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What Happens If I Accidentally Used Regular Detergent In A HE Washer?

If you have a high-efficiency (HE) washer, you may be concerned if you have accidentally used regular detergent for your laundry. You might be wondering if this might damage your HE washer, or whether it will affect the cleanliness of your laundry.

Here we have all the information about what happens if I accidentally used regular detergent in a HE washer and using regular detergents in a HE washer. 

What Is The Difference Between Regular Detergent And HE Detergent?

A HE detergent usually comes labeled with a HE symbol, and they are intended for use in high-efficiency machines, such as top load washers and also front load washers.

They are designed to provide optimal cleaning in low water levels, and they should always be used in a high-efficiency washer. 

You’ll know whether or not a product is a high-efficiency product when shopping. HE products will have a HE symbol on them; usually an ‘h’ and an ‘e’ in a circle. If you’re unsure, you can always look up the product to double-check. 

What If I Accidentally Use Regular Detergent In A HE Washer?

Using a regular detergent is like putting regular gas in a car that needs petroleum. It’s not a good idea! 

High-efficiency washers work best when they are combined with HE detergents. HE washers only use a small amount of water, and regular detergents are not designed to work in this way.

Regular detergents suds more than a HE washer can handle. HE detergents are designed to have low suds, so if you use a regular detergent, the suds might not all wash out and could cause irritation.

Using a regular detergent could also cause buildup and affect the efficiency of your washer. 

What Should I Do If I Accidentally Use A Regular Detergent In A HE Washer?

If you have used a regular detergent in your HE washer, don’t panic! There are some steps you can take to help minimize the effects on your washer, but you must act quickly!

  • As soon as you’ve realized that you’ve used the wrong detergent, cancel the cycle on the washer. 
  • Once your cycle has been canceled, restart the washer on a spin cycle. The spin cycle should remove all the suds from the incorrect detergent, but if not, you may need to run a cold cycle on the washer. 
  • Once your machine is clear of the suds, set a cold cycle on your machine and include HE detergent to make sure everything is washed through. 

Can I Use HE Detergent In A Regular Washer?

HE Detergent can be used in a regular washer since it won’t damage the machine as regular detergent could with a HE washer. However, since a regular washer uses more water, you will need to add in more of your HE detergent to ensure that you get an optimum wash.  

How Can I Maintain My HE Washer?

Maintaining your HE washer properly is the best way to ensure that your clothes are cleaned properly and that the longevity of your washer is protected.

Here are some of our top tips for ensuring that your washer stays in mint condition:

  • Make sure you leave space between your washer and the wall. This ensures that your hose doesn’t kink and that the washer drains properly. 
  • Make sure your washer is cleaned regularly with an approved washer cleaner, and that the door is left open for the washer to dry between loads. This will help to prevent musty smells and any mildew from forming in your washer. 
  • Replace your water hose if it gets old or damaged. 
  • Don’t overload your washer. Make sure your clothes have enough room to spin properly. 
  • Make sure you measure the correct amount of detergent, rather than eyeballing it. This will ensure that your clothes are cleaned properly and that you’re not wasting detergent. 
  • Make sure your washer is level. If you feel like your washer isn’t quite level, consider placing a mat underneath, or propping up one side slightly to keep it level. 

How Much Detergent Is Right For A HE Washer?

Detergent should take into account the size of your load of laundry. If you’re washing a small load, you’ll need less detergent. If you have some stubborn stains on a particular load of clothes, you may need a bit more detergent, or you may need to treat the garments with a stain remover before your regular wash. 

How Do I Use My HE Washer Most Effectively?

If you have a HE washer, you’ll want to ensure that you’re using the washer in the most effective way. Here we have some tips for ensuring that your washer is most effective. 

  • Ensure that you are maintaining your washer, using our tips listed above. 
  • Don’t mix detergents in your dispenser. Stick to either a powder or a liquid detergent and avoid mixing them. This can cause clogs in your dispenser, which can damage your washer. 
  • Follow user guides and care guides when choosing the detergents you are going to use. 

What Is The Difference Between A High-Efficiency Washer And A Regular Washer?

A HE washer is very different from a regular washer for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the biggest differences:


HE washers are bigger than a regular washer as they are designed to wash more clothes less frequently. This means they are generally more budget-friendly than regular washers. 


You might find that your water bill is reduced when you begin using a HE washer.

These washers are designed to use less water, and since there is less water to heat, and the washer is bigger so it runs less frequently, you may also find that other household bills are reduced, such as your gas or electric bill.


HE washers are more budget-friendly than regular washers. They use less water, they heat less water, and the bigger size means they run less frequently than a regular washer. 


HE washers need HE detergents, which are low sudsing detergents designed to be used with less water. It is important that you make sure that you use the correct detergent to ensure the most effective washes. 

The Final Thought

If you’ve used a regular detergent in a HE washer, then it’s important that you take the necessary steps to eliminate as much damage as possible. 

When making the decision to purchase a HE washer, it is important to consider the differences between a regular washer and a HE washer. Although a HE washer will save you some money and some time, it is worth considering whether it is the right washer for you. 

And If you’re looking for the perfect detergents for your family’s needs, check out 12 Best Laundry Detergents To Keep Colors From Fading