due to the suds issue.

Post# 480568 , Reply# 22   12/9/2010 at 16:06 (2,363 days old) by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture

Tablespoon or two .... depends on the detergent & softener involved and how much sudsing is happening, but may not need that much.

I had a potential oversuds happen a few weeks ago on my F&P during EcoActive. Less than 1/2 teaspoon was enough to cut the sudsing back.

Post# 480679 , Reply# 23   12/10/2010 at 00:46 (2,362 days old) by rinso (Meridian Idaho)        

rinso's profile picture
We have a water softener. Never have to use more than 1 or 2 tablespoons of either liquid or powder in our Electrolux IQ.

Post# 480719 , Reply# 24   12/10/2010 at 07:24 (2,362 days old) by northernmary (Huddersfield - West Yorkshire)        
Persil Bio Small and Mighty

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i only use the standard amount of 35ml of persil small and mighty


Post# 480735 , Reply# 25   12/10/2010 at 08:29 (2,362 days old) by zanussi_lover (Nottingham, UK)        
My Detergent

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Persil Bio/Daz Powder (Whites) - about 80ml per wash, 0r 130ml if they are quite dirty, i use a small amount of powder on towels, so they rinse really well.

Ariel Colour Powder (Colours/Darks) about 80ml per wash, a bit less if im washing only a few things.

Post# 480745 , Reply# 26   12/10/2010 at 10:06 (2,362 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        
always use HE powders (Tide, Gain, or Persil)

I mostly use domestic HE powders, Tide or Gain. For my work clothing (khaki trousers and button down shirts, either pastel or plaid or dark solid), I use European powders I bring back on trips: German Persil, or Unilever's Persil from other countries (UK Persil, Omo, Via, etc.).

My work clothing is rarely heavily soiled. In my 3.5 cu ft Frigidaire 2140, I use 2 tbsp per load. I just use a steel coffee measure (30 ml or 2 tbsp). Most of my work clothes are 100% cotton with wrinkle free finish from LL Bean, and I run them on a Perm Press cycle for both washing and drying. These loads dry in about 30 mins (including cool down phase of drying); if I use a regular wash cycle with longer/faster final spin, drying time is reduced by 5-10 minutes, but clothes don't look as nice (more likely to cause wrinkles during final spin)

For towels and sturdy cottons, I don't waste my European detergent and just use 2-3 tbsp of Gain or Tide HE powder. Both work fine.

In general, my amounts are about half of what are recommended on the box (including the European boxes) and everything comes out clean. I have hard water and no water softener. I do generally add some Borax to each load, which I am told acts somewhat like a water softener. What I have noticed is that detergent seems to rinse out of clothes better if Borax is added to the wash cycle. Without Borax, I tend to see more suds on the door and gasket. Borax is very cheap here, like $4 for a large box. My clothes seem to last a long time, so I would imagine that Borax isn't harmful to clothing longevity.

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