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How To Soak Clothes In A Front Loading Washing Machine

If you are the proud owner of a new Front Loading Washing Machine you know that there is no easy way to soak your clothes. The old style top loading washers made it easy to “stop” the wash cycle and soak your clothes. The new style front loading washing machines have a door on the front of the unit instead of on the top. Clothes are washed in a barrel drum that is configured horizontally instead of vertically. A plus side to the new washers is that the high efficiency front load machine washers use much less water than the older top loading washers. Most of the new front loaders do not have a “soak” cycle. So, even though this is the case it is still possible to soak soiled clothes in your new front loading washer. If your washing machine is not spinning you can perform a master reset.

Best Way To Soak Clothes In A Front Loading Washer

Instructions To Soak Clothes In Front Load Washers

Step 1 – Add clothes in the front loading washer and shut the door and make sure it locks.
Step 2 – Add 1/4 cup of detergent into the detergent pull out drawer. Liquid OxiClean works great to soak your clothes no matter what color. (Do not add detergent directly to the inside of the washer drum)
Step 3 – Program your washing machine for the correct water temperature, size and type.
Step 4 – Start the machine. Water will then enter the washing machine barrel drum. You will then hear an audible click and a light will illuminate telling you that the front door is now locked by the machine.
Step 5 – The washer will fill with the remaining amount of water. Watch through the window for the drum to start spinning your clothes.
Step 6 – Let the machine run for 5 minutes to allow sufficient time to disperse some of the detergent into the drum. After 5 minutes press the “Stop” button to stop the programmed washing cycle. The water stays in the barrel and the clothes will begin to soak. Allow approximately 30 minutes to let your clothes soak. After 30 minutes press the “resume” or the “start” button to allow clothes to wash and let washer run through cycle to drain all water and unlock front door.

Can you soak clothes overnight in a front loading washer?

Yes. Most HE front loading washers do not have a soak cycle. However stopping the cycle and letting it sit overnight is perfectly fine.
You can also run the cycle from 5 to 10 minutes and then pause it for a few hours to soak the load. Then you can simply turn the washer back on and let it run through the complete cycle.

My front load washer does not pause or stop, How do I soak clothes another way?

You can use a 5 gallon bucket to soak your clothes. After the clothes soak in the bucket overnight you can simply dump the whole thing right into the washer.
Also, if your washing machine does not have a soak cycle selection then simply start a cycle and let it fill and get the clothes wet. Next, turn the machine off or disconnect the power plug for as long as needed to soak. FYI – A normal soak cycle on a front load washer fills with more water than for a standard wash. The machine rotates the drum one turn every few minutes to keep the clothes wet.

Can I fill my front loader washer with liquid bleach?

Soaking with bleach is really not a good idea. Bleach is rough on all fabrics and the effect the bleach has maxes out in 5 minutes. Automatic bleach dispensers on front loaders will trigger the bleach in the first rinse or in the last few minutes of the washing cycle. If you do have to use bleach then use a type that is not liquid. Always try using the soaking method with detergent before resorting to the bleach method.

Do you have Questions, Tips or Hints? Please feel free to write a comment below……….

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12 thoughts on “How To Soak Clothes In A Front Loading Washing Machine”

  1. What cycle did you set the machine on? It should be normal or heavy duty.
    How many minutes did you wait before you push the pause button?

    The pause button is on the right of the knob. Not far left. It’s labeled “hold to so start”.

  2. I have the same machine as shown at the top; whirlpool 4.5 cu ft front load. I would like to soak my clothes. I followed step 1-5, at step 6 I pressed the stop button. ( the far left button) the machine stopped and the water was drained. There is no water left in the barrel. Then, I have to start it over again in order to complex the washing cycle. Which button should I press at this step, so the machine will not drain the water? Should I press the button that indicate “Hold to start”? Thank you.

  3. On my LG front loader there is a button that says rinse and spin. So when I do a soak I put in the clothes and some borax or OxiClean and I press the rinse and spin button. Once the machine has filled with water, it will agitate for a minute or two and then I press the pause button. After a few minutes the machine will simply turn itself off without draining the water that’s in there. The rinse and spin cycle puts in a lot more water than normal so it’s easy to soak the clothes. On my machine if you want to have it agitate a little more just press the power button and then press the start/pause and it will agitate a little more … then press pause again and it will turn itself off after a few minutes as usual. Once you feel enough time has gone by for the soak just press the power button to turn the machine on and then press the Pause start button. The machine will just finish the rinse and spin and turn itself off at the end of the cycle. Then I just put regular detergent and any more clothing in the machine that didn’t need a soak and I just do a normal cycle. I don’t know if it will work exactly the same on your LG machine but that’s how it works on mine.

  4. Maytag front loaders are still able to do a long pre-wash soak even if you don’t have a “Soak” cycle. You just have to outsmart the washer!

    Add items to the tub that need to be soaked, set the cycle for Normal, add bleach to the dispenser, set temperature to hot, and press the Start/Pause button. The machine will tumble and fill with water. When water is no longer being added to the tub, press the Start/Pause button ONCE. The machine will stop tumbling and soak the load indefinitely. (I have done soaks for 30+ minutes.) The bleach water will not drain out until you press the Cancel button. Do that and allow the water to drain. Then start over by selecting Normal, adding detergent (and more bleach if you need it) to the dispenser cups, and press Start. Presto! You have learned how to do a manual soak cycle.

  5. DIY Project Help Tips

    All HE front load washing machine manufacturers recommend to ONLY add fabric softener to the dispenser tray. The dispenser will add the fabric softener during the rinsing cycle. Add a little extra if you feel the softener is not penetrating into your clothing. Also, you may want to try a different brand and see if it works better on your particular washer. It is not recommended to manually add fabric softener into the drum.

  6. My fabric softener does not seem to stick using a front load washer. Is there a way to use more and/or add more during rinsing cycle?

  7. I dont think to shock overnight cloths is a great idea, its more better if you shock it in warm water for half an hour before the washing.

  8. DIY Project Help Tips

    Hi Marshbold,

    6 Reasons why your clothes may smell after washing and drying.

    1. If you are using a laundromat the machines may not be cleaned or wiped down very often.

    2. The clothes are not taken out of the machine fast enough when the wash is done. Are the wet clothes sitting for a prolonged period of time before entering the dryer?

    3. Have the clothes been ironed? Does the ironing board smell fresh? It could be that the iron had leaked onto the ironing board and the smell transferred onto my clothes.

    4. The dryer you are using is not drying the clothing fast enough.

    5. Are there too many items in the washing machine? It is possible there is not enough water to clean and rinse them thoroughly leaving an odor on your clothing.

    6. You can use a strong washing powder and a dose of softener. Then take the clothes out as soon as the wash has ended. Add them to the dryer as soon as possible and add a fabric softener sheet. Remember sometimes heavy clothes take a longer time to dry thus making them damp and smelling like a wet dog.

  9. I take my clothes to the laundromat. I use a cap full of purex inn my load. I don’t use dryer sheets and fabric softners. I just throw my clothes in the dryer on high for 28 minutes. Why do my clothes come out smelling like wet dog? What am i doing wrong?

  10. Best Electrical Services

    I find the advice on how to soak clothes in “no stop-no pause” top load washing machine very smart. Well, not all machines can do all the tasks for us so a little manual work won’t hurt.

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