Our washer is a few years old (3?), and has several cycle options. It includes a Soak (fills, agitates a tiny bit, then sits there indefinitely), Prewash (4min wash and rinse), and then the "regular" washes with different options for temps and length of wash, and then 2nd Rinse. (I'm guessing with no wool I won't be using the Perm Press cycles!)
So, I've been doing a Prewash on Cold/Cold, then a fairly long wash on Hot (I think it's a cold rinse), and a second rinse. I tried doing a soak first and didn't notice much difference, and this is definitely easier.
What do you normally put in with the prewash as far as detergent/additives? Sometimes I've put in detergent, sometimes nothing... Not sure of a difference. I'm not sure if I should add baking soda, vinegar, or TTO at some point. I actually have the feeling that my last wash got things "cleaner" when I accidentally put in a bunch of detergent in the Prewash cycle - but it's hard to know what's real and what's just my perception.
Oh, I'm guessing our water is "medium hard" - not so hard everyone in town knows it, but hard enough to eventually leave buildup in various places. KWIM?