Can I Put Liquid Detergent in the Drum of HE Washer?

The short answer is yes, you can put liquid detergent in the drum of a high-efficiency (HE) washer, but you need to follow some guidelines to avoid damaging your machine or your clothes. In this article, we will explain why liquid detergent is different from regular detergent, how to use it properly in an HE washer, and what are the benefits and drawbacks of using liquid detergent.

What is Liquid Detergent and How is it Different from Regular Detergent?

Liquid detergent is a type of laundry detergent that comes in a liquid form, usually in a bottle or a container. It is designed to dissolve quickly in water and to work well in cold or warm wash cycles. Liquid detergent is also more concentrated than regular detergent, which means you need to use less of it per load.

Regular detergent, on the other hand, is a type of laundry detergent that comes in a powder or a granular form, usually in a box or a bag. It is designed to work well in hot wash cycles and to remove tough stains and dirt. Regular detergent is also less concentrated than liquid detergent, which means you need to use more of it per load.

The main difference between liquid detergent and regular detergent is that liquid detergent is low-sudsing, while regular detergent is high-sudsing. Suds are the bubbles that form when detergent is mixed with water. High-sudsing detergents produce a lot of suds, which can be helpful in agitating and loosening the dirt and stains from the clothes. However, high-sudsing detergents can also cause problems in HE washers, which we will discuss in the next section.

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How to Use Liquid Detergent in an HE Washer?

An HE washer is a type of washing machine that uses less water and energy than a traditional washer. It also has a different washing mechanism, which involves tumbling the clothes gently instead of agitating them vigorously. This means that an HE washer requires a low-sudsing detergent, otherwise the excess suds can interfere with the washing performance, damage the machine, or leave residue on the clothes.

Liquid detergent is a low-sudsing detergent, which makes it suitable for an HE washer. However, you still need to follow some guidelines to use it correctly and safely. Here are some tips on how to use liquid detergent in an HE washer:

  • Use the right amount of liquid detergent. Do not overfill the cap or the dispenser, as this can cause oversudsing or leaking. Follow the instructions on the bottle or the container, and adjust the amount according to the size, soil level, and water hardness of your load. You can also use a measuring cup or a scale to measure the exact amount of liquid detergent you need.
  • Use the right dispenser for liquid detergent. Most HE washers have a separate dispenser for liquid detergent, usually marked with a symbol or a label. Do not put liquid detergent in the dispenser for regular detergent, bleach, or fabric softener, as this can cause clogging or mixing. If your HE washer does not have a dispenser for liquid detergent, you can use a detergent ball or a mesh bag to hold the liquid detergent and place it directly in the drum with the clothes.
  • Use the right cycle and temperature for liquid detergent. Liquid detergent works well in cold or warm wash cycles, as it dissolves quickly and does not leave residue. However, if you have heavily soiled or stained clothes, you may need to use a hot wash cycle and a pre-treat or a stain remover to boost the cleaning power of liquid detergent. You can also use a rinse and spin cycle or an extra rinse option to ensure that all the liquid detergent is washed away from the clothes.
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What are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Liquid Detergent?

Liquid detergent has some advantages and disadvantages compared to regular detergent. Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of using liquid detergent:

  • Benefits of liquid detergent:
    • It dissolves quickly and does not leave residue or clumps on the clothes or the machine.
    • It works well in cold or warm wash cycles, which can save energy and prevent shrinking or fading of the clothes.
    • It is more gentle on the fabrics and the colors of the clothes, as it does not contain bleach or optical brighteners.
    • It is more effective in removing oily or greasy stains, such as food, makeup, or body oils.
  • Drawbacks of liquid detergent:
    • It is more expensive than regular detergent, as it is more concentrated and requires less water to produce.
    • It is more prone to bacterial growth, as it contains more water and organic ingredients. This can cause odors or mold in the bottle or the container, or in the washer or the clothes if not stored or used properly.
    • It is less effective in removing protein-based stains, such as blood, sweat, or grass. This can require more pre-treating or stain removing products to get rid of the stains.
    • It is more likely to cause fading or bleeding of the colors of the clothes, especially if used in hot wash cycles or with chlorine bleach.

Conclusion

Liquid detergent is a type of laundry detergent that can be used in an HE washer, as long as you follow some guidelines to avoid damaging your machine or your clothes. Liquid detergent is different from regular detergent, as it is low-sudsing, more concentrated, and more suitable for cold or warm wash cycles. Liquid detergent has some benefits and drawbacks, such as being more gentle on the fabrics and the colors, but also more expensive and less effective in removing some stains. By using the right amount, dispenser, cycle, and temperature of liquid detergent, you can enjoy a clean and efficient laundry experience with your HE washer.