What to Do When Your Washer is Creating Too Many Suds

Fred's Appliance
August 16, 2019
Washer Repair

During the wash cycle as the water and detergent are turned by the washer or its agitator, it creates suds to help clean your clothing. This is a natural response between water and detergent as the wash cycle introduces air and motion into the mix. However, unlike a relaxing bubble bath, you never want to see too many suds and never want to see suds remain after the wash cycle is completed.

What suds mean for your immediate future is that you will have to re-run your current load on a rinse cycle. Those soap suds are leaving behind a lot of soap residue on your clothing that will make them uncomfortable and even sticky in some circumstances. However, you will want to work towards discovering the true reason that your washer is producing such a sudsy load so you can stop having to do extra work after each load.

Too Much Detergent

What an overload of suds means usually is that you are using too much detergent. The more detergent in the water, the more suds it will produce. If you have been following the detergent instructions, there are several factors that could affect it.

The first thing to consider is that if you use softened water, you really only need half as much detergent in your washer. If you have soft water, by following detergent directions, you are actually using too much detergent. This will cause your overproduction of suds.

Detergent Residue Build Up

Over time, particularly if you have been consistently using too much detergent, the washing machine will accumulate trace amounts inside. Over time, this can create an excess production of suds, which will further compound the problem.

If your washer has a cleaning cycle, this is an easy fix. Simply run the cycle and continue to run it until you no longer see suds. Adding a cleaning such as Affresh may also help remove detergent build-up. If your washer does not have a self-cleaning cycle, then you can simply run the rinse cycle to the same effect. You will want to use hot water when doing this in an effort to fully dissolve the detergent build up as quickly as possible.

Not only will removing this detergent build-up help you finally put an issue of overproducing suds to bed, but it will also help keep your washer keep clean. While detergent is excellent at removing dirt and stains from your clothing, when it lingers in a dark, wet, and warm washer, it is the perfect target for mold growth.

Regular Detergent in a High Efficiency Machine

One thing to consider as well is that you are using the laundry detergent your family has always used in a new, high-efficiency washer. This is typically the effect when people go from using top load washing machines to using a new front-load model.

Even if a front-load model isn’t marketed as being a high-efficiency machine, it is by nature. The front-load washers will use less water and thus require less detergent or a high-efficiency detergent. You should always consult your owner’s manual to see if you need a high-efficiency detergent or what amount they do recommend that you use. Of course, even if you follow directions and the overproduction of suds still does occur, you will want to lessen the amount to find what works for your household.

Washer Issues

If you are confident that you are using enough detergent and the right kind if you have soap and water left over after a wash, it may be a problem with the actual washer. These symptoms can be indicators of drain and hose clogging or a pump malfunction. You will want to investigate the pump area to make sure that everything is in working order.

While this is less likely, if you cleaned your washer and have tried adjusting detergent levels, it is a clear indicator that the problem actually lies within your washer.

How to Calm Sud Build Up in a Washer

The ultimate way to deal with a washer that overproduces suds is to determine the cause and rectify it. However, what do you do if you are staring down a wash cycle that is looking like a bubble bath on the inside? If a washer produces enough suds, you may even discover that it starts to leak as well.

If you can complete the wash, you should run the washer with the clothes again on a rinse cycle just to get the excess soap off. However, if the washer has started to leak, there are a few ways you can calm down the bubbles.


If you have it on hand in your home, adding in a half cup white vinegar to the washer or in the detergent dispenser can calm the bubbles down. You should notice it working almost right away. You may also want to add vinegar when you rinse the clothing on a rinse cycle to ensure that the clothing comes out clean.

Fabric Softener and Water

If you do not have any vinegar on hand, you can harvest the same effect through the use of fabric softener and water. You will want to add a half cup of fabric softener to the washer or in the detergent dispenser. You will then want to follow it up with the addition of one quart of water poured in the washer or the detergent dispenser. You can then continue the cycle and it will calm the bubbles down. After completed, you will still need to run the rinse cycle to flush out any suds that may still be clinging to your clothing.

Need Help?

Solving a washer that is producing too many bubbles is well within the average homeowner’s capabilities, but if your washer or other appliances are manifesting more serious problems that you just cannot figure out, contact us today. Fred’s Appliance Service is dedicated to making sure your appliances get up and running again quickly so you do not need to worry about it.

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