Do I Need to Use HE Detergent in a Front Load Washer?

What is the difference between HE detergent for washing machines and regular washing machine detergent? HE stands for what? It is necessary to use in a front loader washing machine or is it a marketing technique?


Thank you.

By Barbara from Boerne, TX

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August 11, 20100 found this helpful

HE means high energy. Using HE creates less suds which is good for a front loading water. Use less water.

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August 11, 20100 found this helpful

I should have said HE means high efficiency.

Front-load and top-load high efficiency (HE) washers are designed for low energy and high efficiency operation. These washers are loaded with convenience and energy-saving features. However, high efficiency washers do require the use of HE detergents and a substantial investment to purchase, over the traditional washer.


Washer care and maintenance for HE washers also varies considerably from the standard top-loading washer models. Simply stated, HE washers require more care.

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August 14, 20100 found this helpful

I'm with Barbara on this question. I purchased a good used set last year & have no problems so far. Since I only clean for 1, I do no more than 2 loads a week, & thus use little detergent. So far, HE types. But I'm wondering, too.

Since so many people advise that we need quite a bit less detergent in the wash of any sort for any machine, what about just cutting back the amount of regular or even 2X detergents? Wouldn't that cut suds? Or am I being too simplistic?

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August 17, 20100 found this helpful

BSVGS Thats exactly what I think, less detergent.
I think it is all a marketing gimmick with the detergents.
I am very frugal and always cut back when I wash.


Thanks for responding and if you find out anything different let me know. Thank you.

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September 26, 20100 found this helpful

I believe the main difference is that HE is a different concentration and low-suds. (But then, many detergents today are low-suds.) I discussed this question with an appliance repairman and he said normal detergent is okay in an HE machine, but use 1/4 to 1/3 of the amount you'd use for a top loading machine. We find it is more economical to buy the normal detergent and use the smaller amount. We also add about a tablespoon of borax and/or washing soda per load, and use vinegar for fabric softener. In 10 years we have had none of the odor problems some people complain about with front-loading problems, and we are on a well, not chlorinated water.

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