HE detergent is made for HE washers

By now, you’ve most likely heard of HE detergent. What’s all the hype about? Should you really be using it? The short answer is: yes. If you own a high-efficiency washer, you should use HE detergent. (Even if your washer doesn’t require HE detergent, you can still use it for a good clean.)


But why — and how? Like your young athletes who perform best when they’re fueled with the right, healthy food, your high-efficiency washer works at peak performance with HE detergent. There are a few tips you should know to get the most out of both your washer and detergent. 


The HE detergent symbol

How do you know it’s HE?

Look for this symbol to ensure the detergent is made for your HE washer.

What does detergent do?

Detergent creates suds to break apart stains

Creates suds to help break apart stains and release soils.

Detergent ensures stains aren't redoposited on clothes

Suspends stains, soils and dyes in water so they’re not redeposited on clothes.

Detergent freshens clothes

Freshens clothes to keep them looking their best.

Why you should use HE detergent with a high-efficiency washer.
You can use HE detergent in a regular washer.

The HE formulation

High-efficiency washers are designed to use low water levels to get clothes clean. That’s why if you use regular detergent in an HE washer, it produces too many suds. This could potentially lengthen the wash cycle, affect the cleaning performance or overflow the machine.

Too much water dilutes HE detergent

HE detergent to the rescue

Low sudsing and quick dispersing, HE detergent is specially formulated to work in low water levels. Consult your owner’s manual for the recommended detergent amount. Usually 2 tablespoons.


But can you use HE detergent in a regular washer? Yes! There might be fewer suds, but you’ll still get a good clean. Because there’s more water in a regular washer, however, you’ll need more detergent — usually about 1/4 cup for a normal-sized load.

Washing machine tip

Care Tip

Think about washing your hands

If you use too much water, you’ll dilute the soap before it can clean your hands.

Concentrated mix of water and detergent delivers optimal clean

Laundry 101

When using HE detergent in your high-efficiency washer, there are a few more guidelines to follow for optimal results.

Don't mix powder and liquid detergents in HE washers

Mixing powder and liquid detergents in the same dispenser may clog the dispenser.

Check care guide for softening agent use in HE washers

Use softener dispensing agents in your HE washer only if your use and care guide recommends them.

Reduce amount of water softener in HE washers

Reduce the amount of water softener you use.

Care better with HE

If you’re looking for a new high-efficiency washing machine, Whirlpool brand can help. Shop our washing machines to find the right HE model for your family, or learn more about the innovative washer features that can help you juggle laundry day with just a little more ease.

More laundry tips and tricks

What determines the amount of water used by your washer?

How much water does a washing machine use?

Washing machine water usage depends on the age of your washing machine, as well as the model you have.

Is a front load or top load washer right for you?

Washers: top load vs. front load

Loading from the top or the front? Agitator or impeller wash action? Trim or sleek style? We’ll help you make the tough decisions.

Find the top load washing machine style that’s right for you.

Agitator washers vs. impeller washers: What’s the difference?

Agitators and impellers are both found in top-loading washing machines, but they move, and clean clothes, in two distinct ways.

Appliance IQ

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