Thread Number: 69552  /  Tag: Detergents and Additives
Soap vs detergent for Front load washer
[Down to Last]'s exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 924514   3/2/2017 at 14:25 by lassie (British Columiba)        

Hello. I need to wash two outdoor "high-performance" coats which are water and wind repellent. One made of 100% polyester, the other 90% poly, 10% elastane. One says to use powdered detergent, the other says "soft soap". In the past, similar garments (e.g. Gortex) say to use soap, not detergent. However, with the advent of front load washers, one is cautioned to always use HE detergent. Can anyone suggest how I go about cleaning these garments in my front-load washer? I wonder if Dr. Bronner's Pure Castille Liquid Soap would work as it is low-sudsing, but I'm not sure how much to use. Thank you.

Post# 924516 , Reply# 1   3/2/2017 at 14:33 by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
Just use Woolite liquid HE detergent. The dark version if the fabrics are not colorfast.

Post# 924521 , Reply# 2   3/2/2017 at 14:59 by lassie (British Columiba)        

Thanks Sudsmaster. I didn't know Woolite came in HE format. Have added it to my grocery list; and happy I don't have to make my own!

Post# 924530 , Reply# 3   3/2/2017 at 16:03 by iej (Ireland)        

I definitely wouldn't suggest putting soap into a front loader. It will dramatically over foam.
You should use Woolite or similar specialist products.

Post# 924533 , Reply# 4   3/2/2017 at 16:27 by lassie (British Columiba)        

Good to know iej; any chance you know of similar products in case I can't find the Woolite?

Post# 924579 , Reply# 5   3/2/2017 at 23:34 by brisnat81 (Brisbane Australia)        

I use Lux Soap Flakes when washing Wool or down in the front loader. I dissolve in boiling water and and add through the dispenser whilst its filling. I've used up to 3/4 a cup of flakes on a gentle cycle without coming to grief before.

Just dont use it all the time as you'll get soap build up.

Over here, Miele have a product for washing Outerwear that works quick well and supposedly doesnt damage the waterproofing, I use that on my Gortex items.

Post# 924581 , Reply# 6   3/3/2017 at 00:02 by lassie (British Columiba)        

That's interesting brisnat81. Lux soap flakes are not available in Canada; possibly even North America. However, i did find other pure soap flakes available through the internet. One site in particular offered lots of information and a long list of applications.

Post# 924593 , Reply# 7   3/3/2017 at 05:00 by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

FLs don't like suds because suds lack the density for the pump to get ahold of them.  And the low clearance between inner/outer drums allows suds to regenerate during spin.


Um, you know those 'exploding' washers?  The "fix" involves attaching a sticker saying NOT to wash water repellants.  Water won't spin out, gloms in folds/pockets, throws balance off catastrophically. 


Believe if I had water repellants needing washing I would do it by hand in the bathtub, take it to a professional laundry, or at very least CLOSELY supervise the machine during operation.

Post# 924650 , Reply# 8   3/3/2017 at 12:25 by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
Most modern FL's have unbalance sensors that *should* prevent waster repellent loads from exploding the machine. Instead the washer owner would get annoyed by the failure to spin.

Post# 924655 , Reply# 9   3/3/2017 at 12:57 by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        

iheartmaytag's profile picture

When I wash things that may retain pockets of water, like my Mother's mattress protector, I always select the slowest spin speed.   I still feel relatively safe due to all the redistributing tumbles prior to the actual spin.

Post# 924659 , Reply# 10   3/3/2017 at 13:14 by man114 (Buffalo)        
Atsko sports wash

Works good for Gore Tex and similar fabrics. Most Wal-Mart stores have it in sporting goods by camping.

Post# 924732 , Reply# 11   3/3/2017 at 20:30 by lassie (British Columiba)        

According to my research, the "exploding" washers were top-loaders only; no front loaders were recalled. Nevertheless, best to err on the side of caution when washing unusual items in any washer and as arbilab suggests, keep a watchful eye on the machine.
Thanks man114; I will check out Atsko sports wash.

Post# 925367 , Reply# 12   3/6/2017 at 21:03 by fisherpaykel (BC Canada)        

Taiga Works in Vancouver has or did have Nikwax Tech Wash, says revitalizes breathability and water repellency,cautions against regular detergent for Goretex et all. Used it several times. Currently have new bottle of Penguin Sportwash, either from Taiga or Choices market. Restores performance, completely removes odours, so says label.HE. I have used it only on one jacket so far.Both seem to be good.

Post# 925381 , Reply# 13   3/6/2017 at 21:49 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Exploding Washers

combo52's profile picture

Are almost always TL machines, FL washers tumble the water out of folds and pockets etc better so they are much likley to have a load spinning at 800 RPMs+ when the pocket of trapped water lets loose and the washer is violently ripped to pieces.


It does little good to monitor the washer while running [ in fact it might be dangerous to be near it ] And the unbalance systems CANNOT prevent this problem with loads that suddenly go out-of-balance, because the load was perfectly balanced until the trapped water is suddenly released, it is the same as dropping a brick into a washer spinning at full speed, NO washer ever built that spins at speeds of over 800 RPMs can survive this problem.



Post# 927907 , Reply# 14   3/20/2017 at 10:06 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

askolover's profile picture

I use Zote soap flakes in my FL frequently without any oversudsing issues.  They smell like Ivory soap to me.

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

The Discuss-o-Mat has stopped, buzzer is sounding!!!
If you would like to reply to this thread please log-in...

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy