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Formerly known as gotj
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just bought a new washer and dryer (first set in 16 years). Should be delivered later this week.

We've always used powdered detergent in the past (we prefer them--less messy). But the new washer is a high-efficiency (HE, front-loader) model and requires special HE detergent. As far as I can tell, most HE detergents are liquids (the top ones ranked by Consumer Reports are, anyway). So I bought a big container of Kirkland scent-free liquid HE detergent the other day at Costco.

But I've also read that liquid detergents can interfere with the breathing/wicking properties of biking and other hi-tech fabrics.

Is there anything to this, or do I have nothing to worry about? If liquid detergents are problematic, does this apply equally to HE detergents?

(FWIW, I typically wash my biking clothes in cold or warm water and hang-dry them.)
 

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Colorado Springs, CO
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There are fabric cleaners made especially for sports equipment. Made to wash good and rince out completely. But, I've used Woolite (liquid) and also the regular "liquid" types of detergents to clean my bike clothes with. Bottom line is that if you smell the "fresh" scnet at the end of the cycle, the soap hasn't washed out of your stuff. There is a detergent called "WIN" that I use to clean my bike gear and it seems to work good. You have to get it by mail order http://www.windetergent.com/

One thing to worry about is putting too much soap into the newer HE washers. A little goes a long way....
 

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If You See Kay
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IIRC, it's the "built in" fabric softeners in some of the liquid detergents that causes problems with moisture transfer in athletic clothing. Assuming the KS stuff you bought is sans any of that stuff, you should be okay (insert obligatory YMMV statement here).

Deek
 

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You're Not the Boss of Me
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Plus in the HE stuff, you aren't dumping it directly on the clothing, but into a reservoir where it is released after the washer is filled with water. One of the risks of the liquids was in the direct application (pouring on top of clothes before dilution with water).

Been using a front loader for 3 years with liquids and always machine wash my bike stuff. No probs.
 

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I think DeaconBlues is right--I read that somewhere, too

Seems to me I read that same thing. As for the bike gear, I've washed mine for years in about half-strength powdered detergent in cool-to-warm water, no probs. But I dunno about HE washers--I decided to go with a toploading Kenmore and spend the extra money on a bike.
 

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Palm trees & sunshine!
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jtolleson said:
Plus in the HE stuff, you aren't dumping it directly on the clothing, but into a reservoir where it is released after the washer is filled with water. One of the risks of the liquids was in the direct application (pouring on top of clothes before dilution with water).

Been using a front loader for 3 years with liquids and always machine wash my bike stuff. No probs.
I'm not the laundry maven or anything like that but doesn't everyone let the washer fill a little, then add the detergent, let it fill a little more then add the clothes?
 

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We bought the Kenmore Elite HE4 set and was told repeatedly do not use anything but HE detergent as the old style stuff has suds stuff in it and the HE stuff uses enzmyes to clean the clothes.

Your machines will most likely have a DVD you can watch to explain some of this stuff.

That being said we use All for detergent and it works great. I used to bag my bike shorts before but this new machine works in such a way that I just fill it up and let it do the work.

Great thing about them is the machine determines the amount of water needed so there is no waste. The first time you see it in action you will wonder how does anything get clean. I can take a pair of grease dirt stained jeans and let the machine do the rest with a load of same color clothes and they come out cleaner than our top loader ever did(spotless).

I have not seen any degradation of my bicycling clothes as for use. I suspect they are cleaner some how though
 

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KenB said:
I'm not the laundry maven or anything like that but doesn't everyone let the washer fill a little, then add the detergent, let it fill a little more then add the clothes?
No they do not work like the old style hence there reduced energy and water use. There is a small drawer that pulls out and it gets filled with detergent and softner then the machine takes care of the rest.
 

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DeaconBlues said:
IIRC, it's the "built in" fabric softeners in some of the liquid detergents that causes problems with moisture transfer in athletic clothing. Assuming the KS stuff you bought is sans any of that stuff, you should be okay (insert obligatory YMMV statement here).

Deek
This is what'll do it. Fabric softeners load up the fabric with a type of silicone. It feels nice and soft to the touch, but being a silicone it repels water. This makes it destroy the usefulness of most high-performance fabrics. I have to make a concious effort to avoid it with my detailing toweling ($6 a towel microfiber, very soft, very absorbent) less it lose it's effectiveness, and I treat my cycling clothes with the same caution.
 

