what happens when you use regular detergent in a HE washer

What Happens if You Use Regular Detergent in a HE Washer?

It goes without saying that a high-efficiency (HE) washer goes hand in hand with a HE detergent. However, it is not 100% possible to always have access to the latter. Sometimes you may find that your detergent is finished, and get tempted to reach for the readily available regular detergent. The big question remains whether this is the right thing to do or not.

In a nutshell, you should not use regular detergent in a HE washer. Below is a host of reasons to justify this argument. Firstly though, what are HE washers and detergents.

HE washer and Detergent

HE detergent for a HE washer

A high-efficiency washer is a high-performing laundry appliance that use less water, energy and detergent compared to traditional top and front loaders.

On the other hand, HE detergents are cleaning products designed for use in these washers. High efficiency detergents feature a HE symbol in small letters. Its function is to help differentiate the products from regular washing machine detergents.

Reasons for Not Using Regular Detergent in a HE Washer

  • Regular detergent forms a lot of suds: Since regular detergent is meant for use in traditional top loaders and front loaders, it produces a lot of suds and bubbles. This can create a problem with HE washers because they use little water. Detergent that lathers a lot requires more water for laundry cleaning and rinsing.
  • Clothes may not rinse properly: Combining regular detergent with little water creates an imbalance that can result to laundry with soapy residue. Besides contributing to cleaning inefficiency, this leads to hastened fabric wear and tear.
  • Potential for causing an overflow: When suds accumulate in the wrong appliance, there is a chance that they can cause an overflow. For example, this is a common problem with dishwashers. An overflow is not only bad for the washer, but also for the house floor. As for washers, the most likely scenario is developing mechanical damage. On the hand, house floors that are not sealed can get ruined permanently.
  • Regular detergent can potentially cause molding: Generally, HE washers are easy to maintain. However, accumulation of soapy residue as a result of excessive lathering can lead to the development of odors and molds. In case you mistakenly use regular detergent, ensure that you clean your machine immediately.

Can You Use HE Detergent in a Regular Washing Machine?

It is okay to use HE detergent in a regular washer. In fact, manufacturers of some front loaders recommend it.

All the same, you will need to use more quantity than you do in a HE washer. Regular machines are water-guzzlers and will require detergent that lathers a lot for clothes to come out squeaky clean.

The most ideal way to go about detergent measurement is to first read the instructions on your HE laundry detergent label. In most cases, manufacturers provide unique guidelines on the basis of the chemical composition of their product.

Secondly, use a little bit more product than you would in a HE washer for a similar load.  

HE Washers vs Traditional Washers

Understanding the kind of washing machines available in the market today is fundamental. Firstly, it helps you know your options. Secondly, you get to learn the choice that features the qualities that suit your preference the most.

Top Loading Machines

Traditionally, there are two types of washing machines; top loaders and front loaders. The top loading design is the oldest. Since it features an agitator, most users associate its preference with superior cleaning. Ideally, the agitator improves the appliances ability to remove dirt and tough stains from laundry.

A top loader is also easier to load compared to a front loader. You just lift the door and place in your clothes. It is also possible add more laundry into the drum while the machine is still running.

On the downside, top loaders are the highest energy and water consumers. Accordingly, they are much costly in the long run.  

Front Loading Machines

The more recent front loading machines are a firm favorite for many because of their energy efficiency capabilities.

 Furthermore, they are space saving and gentler on clothes because their design does not feature an agitator. With regard to space, it is possible to place a dryer on top of the machine because the door is on the front.

On the other hand, they are relatively pricy, detergent-selective and harder to load. They also do not offer the convenience of adding laundry when they are running.

HE Washing Machines

HE washers come in both top and front loading designs. Although they are the most recent, they are quickly gaining a strong market lead because of superior features. They stand out over traditional washers in regard water, energy and detergent consumption. With a HE washer, you get to use less water, energy and detergent.

The capacity of high efficiency machines is bigger than of its traditional counterparts. Accordingly, they are an excellent choice for consumers with big households. Small commercial premises also stand a better chance for success with this option.

The HE washers’ energy saving capability is enhanced through optimized rinsing and spinning. They spin at an extra ordinary speed, which makes them rinse a lot of water out of clothes. This reduces dryer times because clothes transfer very little moisture from the washer.

All the same, HE washers are not without weakness. Firstly, the high rotating speed can be rough on clothes. Besides speeding up wear and tear, it also leads to tangling for some fabrics.

HE washers create the need for pretreating all stains because heavily soiled clothes do not always come out in pristine condition.

Lastly, you have to use HE washers with HE detergent.

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