When we bought our current house a few months ago, it already has a HE front loader washing machine and a water softener system installed.
These two made for a very frustrating laundry experience thus far. We started with Tide HE liquid detergent for our (adult) clothes, and Nature Clean liquid detergent for DS’s clothes. I used the recommended amount for HE light load on both, and there were always suds on the washer door even after a second or third (or fourth or fifth) wash cycle with no detergent. Even after I cut the detergent amount to 1/2 of the recommended, I still had to do 3 or 4 wash cycles per load.
That’s far from “high efficiency,” and incredibly time consuming: every week, I have 2 loads of adult laundry (one each of whites and colours), 1 load of baby laundry, and 2 to 3 loads of cloth diapers. With an average of 4 wash cycles, realistically I can only do 1 load of laundry every day. That means I’m always doing laundry, every day.
When he commented I’m always doing laundry, I jokingly said to DH it might be something genetic: my grandmother used to launder towels for barbershops as a profession, and she is still on a mission to wash any and all clothes and linens in wherever she considers her territory (which unfortunately includes my home, and I constantly have to resist). Now I am the one who’s always doing laundry.
I have since switched to using soap nuts and Nellie’s Natural laundry soda. Both are considerably less sudsy, but I still do at least 2 wash cycles (plus a cold/cold prewash rinse with no detergent for cloth diapers) to make sure the clothes are well-rinsed.