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Excessive soap suds and foam when washing


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Hi all

New user here. Would really appreciate some advice on issues I'm having with my Hotpoint washing machine.

Firstly, it usually washes fine and without issue.

However, whenever I use hand towels, the whole drum will fill with soapy water and leak out of the detergent dispenser drawer and front door. Foamy soap will also come up from the kitchen sink. I tried a rinse programme for these towels, but even after that, the towels are still very soapy (this doesn't happen with other items - only hand towels).

I'm wondering if the hand towels, which get a lot of use, have accumulated soap from washing my hands, and this could be the issue? I say this because I don't use any detergent when washing hand towels, but the drum will still fill with soapy water and leak.

I didn't experience this issue when I purchased the machine - it has suddenly happened for some reason. It is driving me nuts, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

 

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  • Root Admin

Hi there. Apparently if you don't use detergent, it can ironically create a soapy foam that looks like soap suds but isn't. I also think that if you never use detergent on the hand towels, they will never get properly clean, and never get rid of all of the soap residue. If you use fabric softener that can suppress soap suds, although only right at the end of the cycle.

Check out my article here for more information What causes too much foam and soap suds in the washing machine?

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Hi Andy

Many thanks for the reply and information.

I have tried with detergent and fabric softener, but the problem persists.

I have tried two empty washes at 90 degrees (without detergent) to see if it would help remove any detergent that might be inside. There is still foaming, albeit much less.

Not sure if this is related, but there is water sitting in the washing machine seal after running a programme. There is no water in the actual drum, just the seal. I have checked the draining holes in the rubber and they are all clear.

I also checked the trap under the sink to see if there might be a blockage, but it is clear.

Cheers

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  • Root Admin

Hi. I think there might just be a massive build up of undissolved detergent inside the machine. The fact that it’s less now implies it is slowly going away. 
 

I would do several more wash cycles with no detergent inside to hopefully get rid of it all, then wash as normal with detergent and fabric softener. 
 

There’s no other explanation for where the detergent and soap suds are coming from. Also make sure the soap drawer and compartment underneath it doesn’t have lumps of unresolved detergent.  
 

Finally, make sure you use the recommended dosage of detergent when you start washing normally again. If you have soft water you use less and hard water needs more. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks, Andy. Sorry for late reply.

I will keep an eye on it, but I'm getting lots of soap from somewhere.

There's also quite a bit of water left in the rubber gasket after each wash. I do wipe it away, but it never used to do this. I've cleaned out the draining holes too, so not sure if there's something internally that's blocked.

Cheers

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  • Root Admin

Hi thanks for the update.Have you started to use detergent yet? I think you said that you don't use detergent when washing towels? It's possible that towels could have soap on them from when we get washed, which may cause soap suds if not suppressed with proper detergent.

I used to find that with some washing machines, the pump filter was sometimes blocked, but only partially blocked. If the pump filter is only slightly blocked it doesn't really affect the washing machine, if it is properly blocked it causes the washing machine to break down and display an error code or refuse to spin. However, there can be a tipping point level of blockage where it doesn't restrict the water flow from the pump enough to cause failure, but it does restrict the water flow enough to seriously impact the efficiency of rinses. It's probably unlikely to be caused by this as I would have thought it would have developed into a more tangible fault by now but if you haven't already, I would definitely check that the pump filter is clean.

Other than that, the best thing to do is to use proper detergent in the correct amount for the level of hardness in your water and use proper fabric softener (the latter of which suppresses soap suds) and if the issue continues to look into it further. The problem is if you are not using detergent and fabric softener I can't rule out that as being responsible for your problems.

 

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G'day, Andy

I've started using the detergent again, but I'm experiencing the same issue despite running empty hot washes that I was hoping would rid the machine of soap.

I have checked the filter at the bottom of the machine and it is clear. I also poked a small brush inside to see if I could remove any gunk not visible, but there wasn't any. There isn't any error codes displaying on the machine.

I will try a different detergent to see if that makes a difference. There was no issues previously when washing towels, and I haven't changed anything about the washing routine when this problem surfaced.

I wonder if the accumulation of soap on the towels could be contributing to the problem?

Thanks

 

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  • Root Admin

Hi. If there was an accumulation of soap I would expect it to be removed during normal washing with proper detergent and appropriate amount of it plus fabric softener. 
 

What wash cycle are you using for the towels? Are you using fabric softener?

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  • Root Admin

Also do you have soft water or do you use any sort of water treatment device to treat hard water?

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Warning:  Read this before attempting any diy repairsNo representations or warranties are made (express or implied) as to the reliability, accuracy or completeness of advice. I can't be held liable for any loss arising directly or indirectly from the use of, or any action taken in reliance on, any information on this website, which is given free of charge and in good faith.

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