Can Too Much Detergent Cause a Washing Machine to Leak?

washing machine leaking from too much detergent

If your washing machine has been foaming up and leaking recently you might be suspecting the amount of detergent that is being used for a wash cycle.

The simple answer is yes, too much detergent can cause your washing machine to leak. It depends on the type of cleaner that you’re using and how much.

It’s also fairly common for detergent alternatives to be used which can clean your clothes easier and cheaper but they aren’t supposed to be used in your washer.

A good example of this is when people use Dawn dish soap instead of powder inside your washing machine. This can cause excess foaming if not done correctly.

We will be going through the reasons detergent can cause your washing machine to leak and what you can do about it.

Why too much detergent can cause your washing machine to leak

Using too much washing powder and detergents can cause your washing machine to leak and it will usually foam up and come out of the soap dispenser or the door.

why a washing machine is leaking from too much detergent

This is because there are many surfactants in the water which will eventually foam up and rise up inside the drum.

What most people don’t know is that its not usually the result of putting too much in the machine one time.

If you regularly put too much detergent in your washing machine over a long period of time and use low temperature washes the powder will stay inside the machine in the soap drawer or on the inside walls of the drum.

This means that at some point when you finally do a higher temperature wash the powder will dissolve and then overflow the machine.

This can be tackled by using high quality washing machine detergents that don’t stick inside the machine even on low temperature washes.

Its also a good idea to do higher temperature washes regularly because it keeps your washing machine clean and stops bacteria building up on the door seal, which is the black mould you see.

Signs that you’re using too much detergent

washing machine smells bad from too much soap powder

These are some simple signs that tell you that you’re using too much detergent in your washing machine:

  • There is foam coming out of the soap drawer or the door during a cycle
  • Your clothes are coming out of the machine feeling sticky and have traces of detergent on them
  • Your washing machine is starting to smell – This is because your using low temperature quick washes and too much detergent

If you think your using too much detergent, then you probably are. Modern washing machine cleaners only need a small amount because they are typically concentrated compared to what they used to be.

The best way to figure out how much to use is to check the instructions that come along with your washing machine detergent.

How much detergent you should put in your washing machine

A simple rule of thumb if your unsure on how much washing machine detergent to use is to use two tablespoons.

how much washing machine detergent you should use

Using two tablespoons of washing machine detergent is usually very similar to the amount recommended by most manufacturers.

The best way to find out exactly how much to use for a specific cleaner is to check the packaging for instructions. You might have even been supplied with a scoop inside the box with a measuring line on the side.

If your clothes are really dirty or you’re trying to remove stains from your clothes its ok to add some more powder to the wash as long as you’re using a high temperature wash. This helps to break down the powder during the cycle.

It might be a good idea to add some stain remover if your worried about using too much powder which will help to get rid of those hard to clean stains.

How to stop detergent from foaming and leaking

A simple way to stop your washing machine foaming up with soap during a wash cycle is to either use high quality powder or switch to pods.

washing machine foaming up and leaking

Washing machine pods are a liquid gel cleaner that you put inside the drum at the start of the cycle. They are less likely to foam up during a wash cycle.

Making sure that you don’t use low temperature washes too often is also a good way to stop your washing machine from leaking from too much detergent.

As previously mentioned, cold temperature washes are usually at fault for washing machines foaming because they don’t break down the powder and it sticks inside your machine over time.

Another thing to remember is that the size of the wash load matters. Using a full serving of washing machine powder for a couple of items is not a good idea. It’s also a reason that your washing machine will not spin at the end of the cycle.

Here’s a breakdown of how to stop detergent from causing your washer to leak:

  • Make sure you’re not putting too much powder in the machine – As a rule of thumb 2 x tablespoons of powder is enough for an average sized load and you should always check the manufacturers recommendation
  • Regularly use higher temperature washes as it helps in stopping the detergent from sticking inside the machine and will break down the powder during a wash cycle better
  • Be careful when using at home remedies and alternatives like dish soap in your washing machine – Some of these are great for removing stains but will most likely foam up more than typical washing machine powder
  • Always put enough clothes inside the drum for a wash cycle – Having a small wash load can mean your putting too much detergent in and is also the cause of a lot of problems related to load balancing

If you’re trying to wash an item that isn’t conventional like a dog’s bed or your trainers then you might want to do a little more research because you don’t want to use too much detergent and ruin the items.