Do you *have* to use HD laundry soap?

Yeah so our washing machine crapped out a couple weeks ago and “go big or go home” we purchased the bazillion-dollar red Kenmore washer & dryer set. It says in the instruction book to only use “HD” laundry detergent otherwise things won’t work properly, etc. but I have a ton of normal liquid detergent (it was on sale) so I really don’t want to have to buy more. My husband claims that the book saying about HD detergent is just a ploy between Kenmore and Tide to get you to buy Tide products (I hate Tide) and that our old washer & dryer (he had it already when I moved in) were HD and we’ve been using normal detergent all along with no problems.

My question for the teeming millions: Do you HAVE to use HD laundry detergent in HD machines or is that just a “suggestion”?

(Funny how I could go the laundrymat every week for pretty much my entire life but after 2 years of having a washer & dryer in the house one trip to the laundrymat and I was all OH SCREW THIS we’re going appliance shopping.)

HE detergents are less sudsing than regular detergents, and HE washers use less water, so using regular detergent is likely to result at least in poor rinsing. BTW, it can’t be a ploy between Tide and Kenmore - my HE washer is a different brand but the manual still says to use HE detergent and Tide is not nearly the only brand of HE detergent. Even Costco’s Kirkland brand has an HE formula

I think you are confusing your washing machine with your TV set. The term is HE, for High Efficiency. And yes, you should use it. This type of detergent produces less (or no) suds. If you use regular detergent in an HE machine you will not get good results and might even screw up the machine. It would be like pouring liquid dish detergent into your dishwasher–lots of suds, not much cleaning.

as well as being less sudsing, you also have to use far less of it per load.

You can sell your old detergent on the black market.

Not using HE (sudsless) detergent is bad for the rear tub bearings on some (maybe all) models of front-loaders. The suds get where they’re not supposed to and wash out the bearing’s lubrication, resulting in early failure. I killed off my first front-loader that way- took eight years, but it should have lasted twice as long considering I only did about two loads a week. Some friends of mine (married couple) ruined theirs in four years.

The repair costs about 2/3 of a new machine.

I’d check the label CAREFULLY on the thousand bottles of detergent that you have on hand. Sometimes it’s hard to find, but if you look closely, you’ll find the “HE” designation.

If it truly is not “HE” detergent, make a generous donation to a women’s shelter. I’m sure they are always hurting for laundry soap.

I think the fact that you had an HE machine and used regular detergent, and your HE machine had to be replaced, would imply that you should use HE detergent in an HE machine.

As others have said, you do have to use HE detergent, but you don’t have to use Tide. Just about every brand of detergent is now available in an HE version.

If you use HD detergent you can see the stains so much better.
Another vote for use what the machine maker requires they know more about it than you do.

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Uh, yeah, I meant HE.

…quotes like this are why I stick around here. :cool:

Thank you everyone - if I don’t find HE on the detergent I have then it’ll be donated and proper HE detergent purchased. This washer cost a damn mint and I want it around for many years…


HD detergents are necessary to get 1080pee out of your clothes.

If you have a good relationship with your supermarket perhaps and I know this may sound corny they will exchange it for HE versions

Can I use HE detergent in my non-HE machine? BJs seems to carry nothing but HE Tide.

I’ve owned a front-loading HE washer for years and have yet to use HE detergent in it. I’m still using the same detergent I used for my old top loader, except I only need a fraction of the amount of detergent per load, and it cleans better to boot too. And when I say I’m using the same detergent, I mean the same bucket of detergent, which I still haven’t used up yet.

You could get lucky and use non HE detergent for years without a problem. Some HE machines may be more tolerant than others. The earlier ones probably had to be since, I’ll bet, when they first came out few people bothered with the change. They wouldn’t sell many HE machines if they broke down frequently, even if they broke down due to misuse. I wouldn’t take the chance.

The OP could have meant HD, I guess. I kid you not: Over here, we’ve a new product on the shelves that calls itself a “3D detergent.”