Can You Use Regular Detergent In High-Efficiency Washers?

Looking for the best detergent for your laundry can be excruciating. There are so many types and fragrance options in the market. Indeed, shopping for the best detergent to suit your needs can be time-consuming.

Some detergent packs have a label that says high-efficiency washing machines. You are in for a soapy problem if you accidentally picked a regular laundry detergent for your HE washer.

Regular detergents and high-efficiency detergents are not the same. Each of them was manufactured for specific reasons. A regular detergent works well with an ordinary washing machine. Meanwhile, a high-efficiency detergent should be used for a high-efficiency washer. Choosing the wrong one can make a big difference in efficacy.

Regular Detergent and HE Detergent: What’s The Difference?

It is almost impossible to do the laundry without any laundry detergent. While there are laundry detergent alternatives out there, nothing beats a good detergent. Detergent cleans clothes by removing soil, grime, and stains during the wash. The product releases soil deposited on clothes. It also removes stains as the clothes tumble in the washing machine. Detergent also clings onto suspended dirt in the wash water and takes them down the drain. All these while making the fabric smell clean and fresh. 

Laundry detergents also come in many forms. There are pods, powder, and liquid detergents. Moreover, there are different types of detergent for specific washers. Ordinary washers use regular detergents. Meanwhile, high-efficiency washers work best when you use HE detergents.

Regular Detergent

These types of detergent work well when using a regular washing machine or hand washing. Detergents help lift soils trapped in the garments. The dirt and grime bind with the detergent and do not get re-deposited onto clothes. Traditional detergents can clean clothes by producing suds. To remove these suds, you need high volumes of water during the rinse and spin cycle. 

HE Detergent

Unlike a traditional washer, a high-efficiency washer uses 20 to 50% of the total energy used by the former. Moreover, a high-efficiency washer only uses around 20 to 66% of the water that a regular washer needs. Thus, HE washers can wash clothes using only a shallow pool of water during the wash cycle. But it can clean clothes much like a traditional washing machine. In the long run, using a high-efficiency washer and detergent can save you more resources. 

An HE washer requires a high-efficiency detergent. These detergents produce less suds that disperse easily during the wash. HE laundry detergents perform well when used in a high-efficiency washer while producing fewer suds. However, you also have to take note that not all HE detergents function the same. Some detergents claim to be safe for both regular and HE washers. But they still produce extra suds that can lead to poor cleaning outcomes.

Can You Use Regular Detergent In HE Washer?

2 front load washer against brown background

You should not use regular detergent in HE washers. Unlike HE detergents, ordinary detergents produce too many suds, especially in shallow water. Thus, using regular detergent in an HE washer may cause the water to overflow. 

You may think that using less regular detergent can do the trick. But, doing so may hamper the cleaning performance of the high-efficiency washer. The excess suds produced by regular laundry detergent messes with the tumbling action of the HE washer. The washing machine cannot exert the necessary friction to clean the clothes. It is because the excess soap suds create a cushion for the garments. The suds also prevents dirt from rinsing out during the rinse cycle. The unique components of HE detergents perform better with low water.

You can use this guide to help you with the proper detergent amount to be used if you need to use regular detergent for your HE washer.

Conversely, Can You Use HE Detergent In A Regular Washer?

You can use HE laundry detergents on an ordinary washing machine. But, you need to adjust the amount of HE detergent you are to use during the wash cycle. When using an ordinary washing machine, you will need around 1/4 cup of HE detergent. This amount of detergent may not produce enough suds, but it can still clean the clothes thoroughly. Though, it still depends on the concentration level of the detergent. You can refer to this guide or check the product label. 

In Conclusion

Not all detergents are created equally. They are made for specific purposes. Thus, you should always try to use them accordingly. It is not advisable to use regular detergent on high-efficiency washers. But, you can use high-efficiency detergent to wash your clothes in an ordinary washing machine. Do not forget to bookmark our page for more laundry and cleaning tips and tricks! You can also follow us on our social media accounts to keep you updated on our newest posts!

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About Margaret Croom

Peggy is a contributor and editor at Tidy Diary. She is a proud mother of three children who inspired her to level up her tidying skills. She enjoys her me time by lounging in her favorite nook with a lovely cup of tea. She also keeps a handy diary.