High efficiency detergent (HE) produces fewer suds than traditional laundry detergent. They are formulated to work in a front-load washing machine. The low water level used in these washing machines does not use a sufficient amount of water to rinse the clothes thoroughly if traditional detergents are used. Therefore, manufacturers recommend lower suds produced by a high efficient detergent.
High efficiency detergent can be used in some top-loading washers but only if the manufacturer recommends it.
High efficiency detergent works in combination with front-loading washers to provide the best in fabric care. It is excellent in removing stains and cleaning all kinds of fabrics. The way a front-load washer washes clothes is a big part of its success.
How the Front-Load Washer Works
The front-load washer does not agitate the clothes like traditional washers. It picks up the clothes and drops them into the water. If there are excess suds in the water, the clothes barely reach the water because they land on the cushion of suds. Clothes that barely touch the water are clothes that are not clean.
Traditional thinking says the more suds there are, the cleaner the clothes will be. We now know that even traditional detergents used in top-loading washers can produce too many suds. Lots of suds do not mean your clothes are clean. Excess suds are hard to rinse out of clothes and leaves residue that can make your clothes hard and may fade colors.
Front-load washers are built to save energy. They save energy in a number of ways:
• Efficiency – This washer is built horizontally and uses less water and more vibration than the top-load that is built vertically and uses more water.
• Capacity – Front-load washers have a bigger drum because it does not contain an agitator to take up drum space. This results in washing bigger loads.
• Less Detergent Needed – The unique motion of the front-load washer requires that less detergent be used. An excess of suds over time can damage the washer.
• Energy Star Rated – All front-load washers are rated by the Department of Energy for efficiency. This means that energy is saved every time the washer is used which makes it good for the planet and good for the wallet.
How HE Detergent Works
Some characteristics of HE detergent are:
• Ingredients – HE detergent is chemically formulated with non-toxic materials derived from natural ingredients.
• Low suds – works well with front-load washers that require low suds. However, highly efficient in getting clothes clean without leaving residue.
• No build-up – HE detergent leaves no build-up in the mechanical parts of the washer.
• Allergy-free – Free of fragrance, dye or phosphates so there are no skin irritations or other allergic reactions.
• Safe for use in homes with a septic tank.
There are a number of high efficiency detergents on the market. Some have additional ingredients such as a softener, whitening or brightening ingredient or fragrance. Most can be found alongside traditional detergents. The letters “HE” can be found on the front of the box indicating a high efficiency detergent.