Why Is My Laundry Soaking Wet After a Wash Cycle?

Washers and dryers are designed to work in concert to conveniently provide clean and fluffy clothes in a couple of hours. A crucial part of this process is when the washer spins the load to remove the excess water before the laundry can go into the dryer. After all, your clothing, bedding, towels, or other items have just been in soapy water for 30 minutes or more, so it is important that they are properly rinsed and most of the water is removed. So, it can be a real problem when you open up the washer at the end of the cycle and the items are soaking wet. Here we’ll delve into this problem in a little more detail, so you can resolve the issue and get back to an efficient laundry routine.

1.  An Underpowered Spin

Washing machines use centrifugal forces to force water out of the laundry items. The drum spins very fast and water droplets are pushed out of the drum towards the drain. Unfortunately, if your washer has an underpowered spin, your items may not be spun fast enough to eliminate all the excess water. If you unload your washer and the items are soaking wet, yet there is no standing water in the machine, this is the most likely culprit.

Unless you have inadvertently changed the settings to a slow spin, the problem could be mechanical with issues relating to the belt, clutch, bearings, or motor pulley. The belt works with a series of pulleys to spin the drum, while the clutch is a crucial part of the motor assembly as are the bearings and motor pulley. If there is a problem with any of these elements, the spin speeds may be critically low and you’ll get sopping wet items.

2.  Oversudsing

Modern detergents are very effective, so if you tend to eyeball the detergent for each load, you may put in too much. This can lead to the washer overflowing with bubbles, which can cause soapy water on the floor and soapy clothing. Another side effect is known as suds lock. This occurs when the bubbles create an air pocket between the wall of the tub inside the washer and the laundry items. As the tub spins, the items can slip through, spinning far slowly as the soap is impeding contact and friction.

Fortunately, this is an easy fix, as you just need to reduce the amount of detergent you’re using. If you have a high efficiency or front loader washer, make sure you use HE soap, which is designed to produce fewer suds.

3.  Incorrect Draining

Another reasonable cause for soaking wet clothing after your wash cycle is drain problems. If the washer cannot drain the soapy wash water, then it stays in the tub. The laundry items will sit in a tub full of water, so they are soaked, even if the cycle finishes with a spin.

There are several reasons why your washer may be incorrectly draining. The first is a clogged drain, which can often be solved by clearing the drain filter or using a plumbing snake. Your washer may also have a weak drain pump that may need to be replaced with a new one. Finally, your washer may have drain siphoning. This occurs when the washer accidentally pulls some water back into the tub, which can resoak your laundry items.

If you’ve checked these issues and your laundry is still soaking wet, it may be time to call in the professionals. There are a number of issues including problems with the inlet valve, a loose door latch, or a control panel malfunction that need to be addressed. Fortunately, you can rely on the expertise of a professional appliance repair technician to determine the underlying issue and provide an effective solution.