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What Is HE Laundry Detergent?

February 8, 2024

Does your washing machine have an ‘HE’ symbol? Ever wondered what it stands for?

Because it can make a huge difference when you’re doing the laundry – not just for your clothes but in other aspects as well.

For one thing, you’ll need to use an HE detergent, which is a special type of laundry detergent.

How are they different from regular laundry detergents? Why are they so important? For the answers, be sure to keep reading. We’ll be going over everything you need to know below.

What Is HE Detergent?

High-efficiency washing machine with HE detergent

High Efficiency (HE) laundry detergents are different from regular detergents in that they’re low-sudsing and have quick-dispersing properties. This makes them ideal for HE washers since they operate with lower water levels.

More specifically, HE detergent reduces suds production, allowing the washer to execute shorter wash cycles, which helps conserve water.

Regular detergents, on the other hand, are notorious for producing excess suds, which makes them less than ideal for HE washers.

That’s not all – HE laundry detergent has another benefit. By generating fewer suds, it also minimizes fabric damage.

That means your clothes will not only come out spotless but will also maintain their quality for longer.

Compatibility Matters: Why Regular Detergents Don’t Work in HE Washers

Excess suds in traditional washer

Regular detergents and HE washers are incompatible just like water and oil.

Regular detergents, formulated for traditional washers with higher water volumes, produce excessive suds when used in HE washing machines.

This oversudsing can lead to extended wash cycles, diminished cleaning effectiveness, and even create a chaotic overflow of suds.

However, the drawbacks don’t stop at just inefficient cleaning.

Over time, the use of regular detergent in an HE washing machine can result in residue accumulation and unpleasant odors.

That’s not all, it might also void your machine’s warranty and reduce its lifespan.

So, while it may be tempting to use regular detergent in your HE machine, the repercussions are simply not worth the risk.

How Much Detergent Should You Use in an HE Machine?

Measuring liquid detergent for HE machine

Using too little detergent will leave your clothes less than sparkling, while too much can lead to detergent residue. So how much should you use?

The answer – it depends on the size and type of the load.

Generally speaking, however, you shouldn’t be adding more than two teaspoons of laundry detergent.

Measuring Tips for Liquid Detergents

When it comes to powder and liquid detergents, precision is key.

Using measuring caps or automatic dispensers can help ensure that the correct amount of detergent is dispensed every time.

Some HE washing machines even have automatic dispensers that dispense the correct amount of detergent depending on the load size, water hardness, and soil level.

Laundry Tips When Using Powder Detergents

For powder detergents, you always want to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. There are also a few things that you want to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you’re using the correct amount for your load size
  • Never overload the dispenser
  • Add the detergent directly to the drum before loading the clothes

Understanding the Science Behind HE Detergents

HE detergent low sudsing

HE detergents are designed to produce fewer suds, which is why they’re suitable for high-efficiency washing machines.

One of the main ingredients in HE detergents is AEO-9, a substance that plays a crucial role in minimizing suds production.

Despite common belief, more suds don’t equate to better cleaning.

In fact, too many suds can hinder the cleaning process by impeding the complete rinsing off of impurities, leading to residue buildup and a less vibrant appearance of clothes.

In the case of HE detergents, less truly is more – fewer suds lead to a more efficient clean in the low-water environment of high-efficiency washers.

Laundry Pods and HE Detergent: A Convenient Combination

Laundry pods are great in that they’re super convenient.

Simply insert one pod into the back of the washing machine’s empty drum, choose the wash program, and you’re ready to start.

Not only that but they’re also eco-friendly.

For one thing, their packaging is usually more sustainable compared to traditional liquid detergents and regular laundry detergent.

This makes them a great choice for those looking to reduce their environmental footprint.

Compared to traditional detergents, they also use less water and energy.

That will not only reduce your utility bills but will also contribute to a greener planet.

Most HE detergents also incorporate eco-friendly ingredients like sodium carbonate, sodium percarbonate, and biodegradable components like sodium polyacrylate, enzymes, surfactants, and solvents.

So when you choose an HE detergent, you know you’re not only choosing a potent cleaner but also an eco-friendly option, as opposed to a traditional detergent.

Understanding HE Detergents – Overview

HE detergent benefitsAs you can see, HE detergent changes the way we do laundry in several ways.

Not only do they offer effective cleaning with their low-sudsing and quick-dispersing properties, but they also minimize water and energy usage for a greener planet.

So, the next time you do your laundry, remember – HE detergents are not just about cleaning, they’re about high efficiency and environmental sustainability.

HE Detergents – Frequently Asked Questions

What is considered an HE detergent?

HE detergent, short for high-efficiency detergent, is specially formulated to be low-sudsing and quick dispersing.

They are designed for high-efficiency washing machines as they use less water than a traditional washing machine.

What happens if I use regular detergent in a HE washer?

Using regular detergent in an HE washer can lead to too many suds, which may not be fully removed during the wash cycle.

It can also confuse the washer, resulting in sudsy clothes and potentially overflowing.

How do I know if my washer is HE?

You can easily recognize a high-efficiency washer by looking for the HE symbol. It won’t have an agitator in the drum either.

How much HE detergent should I use in my HE machine?

Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines and adjust as needed based on the size and type of the load.

Are high-efficiency laundry detergents as effective as regular detergents?

Yes, HE laundry detergents will effectively get your clothes clean – as long as you’re using the appropriate amount. You don’t want to add too much, otherwise, it can remain after the rinse cycles on the washer drum.

Can I add fabric softener if I’m using an HE detergent?

It’s best not to use fabric softener unless it’s recommended by your washer’s care guide. For one thing, it can cause oversudsing, which can lead to various issues.

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Picture of Sophia Grant

Sophia Grant

Sophia Grant brings her extensive knowledge of laundry and clothing care to the masses with her intensive cleaning guides. Her thorough understanding of fabrics, detergents, and washing techniques helps readers master the art of maintaining their wardrobe. Sophia's advice ensures that anyone can achieve professional-level results at home, keeping their garments looking pristine and lasting longer.

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