Thread Number: 79922  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
How much liquid HE detergent to use in new Speed Queen top load with agitator?
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Post# 1038260   7/14/2019 at 20:26 (1,691 days old) by ladd (Maryland)        

I have a new Speed Queen TC5000WN (AWN632SP116TW01) washer that comes with a full-height agitator, not the small bottom paddles in the 2018 Speed Queen TC models and most other brands/models have. I'm trying to figure out how much detergent to use and yes, I know that there are lots of variables. Of course I'll be experimenting with different amounts of detergent, but it would be nice to have a good guess as to where to start.

With my recently deceased 28-year old Kitchenaid KAWE760 I used Kirkland (Costco) powder for hot wash and Kirkland Free and Clear liquid for everything else.

The new washer's user manual says "HE Detergent Recommended" not "Required", so I probably won't be using the powder.

The Kirkland liquid detergents has the HE logo and says "good for all types of washers). I am assuming that this is a true HE detergent, not a "compatible with all washers" detergent (if there is a difference), but I could be wrong.

For the new SQ washer, water usage for the various wash cycles ranges from 13 gallons (Normal-Eco cycle) to 14.5 gallons (Heavy Duty, Perm Press and Delicate cycles) to 16 gallons for the Bulky/Sheets cycle.

I've spent a fair amount of time poking around Google to try and narrow down the amount of detergent to use, but all the "use HD detergent" in top load machines articles I found had no agitators, so I don't know if the amounts recommended for these machines would be similar to my SQ which does have an agitator.

The Internet has a wide variety of opinions, ranging from 1 tablespoon of liquid per wash load to several ounces. That's a pretty large range.

With the few loads I've done so far, I started with 2-3 tablespoons per load and used the extra rinse cycle in case there is left-over detergent in the clothes from the previous washer. I don't think there is left-over detergent in the clothes, but I'm on a well, so the water is cheap.

I suspect the number of top load washing machines with center agitator posts is in the minority of new washers today, so I'm hoping for some wisdom from this board as what might be a good starting point for the amount of detergent to use with my new washer.

Post# 1038262 , Reply# 1   7/14/2019 at 20:45 (1,691 days old) by appnut (TX)        

appnut's profile picture

Ladd, detergent dosage is variable due to water conditions, load size, and soil level of each load.  since this is a traditional SQ, I suggest you stopping the machine after a couple of minutes of agitation and stick your fingers in the water and rub them together and see if you feel any kind of silkiness in the water.  If you do, there's sufficient detergent, if you don't you need to add some smore.  Over time, you'll get an idea of what's needed for each load.  

Post# 1038266 , Reply# 2   7/14/2019 at 21:26 (1,691 days old) by ladd (Maryland)        

Thanks for the tip re: testing the water with my fingers. It's a good start.

FWIW, we do have a water softener following the acid neutralizer setup on our well water, so that should reduce the amount of detergent needed.

Post# 1038268 , Reply# 3   7/14/2019 at 21:38 (1,691 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
There are two basic angles to detergent dosage:

- Sufficient to condition the "hardness" of the wash water.

- Sufficient cleaning agents (surfactants and enzymes) to handle the soil level of the load.

Softened water reduces the first factor but the second must be considered.

The only aspect of this machine that's HE is the Normal Eco cycle which runs a spray rinse instead of an agitated deep rinse.  SQ recommends HE detergent only in that respect being that HE is formulated to rinse easier (any sudsing typically subsides quicker than non-HE).

It's essentially a full-fill machine regards to the wash period of all the cycles.  Per the cycle chart (which you referenced in another thread), the fill level varies by only 2" to 3" depth and 3 to 4.5 gallons.

Post# 1038305 , Reply# 4   7/15/2019 at 08:11 (1,690 days old) by ladd (Maryland)        

Good points. Thanks for the advice to consider the new model SQ closer to the old style of full-fill top load machines.

Regarding the Eco/Normal option having only the spray rinse, not the fill/agitate rinse: while this is true if you have "Options" set to "Off", if you set Options to "Extra Rinse", much to my surprise I got *two* fill/agitate sessions in the cycle.

Glad to see the handwritten notes I'm keeping on what the SQ does in various cycles/options is coming in handy!

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