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Using HE Detergent [Correctly]

HE logoHE washing machines have been around for almost 20 years. HE washers use less water, energy and yes even less detergent than non-HE washers to get your clothes clean.

What are High Efficiency (HE) detergents and how can they benefit consumers?
High Efficiency (HE) washers were introduced in the early 1990s and in response to this technology, detergent manufacturer’s formulated HE detergents that would work with them to maximize the performance of the HE experience.

HE stands for "High Efficiency," which translates into savings for consumers by using less water and less energy when cleaning a load of wash. Note that non-HE detergents will not work in HE washers and may actually damage the machine.

Myth: Seeing suds during the wash cycle implies the clothes are getting clean.

Fact: Suds may clog the washing machine or cause other problems!

What role do suds play in the wash cycle?
Suds or bubbles are produced by surfactants, which are the primary cleaning agents in detergents. People have often associated the presence of suds in a wash cycle with how clean a load is getting in the cycle. While surfactants do the bulk of cleaning in a wash cycle, the suds caused by surfactants do not necessarily indicate the level of clean. In fact, the extra suds produced by surfactants in non-HE detergents may clog the machine or cause other problems. In HE washers today, any suds left behind may be a signal that the inappropriate type or level of detergent was used. There should not be any suds at the end of the cycle.

What’s the difference between HE vs. non-HE washers?
Over the last 10 years, washer capacities have increased significantly. Washer drum sizes are up to 40% bigger. Some new HE models encourage consumers to wash up to four laundry baskets at once. At the same time, these new models use less and often colder water in each wash load. This means your detergent needs to be formulated differently to work in these unique conditions.

Smart technology and taking clean to the next level

HE washing machines are smart! But just how smart are they?
Consumers trust that HE washers somehow "sense what is going on" and "know what to do" but often don’t understand what is being sensed and why it matters. For example, the washer senses the load size and adjusts the amount of water to use accordingly.
 
Some washers also sense the suds level and, may add extra water, time and energy to remove excess suds. There are several reasons the HE washer can run longer than expected (for example, balance issues) but consumers don’t always understand that dealing with suds is one of the causes for longer cycles. Oftentimes consumers get frustrated with the HE washer for taking so much longer than the appliance manufacturer’s stated cycle time, when sometimes it’s from using too much detergent or the wrong detergent.
 

HE washers may automatically sense the load size and adjust the amount of water use accordingly. Some HE washers sense the suds level and may add extra water, time, and energy to remove excess suds. Consumers generally trust that HE washers somehow "sense what is going on" and "know what to do." But, often consumers don’t understand what is being sensed and why it matters. There are several reasons the HE washer can run longer than expected (for example, balance issues or using too much or the wrong detergent), but consumers don’t always understand that dealing with suds is one of the causes for longer cycles.

HE washers constantly monitor the wash to make sure that the water levels and agitation are correct. In an HE washer you can combine larger loads and use less than half the water of a non-HE washer. HE washers can also save you time and money. By having larger loads and using the correct amount of HE laundry detergent, today’s HE washers are perfecting the laundry experience.

HE Detergents Work in All Washers

HE detergents are formulated to work with all HE washers and are also safe to use in non-HE washers. Be sure to read and follow the HE detergent product label and the manufacturer’s appliance guide to maximize your washer’s efficiency.

Did you know that if you don’t use the right amount of HE detergent your clothes won’t get clean?

Use the Correct Amount of Detergent
Today’s HE washers are capable of handling much larger loads of laundry and use about half of the amount of water as non-HE washers. When using an HE washer, it’s important to use the appropriate amount of laundry detergent for the load you are washing. If you don't add the correct amount detergent, your laundry may not be cleaned effectively. One of the ways that HE washers do this is through smart technology that continuously monitors the load throughout the wash cycle. A larger load of laundry can mean up to 45% more dirt and grime that needs to be removed. However, if you use too much HE detergent some washers may need to use more water, time and energy to complete the wash cycle - compromising the energy and water savings. Be sure to read and follow the recommendations of the HE appliance manufacturer and the HE detergent label directions.

Did you know…?

More than 60% of Washers Now Sold are HE Washers*
HE washers promote sustainable practices by significantly reducing the amount of water used when cleaning a load of wash. The HE detergents for these HE washers are specifically formulated to be low-sudsing but highly efficient in removing dirt and grime. (*This statistic was provided by the Association of Household Appliance Manufacturers based on 2015 washer sales in the United States.)

Using the right dispenser in your HE machine

Did you take the time to read your appliance manufacturer’s manual when you first got your washing machine?

Use the Right Dispenser for Detergent, Bleach and Fabric Softener
When cleaning a load of laundry in an HE washer, it’s important to remember that not all HE washers have dispenser compartments for bleach, fabric softeners and detergent. Be sure to read and follow the HE detergent product label and the manufacturer’s appliance guide to maximize your washer’s efficiency.
 

Don’t Mix Powder and Liquid in the Dispenser
Mixing liquids and powders in one dispenser compartment as it could result in a caking of the detergent which may clog the dispenser and prevent the laundry from getting clean.

Special Advice when Using Laundry Packets
Before using any form of detergent, be sure to check the detergent label directions as well as the fabric’s care guide. When using liquid laundry packets, do not place them in the dispenser, place them directly into the washer’s drum then add the clothes as directed. Remember the number of packets used will depend upon the size of the load and the level of soil that is being removed. Be sure to read and follow the HE detergent product label and the manufacturer’s appliance guide to maximize your washer’s efficiency.

Read and Follow the Directions
Not all HE washers or HE detergents are the same. To get the best results, it’s important to read and follow the laundry detergent directions as well as the HE washer guide. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.