How to Get Rid of Suds in the Washing Machine After a Cycle

Soap suds in a washer after a cycle
Whether you love it or hate it, laundry is a necessary part of life that you can't avoid. What you can avoid, however, is a washing machine full of leftover suds. Mr. Appliance® can help, with solutions to help you get rid of excess suds in your washer and tips to prevent them from returning.

What Causes Leftover Suds?

If you have ever hand washed your dishes or taken a bubble bath, you know that adding soap to water and stirring it up creates a mountain of foamy, bubbles. The same principle applies to your washing machine, where the combination of laundry soap, water, and air creates the suds that work hard to clean your clothes. The problem begins when you open your machine at the end of the wash cycle to see these same suds clinging to your fabrics and coating the interior of the drum.

While the most likely source of these leftover suds is an overzealous use of detergent, there are a number of other reasons this phenomenon can occur:

  • In homes with hard water, the addition of a water softener can lead to an excess of suds
  • An increase in the intensity of agitation which may also cause water damage to the surrounding area
  • Buildup of soap in fabrics over time
  • Use of the wrong type of detergent for your washing machine

How to Get Rid of Suds in Washing Machines

With soap, it's easy to have too much of a good thing. When it comes to your laundry, being heavy-handed with the detergent can lead to trouble with your appliance and may even cause it to leak. When possible, run the soapy load of clothing through another rinse cycle to remove as much of the detergent as you can using these products and methods:


  1. Wipe the interior of the drum with a clean, dry cloth to remove excess soap residue and bubbles, changing it out as needed.
  2. Set the machine to a full load and allow it to fill with water before adding 2 cups of distilled white vinegar.
  3. Complete the wash cycle.
  4. Run a second rinse cycle to remove lingering residue.
  5. Repeat these steps if needed until no visible suds remain on clothing or the appliance.

Fabric Softener and Water

  1. Add a capful of fabric softener to the load either directly or through the liquid dispenser and run the washer through an additional rinse cycle.
  2. Repeat if needed.

Tips for Prevention

Too much suds in washing machines can cause graying in lighter fabrics, skin irritation, musty odors, and more. If you discover mold or mildew as a result of improper air circulation or excess suds, use these tips to clean your front load washer to prevent further growth. You can avoid issues with your washing machine in the future by taking the following preventive measures:

Use the Right Type of Detergent

Low-phosphate or phosphate-free detergents produce fewer suds than standard detergents and are recommended for use in front-loading machines that use less water to operate than top loaders.

Measure Carefully

Consult your owner's manual for the manufacturer's recommendations for the type and volume of detergent needed for each load.

Reduce Buildup

Periodically add a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle to prevent a buildup of detergent on your clothes and towels.

Call for Repair

If you've tried adjusting your detergent to no avail, the problem may be a clogged drain or hose, or a malfunctioning pump. Call the experts at Mr. Appliance for fast, reliable repair contact us online today!