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Can I Use Regular Detergent in a High-Efficiency Washer?

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HE Detergent Label

HE Detergent Label

Photo: © Mifflin
Question: Can I Use Regular Detergent in a High-Efficiency Washer?
Can I use regular detergent in a high-efficiency washer if I just use less of it? Are there alternative detergents for my washer? Do I always have to use HE detergents in a high efficiency washer?
Answer: The answer is very simple. No, you should not use regular detergents in a high-efficiency washer. Only he (high efficiency) detergents should be used in these newer washers. High-efficiency front or top loading washers are designed with low water levels and a tumbling washing action. HE detergents are low sudsing and specially formulated to provide clean washloads in these energy-saving washers.

Use of any other kind of detergent in a high efficiency washer, not only can confuse your washer cycle and stop the machine, but can prevent it from washing or rinsing properly. HE detergents are comparable in price to other detergents, so look for the (he) symbol and ensure that you are using the correct detergent for your high-efficiency washer.

He laundry detergents are now readily available in most popular brands and in various convenient container sizes. In many cases, two tablespoons of laundry detergent is sufficient to produce a clean wash. For heavily soiled garments, it may be necessary to experiment with soap levels.

When buying He laundry detergents, watch for the symbol but also ensure that all the soap bottles you buy each carry the He logo. Retailers will often mix different types of detergents on the shelf and it's very easy to buy the wrong kind.

The Soap and Detergent Association has compiled an excellent High-Efficiency Washers and Detergents Guide that fully explains why you should only use HE detergents in these washers. They also caution that HE-Compatible Detergents may not meet the standards of HE Detergents. I highly recommend this Guide - it is extremely informative.

Sorting the washload properly can help ensure a clean wash. Check out my other laundry related articles for tips on doing laundry: 5 Reasons for Sorting Laundry
Laundry Sorting - Make it a Family Affair
Laundry Basics
Best Laundry Videos

Read More About HE Detergents and High-Efficiency Washers:

Everything You Need to Know About HE Detergents and HE Washers
What is HE Laundry Detergents
How a Front-Loading Washer Differs from a Top-Load Washer
Washer Buying Tips
Find HE Detergent for Baby`s Clothes
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