Accidentally Used Regular Detergent In An HE Washer? (Do This)

Upgraded Home Team
by Upgraded Home Team

High-efficiency washing machines, also commonly known as HE washing machines, have been gaining popularity recently. Not only are they good for the environment, but they are supposed to save you money on water and electric bills.

HE washers require a special detergent. It can be easy to accidentally use regular detergent instead. If this happens, don’t panic. Using regular detergent in your HE washer only once or twice will not break your washer.

If you accidentally use regular detergent in your HE washer, cancel the current wash cycle, if possible. Restart your HE washer, and put on the Spin cycle. To get rid of the excess suds, put on an additional Rinse/Spin cycle. Finally, you can start a normal wash cycle on cold with the correct HE detergent.

HE Washer Statistics

While traditional washing machines require between 40 and 45 gallons of water per load, most HE washing machines only need between 15 and 30 gallons of water per load. The most efficient HE washers only need to use less than 5 gallons of water per load.

HE washers are Energy Star compliant, while regular washers typically are not. Energy Star certification goes to washing machines that use 33% less water and 25% less energy than traditional washing machines. In fact, studies have shown that HE washers use between 35% and 50% less water and 50% less energy per load than traditional washing machines. HE washers save a large amount of water, energy, and money on water and energy bills.

Studies also show better outcomes for clothes that are washed in HE washers versus regular washers. Clothes washed in HE washers have better fabric and smoothness. This is due to the gentler cleaning that HE washers, in contrast, that the rough cleaning agitators do in regular washing machines.

Energy savings, water savings, and better clothes are all great benefits of HE washers. But the real savings comes in cash. It is estimated that you can save $200 every year if you replace an old, traditional washing machine with a new, high-efficiency washing machine.

Why HE Washers Require HE Detergent

HE washers work a bit differently than regular washing machines. 80% of the energy used by an HE washer goes toward heating the water. Plus, high-efficiency washing machines use much less water than regular washers.

That is why HE washers need detergent that creates fewer suds. More suds are created because of the lower water levels. The clothes tumble in and out of the water, building up suds.

If there are too many suds in the washer, it can flood. You may have a flood in the kitchen, and it may damage the washer. If there are too many suds, your clothes will also not be properly rinsed off.

HE Washers vs. Regular Washers

In order to be called a high-efficiency washer, the washer must meet certain criteria and guidelines regarding how much water, electricity, and detergent it uses. However, there are more differences than that.

Here we will go through the advantages and disadvantages of each washer.

Advantages of an HE Washer

  • HE washers use less water. This is better for the environment. It also means you can expect lower water bills.
  • HE washers tend to have a higher spin speed. This, in conjunction with already using less water, leads to a shortened drying period.
  • HE washers have a larger capacity than regular washers. This means you can wash bigger loads at a time. Plus, since each load already uses less water and energy per load, the savings on water, energy, and money will also be compounded.
  • HE washers are Energy Star compliant.
  • HE washers have more wash cycles and settings. This means that you can choose more specific settings and cycles that are better for your clothes. You have more control with an HE washer.

Disadvantages of an HE Washer

  • HE washers require a special detergent. While this is not in itself a disadvantage, it means you need to be careful not to buy and use the wrong detergent. Using detergent for regular washing machines in an HE washer could cause flooding or other problems.
  • HE washers require more care and maintenance than regular washers. HE washers must be cleaned on a regular basis using a special machine-cleaning cycle. This is necessary because suds can build up over time in HE washers.
  • As mentioned above in the advantages, HE washers have more wash cycles and settings. While this can give you more control, it can also make things more complicated. More cycles and settings available means it can take longer to learn to use an HE machine.

Advantages of a Regular Washer

  • Traditional washing machines require less care and maintenance than HE washers.
  • You can use any detergent in a regular washer.
  • Regular washers tend to have shorter wash cycles.
  • Regular washers cost less than HE washers.

Disadvantages of a Regular Washer

  • Regular washers have a smaller load capacity than HE washers.
  • Regular washers are not Energy Star compliant.
  • Regular washers are only top loading. On the other hand, HE washers can come in both front loading and top loading.
  • Regular washers have an agitator in the middle of the machine. This agitator both takes up extra room in the washer and uses a harsher action to clean your clothes. Top loader HE washers may also have an agitator, but it is not as harsh on your clothes.

Related Questions

How do you stop your washing machine from backing up into the bathtub?

If you are having problems with your washing machine backing up into the bathtub, you may have a plumbing problem. Your bathtub and washing machine should have separate drains. Their wastewater drains are usually tied together though, which may lead to backflow issues in the bathtub. You can easily fix this issue by just installing a non-return valve.

Can you install a sump pump to collect excess water from your washing machine?

No! While many people choose to install a sump pump in a crawl space to combat moisture, sump pumps are not effective against a flooding washing machine. The water coming out of a washing machine will be too much and too fast to benefit from a sump pump. If your washing machine is overflowing, you may have to turn off power to the water. Then, once you have the immediate problem of overflowing handled, you can determine why your washing machine was overflowing.If you used regular detergent in your HE washer, then follow our guide above.

What basic features should you look for when buying a washer?

This depends a bit on your preferences. For example, if you want a front loading washing machine, then you will have to get a HE washing machine. Traditional washing machines only come in top-loading. If you prefer top-loading machines, then you can look at both HE washers and traditional washers.It is important to find a washer that is easy for you to use. HE washers have many extra cycles and settings available for use, which can be nice. However, do not choose a washing machine that is too complicated for you to use. Look for a washer that is easy to understand and operate.

Should you get a warranty on your new washing machine?

Yes. Getting a warranty could be a good idea. Washing machines have many moving parts. Because of this, there are more things that could go wrong. It could be beneficial to thus get a warranty that extends beyond the manufacturer’s warranty.Speak to the company selling the washer to see what the best option is. It will depend on the type of washer, age of the washer, and what you are most comfortable with. Always ask questions to the seller if you are uncertain.

Upgraded Home Team
Upgraded Home Team

We are a team of passionate homeowners, home improvement pros, and DIY enthusiasts who enjoy sharing home improvement, housekeeping, decorating, and more with other homeowners! Whether you're looking for a step-by-step guide on fixing an appliance or the cost of installing a fence, we've here to help.

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