High-efficiency (HE) washing machines were once a newfangled thing, but now they're pretty common in most homes. This is a good thing, as HE washers are pretty special.
For example, an HE machine uses as much as 80 percent less water than a traditional washing machine. This definitely affects the household water bill! Today's high-efficiency washing machines use between 13 and 17 gallons (49 and 64 liters) of water per load, compared with as much as 40 gallons (151 liters) in a 20-year-old washer. That's less than half the amount of water of the traditional washer, which can mean considerable savings in your monthly family budget.
How do these washers do it? Instead of using a big water-filled tub with an agitator, with an HE washer, the clothes go in a "tumbler" and gently move around in a shallow pool of water. HE washers also tend to spin faster, which means your clothes have less water in them when they go into the dryer, resulting in shorter dryer times. Bonus!
Because of the way the HE washer tumbling system works, you have to use a special HE-branded detergent when you wash your clothes. Otherwise, you'll end up with way too many suds, which can make a mess and shorten the life of your HE washer.
So, which detergent should you use? Let's take a look at some of the top-ranked detergents available for high-efficiency washers.