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Video:How to Use High-Efficiency Detergents

with Holly Deambrosi

Using high efficiency detergents on your laundry is a great way to conserve both water and energy. Here are the basics on how to properly use high efficiency detergents.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Use High-Efficiency Detergents

Hello! I'm Holly Deambrosi, for About.com. Using a high-efficiency washing machine can reduce laundry water use by 20-66% and save 50-80% of energy use over traditional washing machines. But using the wrong type of laundry detergent will make your machine less efficient and may even cause you to lose the warranty on your appliance.

What Are High-Efficiency Detergents?

High-efficiency (or HE) laundry detergent is concentrated laundry detergent manufactured for use in high-efficiency washing machines. Most HE washing machines are front loading, and tumble rather than agitate clothing. They also use less water than agitating washing machines. Because tumbling creates more suds, and because lower amounts of water are used, HE laundry detergent doesn't need to make as many suds as standard laundry detergent. Most brands offer a HE laundry detergent, so most likely you'll still be able to buy your favorite brand. Just look for the HE symbol on the container. The price for HE laundry detergent should be about the same as for other detergents.

Use the Correct Amount of High-Efficiency Detergent

When using HE laundry detergent, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions. Using too much detergent can cause poor rinse cycles, leaving your clothing soapy. It may also leave residue in your washing machine, creating ideal conditions for mold growth and associated odors.

Using High-Efficiency Detergents in Four Steps

To use HE laundry detergent:
  • 1. Load clothing into the machine and add the recommended amount of HE laundry detergent into the dispenser drawer. You can also add other laundry products, like bleach or fabric softener. Close the drawer carefully. Overfilling or closing the drawer too quickly can lead to the products being dispensed too early in the wash cycle.
  • 2. Turn on the washing machine, select the appropriate cycle for your clothing, and start the washer.
  • 3. Let the washer run the full length of the cycle, and remove clothing when finished. Leaving clothing in the washer too long may also encourage mold growth in the washer rim.
  • 4. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for use and care of your HE washing machine.
HE laundry detergent can also be used in agitating washers—you'll see fewer suds, but your clothes will still get clean. Thanks for watching! You can learn more by visiting us on the web at About.com.
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