What is Extra Rinse? (Washer Cycle Guide!)

When and How to Use Extra Rinse

Laundry requires more thought than most people think—and we learned that the hard way. 

After continuously seeing chalky white residue on our freshly laundered clothes, we thought that something was wrong with our washing machine. A little bit of research told us that we’ve been doing our laundry wrong all this time.

Luckily, an Extra Rinse cycle was able to resolve our problem. 

Here, we’ll delve into the Extra Rinse function on your washing machine and the most common laundry mistakes that might require you to use it.

What is Extra Rinse?

An Extra Rinse setting extends the rinse time to remove excess detergent and dirt on your laundry. 

If you add too much detergent or the wrong kind, Extra Rinse is necessary to clear away excess suds and keep your clothes detergent-free. It also helps remove irritants that hurt your skin.

In a nutshell, an Extra Rinse cycle is:

  • An add-on that can lengthen and deepen the cleaning cycle
  • Called Second Rinse in other washing machines
  • Adds 15 to 30 minutes (may vary per washer) to the total cycle time

When to Use Extra Rinse

Run an Extra Rinse cycle if you’re cleaning heavily-soiled clothes and absorbent garments. If you added too much detergent or the wrong kind, Extra Rinse can remove excess suds.

Extra Rinse is a must for those with sensitive skin. It can remove residual detergent and other possible irritants.

Let’s delve into the most common scenarios that call for an Extra Rinse cycle. 

Removing Excess Detergent Residue and Suds

Are you noticing white streaks on your clothes after wash cycles? That’s undissolved wash powder or detergent residue, which means you’ve added more than what your load needs.

Adding more detergent won’t make your clothes cleaner. It’s actually counterproductive because it leaves a slimy chalky texture and a musty smell on your clothes. 

Excess detergent is also bad for your washing machine as it can build up in the nooks and crannies of the tub. Without routine cleaning, the residue can clump up and clog your washer, preventing it from functioning properly.

Detergent build-up can cause your washer to produce excessive foam during normal wash cycles—even if you add the right amount of detergent.

Thus, whenever you see a lot of foam during a wash cycle, run an Extra Rinse to get the suds and residue off your clothes. Then, make sure to clean your washer thoroughly to remove any gunk that can affect its cleaning performance.

Modern washers have an auto-dispensing system that determines the amount of detergent needed per load. It’s an easy way to avoid oversudsing.

Here’s how to use the auto-dispenser. Take note that the steps will vary per washer, so refer to your user manual for more detailed instructions.

  • Step 1: Open the detergent drawer and compartment cover.
  • Step 2: Pour the liquid detergent and softener into their respective compartments.
  • Step 3: Close the compartment covers and push the drawer back into position.

Quick Note:
If you’re unsatisfied with the performance of your detergent, try using a different brand instead of adding more to your laundry load.

Using the Wrong Detergent

Do you have a high-efficiency washer or a traditional one? It is important to know what type of washing machine you have because HE models require specific detergent.

Compared to traditional washers, HE models use less water, energy, and detergent. 

In low water levels, your regular detergent will produce too many suds; thus, you should make the switch to HE detergent. Its low-sudsing properties make it suitable for high-efficiency models.

Like your regular detergent, HE detergent is available in different forms. When used correctly, all forms can clean your clothes effectively, but they will vary in terms of price and convenience.

We’ve compared the different types of detergent to help you choose the best one for your laundry needs.

Easy to use too much or too littleEasy to measurePre-dosed; no measuring needed
More affordable than podsLowest average cost per loadHighest average cost per load

Quick Note:
Regular detergents can’t be used in high-efficiency washing machines because they are too sudsy. However, HE detergents can be used in both traditional and HE washers.
Since traditional washers use more water, you need to add more HE detergent per load than you would in an HE washer.

Cleaning Heavily-Soiled Clothes

Overly soiled and odorous garments need additional cleaning effort. To get rid of stubborn stains, sweat, and grime on your clothes, you can either pre-soak your laundry or add extra detergent to the wash. 

As we’ve learned, whenever you add more detergent, you need to run an Extra Rinse cycle to rinse away any excess detergent residue.

Just remember that although you’re supposed to add more detergent, it doesn’t mean you can add as much as you want. We recommend measuring your detergent. 

Adding the correct amount of detergent per load will ensure the best results wash after wash.

Here’s a little guide to show you how much HE detergent to use for traditional or HE washing machines. This applies to normal loads.

Type of DetergentTraditional WashersHE Washers
Pod1 per cycle1 per cycle
Liquid2 tablespoons2 tablespoons
Powder1/4 cup or 1/3 cup for heavily-soiled clothes2 tablespoons

Aside from the type of detergent and washer you use, water hardness is a factor you need to consider during laundry. If your area has soft water, you can add 1 ½ tablespoons of liquid HE detergent to HE and traditional washers.

In general, hard water requires more detergent. For both HE and traditional washers, you’ll need about 2 ½ cups of liquid HE detergent to run a normal load.

H3: Laundering Absorbent Items

Bathrobes and towels are highly absorbent items that can easily soak up detergent in a wash cycle. Ideally, you should only use half of the recommended amount of detergent and about a half cup of vinegar in the washer during the rinse cycle.

Vinegar sets the colors of your garments and prevents them from bleeding. It also removes excess detergent that can seep into the fabric and contribute to dulling.

Just to make sure your towels and robes aren’t soaking up that vinegar and detergent, run a second rinse.

Preventing Skin Irritations and Allergies

Is your skin easily irritated by detergent? Or do artificial fragrances in detergent trigger your allergies?

Detergent might not be the most common cause of skin irritation, but there certainly has been an uptick in rashes caused by laundry antiseptics. 

To prevent your skin from being irritated by freshly laundered clothes, switch to a skin-friendly detergent. A second rinse cycle should get rid of any residual chemicals and other possible irritants on your garments.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Extra Rinse and 2nd Rinse?

Extra Rinse and 2nd Rinse refer to the same function. Depending on the make and model of your washing machine, the additional rinse cycle will either be called extra rinse or second rinse. 

What is the difference between Pre-Soak and Extra Rinse?

The Pre-Soak setting gives your laundry about 30 minutes of soap time at the beginning of wash cycles. You can use it to loosen stubborn stains and dirt on clothes that recommend pre-washing on their care labels.
On the other hand, Extra Rinse is an additional rinse cycle added after the main wash. It helps rinse out any excess residue and grime on your laundry.

How do I know I’m using too much detergent?

One of the tell-tale signs that you’re using too much detergent is excess foam. If your washer is producing an excessive amount of suds, you should run an Extra Rinse cycle to get rid of it and prevent detergent residue from soiling your clothes.
Adding too much detergent can also leave a white chalky substance on your clothing, which might smell and feel slimy. As mentioned, a second rinse is all you need to resolve this problem.

How many rinse cycles should I use?

A normal cycle is suitable for laundering everyday clothing, such as cotton, linens, polyesters, and mixed blends. Typically, it involves a 20-minute wash cycle and two short rinse cycles.
However, you should use an Extra Rinse when you’re cleaning heavily-soiled clothes that need more detergent than your usual load. If you accidentally added more detergent than you need, Extra Rinse can help get rid of the residue and suds.
More importantly, if you have skin and fragrance sensitivities, you can opt to run an Extra Rinse cycle to remove any residual chemicals and irritants on your clothes.

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