"HE" detergent?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jeff Perry, Feb 5, 2004.

  1. Jeff Perry

    Jeff Perry Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello again,

    Thank you to everyone who replied to my washer & dryer thread I posted awhile back. I ended up with a nice Whirlpool Duet HT combo. Beautiful system and so far has completely exceeded my expectations.

    But I had a question: A little pamphlet that came with the washer says that I should use "HE" detergent, and that "use of regular detergent will lead to unsatisfactory performance over time." What the heck does that mean? My washer is going to not wash as well next year if I keep using "normal" detergent? That doesn't seem right at all. It washes just fine now with it, so how is this going to change over time? My normal el-cheapo Costco detergent has served me well for years and I see no reason why switching from a top loader to a front loader should make any difference. Front loaders have been used commercially for decades and this "HE" detergent BS is a brand new thing.

    So what's the deal with "HE" detergent? Is it just another scam to get your money? Sure seems that way to me. Here I bought a washer that uses half the normal amount of detergent, and now I'm being told I need to buy "special" detergent that costs twice as much. So much for the savings!

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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  3. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Read those links. You need HE.

    The HE detergent that your new front loader requires costs the same as the regular at my grocery store. Tide was on sale yesterday and they had "HE" right there next to the regular Tide for the same price.

    Maybe you need to shop somewhere else?

    I'm also dissapointed that Costco doesn't carry any "HE" detergent. I plan on writing them a letter asking them to carry it.

    You can't get the ultra-cheap stuff like "X-Tra", you have to buy "Tide" or one of the very few other HE brands.

    You're still using less than 1/2 the amount of water, spinning more water out to ease the load on your dryer, and being more gentle to your clothes.
     
  4. Jeff Perry

    Jeff Perry Stunt Coordinator

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    Part of the reason I am confused about this is I've been using the cheap Kirkland Signature detergent (in the 5 gallon pail) for the last week and it's working great. I use less than half of what I used in my old washer. I'm not seeing any excessive sudsing at all (in fact, the washer's manual says it will display "SUD" if there is a problem, and so far, it hasn't done so, nor do I see a lot of suds), and my clothes are coming out much more clean than in my old washer.

    So since my clothes are cleaner than they've ever been and my washer isn't over-sudsing, I don't see why I can't keep using my $10, 5 gallon pails of detergent. I did read the links and all I'm getting out of them is "HE detergent prevents over-sudsing and cleans your clothes better." If the "HE" detergent is all about low sudsing and clean clothes, well, I'm already getting that out of my cheap stuff.

    On the price difference: Nobody can touch the price of that 5 gallon pail of detergent from Costco. Since I'm used to paying for that, using anything else is going to about double what I pay. It's not that I mind paying for it if it's needed, it's just that I question whether it's actually necessary...

    Also, how come this HE detergent is suddenly necessary in front-loaders when commercial laundromats have been using front-loaders for decades without it?

    Thank you for your replies. [​IMG]
     
  5. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  6. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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  7. Jeff Perry

    Jeff Perry Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, I read it. I still don't see the problem:

    Well, it's getting the clothes cleaner than my old washer did, even with using less detergent!

    I suppose I already had the answer to my question: If your clothes are getting clean and you're not having a sudsing problem then there's no reason to use HE detergent.

    The reason I posted this thread was the statement that came with the washier which said, "Use of regular detergent will lead to unsatisfactory performance over time." I was wondering if there was any truth to this. I've seen nothing to indicate this in the links that were provided nor in doing any of my own research, so I'm guessing this is just marketing fluff.

    Thank you for your responses.
     
  8. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Just remember, if you use high sudsing detergent your HE washer will sense this and rinse and rinse and rinse. This will mean that your wash cycles take an inordanite amount of time and you could end up using as much water as a top loader would.

    Also, check with your local utilities and state tax codes, some places give rebates for buying HE laundry machines.
     
  9. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    We've owned the Maytag front-loading Neptune since Feb. '99. We've always used "regular" detergent, and we've had no issues with sudsing or reduced performance.
    We use "All Free & Clear", and put about 1/2 the detergent in that we used in our top-loader. I've checked the water usage with my meter (because I'm an anal retentive engineer[​IMG] ), and the water use is right where it should be.

    So, I'd take those "recommendations" with a grain of salt.[​IMG]

    Todd
     
  10. Jeff Perry

    Jeff Perry Stunt Coordinator

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    Right, the manual says if this happens the washer will display "SUD" and automatically extend the cycle. It hasn't done either yet, everything is finishing as it should. Good call on the rebates, too! I'll have to check into that.

    Todd: OK, good to hear. That's really what I wanted to know. I'll stick with my current detergent, then, unless Costco starts carrying large vats of the HE stuff for cheap.
     
  11. Walt N

    Walt N Second Unit

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    If your water is fairly hard you can get away with using adequate amounts of the regular detergent for good cleaning, but if it's soft water that you have you'll need the HE stuff or you'll get suds up the ying-yang.
     

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