Are you wondering if homemade laundry detergent is safe for use in high-efficiency (HE) washers? The answer is complicated and depends on the type of detergent you're using, the ingredients it contains, and your machine's specifications. In this guide, we'll provide the facts about HE washer compatibility and homemade laundry detergent so that you can make an informed decision.
What Are HE Washers & How Do They Differ from Traditional Washers?
High-efficiency (HE) washers use a minimal amount of water to clean your clothing, linens, and other fabrics. These newer washing machines limit water use while still getting your clothes clean. A comparison of regular vs HE washers should also include soap. Standard machines use traditional laundry detergent, while HE options rely on specialized soaps that can clean with less water. Premium all-natural laundry detergent will work in both types of washers.
It is important to consider what type of detergent you use. Regular products are made for traditional wash cycles and may not rinse away fully in a high-efficiency washer. The residue can irritate skin and cause buildup inside the machine.
The products you use for an HE washer should have an HE logo on them, showing that they are tested and approved for use in high-efficiency models. Both traditional and all-natural laundry detergent products can carry this logo.
Does All-Natural Laundry Detergent Ruin Washers?
An all-natural laundry detergent is an eco-friendly option that appeals to people who want to save water using an HE washer. How do all-natural laundry detergents fare in these modern washing machines?
Quality all-natural laundry detergents do not ruin HE washers. However, you need to be well aware of the ingredients in your detergent. The primary issue with HE washers is that detergent does not wash away thoroughly and leaves a residue that can harm the machine and make it more difficult to get the clothes clean.
What Ingredients Should I Avoid?
All-natural laundry detergents will not hurt your washing machine, but only if they do not contain excessive amounts of fatty acids. Fats are a common ingredient in many forms of soap. In fact, some makers engage in "superfatting,", which means they add excessive amounts of fat because it creates a softened feel on the clothes. However, the price for this soft feel is a residue on your clothes (and in your washer) that will not rinse away.
Therefore, it is imperative to find an all-natural laundry detergent with no extra fat. This will allow the detergent to rinse away entirely, even in a high-efficiency washer.
Why Don't I See Suds in an HE Washer?
HE washers are designed to agitate clothes and clean them as efficiently as possible. Therefore, it does not stir excessively, which is what causes suds to form. For this reason, if you use an all-natural detergent without extra fat or a specialized HE soap, you may not see too many suds. Also, efficiency-minded people may opt for a cold water setting. Fewer suds form if there is no heat.
You should not equate suds with cleaning power. They are merely a byproduct of the washing process. You should instead look at the ingredients and measure the results of the washing cycle by how clean the clothes are, not by how much foam the detergent produces.
Can I Make My Own All-Natural Laundry Detergent?
It is possible to make all-natural laundry detergent. It will save you from being exposed to chemicals, dyes and fragrances found in some store-bought products. However, there are some drawbacks to this option. Professionally made all-natural laundry detergents have been tested and perfected. They will not react with the natural minerals in your water, and they will rinse away.
If you get the proportions even slightly wrong with your homemade soap, it may not rinse away as expected, and the buildup could harm your washing machine.
For these reasons, it is better to protect your investment in an HE washer by opting for quality, professionally made all-natural laundry detergent that does not have any extra fat. Such a product will get your clothes clean and will not damage your HE washing machine.