Author Topic: HE Washer and regular detergent  (Read 5206 times)

dodojojo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 554
HE Washer and regular detergent
« on: January 22, 2015, 09:29:09 AM »
My old washer conked out and management is going to replace it with a high efficiency model.  I have two bottles and a box of detergent--stocked up from great sales.  I have read that some people still use regular detergent, but at a much smaller volume with the HE washers. 

Worth the risk?  Or just go ahead and donate the regular detergent and buy the HE appropriate detergent.

I'd likely only lose about $8 worth of detergent...still, 2 bottle/1 box goes a long way.

Skipper

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 25
  • Age: 31
Re: HE Washer and regular detergent
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2015, 09:31:02 AM »
I use an HE washer with regular detergent - maybe 30% of what I'd use in a regular washer. Haven't had any problems yet; been doing it about a year.

divsnowball

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
    • Dividend Snowball
Re: HE Washer and regular detergent
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2015, 09:34:14 AM »
Sounds like youre a renter?

I wouldnt worry about using the regular stuff.  Especially if you dont own it. 

I just got a new one that requires HE and Im scared to use the regular stuff since I just got it and its brand new and shiney

Greg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1449
  • Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Re: HE Washer and regular detergent
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2015, 09:38:21 AM »
If using regular detergent causes a problem, and you can't easily show you use the correct detergent, you will be liable for any repairs.  Not worth the risk IMHO. 

Also, not cool to intentionally do something that can cause a problem with the equipment you rent.

In addition to the amount being an issue, the actual detergent is different, it doesn't make as much suds.  Too much suds can damage bearings in the HE washer.

dodojojo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 554
Re: HE Washer and regular detergent
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2015, 09:51:18 AM »
Yes, I'm a renter.  And this HE washer being delivered is new.  Of course, I do worry about damaging the washer if using regular detergent is an issue.  Hence the question posted.  I wasn't sure if HE detergent was just an idiot-proof way of using less regular detergent and sold as a "must-have" product by companies.  But if there's any chance regular detergent would damage  HE washers, I will definitely switch to the HE detergent.  When I found out vinegar was hard on my dishwasher, I stopped using it immediately.  I've been in my rental for over 8 years, I may not own the place, but I'm invested in keeping it in good shape and maintaining a cordial relationship with the owner/company.

Thanks all.

Greg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1449
  • Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Re: HE Washer and regular detergent
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2015, 10:30:47 AM »
I didn't mean to imply that your intention was to do bad, sorry if it came off that way.  There's probably a lot of science in how the HE detergent is different since the agitation and water usage is so different.  I'm sure someone else will be glad to take the old stuff off your hands.

I've seen some pretty horrible damage to HE washers from using the wrong detergent, from bearing damage and corrosion to clogged dispensers (if powder is used).  It's usually long-term damage but still.

TrMama

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2908
Re: HE Washer and regular detergent
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2015, 10:50:36 AM »
If I remember correctly, the main difference between regular and HE detergent is that HE is formulated to foam a lot less. If you use detergent that foams too much, it can work it's way up into parts of the washer that aren't supposed to have foamy water in them.

If the detergent you have now is unopened, you should be able to take it to Walmart or Target or somewhere and exchange it for HE.

If the detergent has already been opened, just use a tiny, tiny bit of it in the new washer.

I use cheap, generic detergent that isn't HE in my fancy HE washer. It's fine.

dodojojo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 554
Re: HE Washer and regular detergent
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2015, 11:05:00 AM »
Greg, no worries. My response was to ensure I didn't give the impression I was disregarding the care of rental property and not particularly in response to your post.  Quite simply, I just want to know if regular detergent will harm an HE washer.  As you can see by the posts here--it doesn't seem like there's a  definitive answer.  Similar to what I've seen on Google search, some believe regular detergent does not damage HE washers--if used at a much reduced portion.

babysteps

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 119
  • Location: Southern Tier NY State
Re: HE Washer and regular detergent
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2015, 11:11:19 AM »
We have a front loader.  I mix 1/3 regular detergent, 1/3 washing soda and 1/3 borax.  And use a *tiny* amount (like a teaspoon or less, depending on load - ymmv).  Since neither washing soda or borax makes (any? very many?) suds, that seems to work great.

We moved over 3 years ago and I'm on my second box of washing soda (other uses around house) but still my original box of detergent.  So even if you can use the detergent you have, you may still wish to return some & free up some space :)

dodojojo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 554
Re: HE Washer and regular detergent
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2015, 11:41:35 AM »
We have a front loader.  I mix 1/3 regular detergent, 1/3 washing soda and 1/3 borax.  And use a *tiny* amount (like a teaspoon or less, depending on load - ymmv). 

Is it a teaspoon for each ingredient?  Or a teaspoon in total?  I do not use borax but do use washing soda--the water here is very hard.  I will be receiving a small front loader.

Geez, can't wait until the washer arrives, regardless of the type of detergent to use.  I have at least 5-6 loads of washing to do!

Josiecat

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 298
Re: HE Washer and regular detergent
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2015, 12:17:39 PM »
I've had a front loader for years.  I didn't know you were supposed to use HE detergent.

I regular use tide pods.  I've never had any problems.

dodojojo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 554
Re: HE Washer and regular detergent
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2015, 03:03:14 PM »
Hmmm...I've always wondered why there was never much sudsing in my washer ;D

So sorry for wasting your time, hope someone will read this post and learn something new.  So I checked my box and bottles of detergent and found smudgy little signs indicating they were safe for all washers, including HE.  I did this after reading on Google that some detergents are all-machine safe.  It never occurred to me I had HE detergent as I had pointedly stayed away from the HE detergents at the stores.  I always thought HE detergents had clear and large lettering indicating it to be so.  I guess I won't have to buy laundry soap for a very long time.