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Formerly known as gotj
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks, folks

Thanks for all the helfpful replies, folks. So it sounds like fabric softener is the key issue here. The detergent I got is Kirkland Ultra HE Free and Clear, so I assume it doesn't have any fabric softener...If that's the case, it should work. I'll see how it goes.
 

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I always use fabric softener. I use the Kirkland brand. It comes in paper-like sheets, like Bounce. I haven't noticed any ill effects.
 

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A couple months ago we bought new Maytag front loaders. They came with some detergent. Soon after my wife started using the stuff I started to get the itches. I would go to the gym and start scratching like mad! If I got on my bike I would get so itchy that I would want to pull over and crawl out of my skin. I was going nuts! A guy I know told me the same thing had happened to him and it was the detergent. Sure enough, I washed everything a couple times and haven't had a problem.
 

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SkiDiver said:
Thanks for all the helfpful replies, folks. So it sounds like fabric softener is the key issue here. The detergent I got is Kirkland Ultra HE Free and Clear, so I assume it doesn't have any fabric softener...If that's the case, it should work. I'll see how it goes.
We have a Whirlpool front loader. Our previous machine was a Maytag Neptune and it bit the dust after 4 or 5 years of service. Now Maytag and Whirlpool are one and Whirlpool makes Kenmore. No monopoly there. :rolleyes:

We have used Wisk HE detergent and I haven't had any problems. We just bought the Kirkland brand since it is a lot cheaper and hope for the same results.
 

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tubafreak said:
This is what'll do it. Fabric softeners load up the fabric with a type of silicone. It feels nice and soft to the touch, but being a silicone it repels water. This makes it destroy the usefulness of most high-performance fabrics. I have to make a concious effort to avoid it with my detailing toweling ($6 a towel microfiber, very soft, very absorbent) less it lose it's effectiveness, and I treat my cycling clothes with the same caution.
Does the fabric softener ruin the fabric permanently, or can the original wicking properties be restored by washing without the softener?
 

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Adrenalina Italiana
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I use Woolite dark laundry

for all of my Assos bibs and jerseys with the Maytag Neptune front loader. After 3 mos.using this method no problems thus far.All of my cycling apparel comes out nice and clean and still looks new.

Also, we use the HE detergents for all of the other laundry.We too were told repeatedly that using any other thing was forbidden. The first time I seen the washer in action, I thought this machine wouldn't get anything clean no matter what you used.It just sloshes the clothes back and forth with brief pauses,but it does and better than the top loader ever did.

Also, I like the added cool jingle that it does after a load of laundry is done.
 

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Bianchi Nuovo Alloro, Lemond Etape
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sears ultra hi-eff bucket $20

i got a sears he3 front-loader a yr and a half ago. at first i used tide he.

then i got the big bucket of powder sears ultra for front-loaders: $20.

it lasted from may 05 to last week.

my wife and i wash a lot of sports clothes.

i love the front loader, plus, no problems with this super-inexpensive detergent.

the front loader will get your clothes so clean that they will actually have no odor whatsoever - the perfumes and other residue from all previous washings will get washed out and you will get clothes that just smell like clothes. this freaks out some people.

my front-loader will easily wash a typical load-and-a-half. a normal load will use only a bit more than half a scoop. i also add a shot of vinegar in the fab softener bin. things come out softer and it prevents detergent build-up.

the spin cycle gets so much water out that your drying times are shorter, too.
 

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yes be careful

if you use non HE detergents in HE frontloaders you can develop mold on the door gasket.
to repalce this is quite costly. you can add an extra rinse as well with most front loaders and I use HE detergents (without softeners, scents, etc...) on my gear and so far so good
 

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Bianchi Nuovo Alloro, Lemond Etape
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mold, mildew front loader

like atp sez, you can get mold in the front loaders - this is a prob for the sears/kenmore HE3, HE4. it will totally ruin your fl.

this is actually a moisture problem. people recommend to keep the door open when it is not being used so mold does not grow.

the reason the non-he detergents cause this prob is that the suds don't rinse away as well, so some moisture is left behind in the big rubber gasket "boot" that is needed to seal a fl compared to a tl.

i just leave the washing machine door open. it is not a hard habit to develop - just pretend it is a toilet seat (at least this works for guys).
 
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