Tip & How-To about Washing Machines

Can I Use Regular Detergent in an HE Washer?

High Efficiency (HE) washers are supposed to be energy saving dynamos that use little water and make smart use of electricity to reduce energy costs to operate them. These washers usually aren't cheap, either. It is important to properly maintain your washer by thoroughly becoming familiar with the operating specifications and by not doing something that could potentially shorten the life cycle of the appliance. The right answer is to always follow the manufacturer's recommendations in your owner/operator's manual.

If you are not using HE detergent, you should be. These washers are designed to use high efficiency detergent which is formulated for wash tubs that only use small amounts of water. The typical HE washer only uses 5 to 7 gallons of water. If you use regular detergent, you are, in affect, using a higher concentration of detergent that is normally formulated for wash tubs that have a 35 gallon capacity. This can result in oversudsing and effect the operation of your washer. Most manufacturers now include a disclaimer in the owner's manual explaining this. IMPORTANT: In most cases this will also void your warranty as it is deemed as customer abuse of the appliance.

NOTE: Prolonged use of the wrong detergent can damage the drain pump components and wash tub seals. This can also attribute to the accumulation of soap scum in the wash tub bellow (gray rubber door seal), drain lines and drain pump reservoir. This sticky residue is one of the major causes of foul odors as well.

If you are using the correct detergent, double check the label to make sure it is not double (2X) or triple (3X) concentrated. You could still be placing too much soap in your wash!

Excessive laundry soap can also contribute to skin irritations as the soap residue does not sufficiently get rinsed out of the fabric. When the soap deposits become dried into your clothing, it can cause itchy red skin and/or rashes.

If you experience an over-sudsing situation most HE washers will shut down and display a fault code. To get rid of excessive detergent, there should be a RINSE & SPIN cycle to use. Run the washer through a rinse cycle with NO additional detergent added. You may have to repeat these steps several times depending on the amount of detergent used.

HE detergent is also low suds. This often misleads the consumer into thinking they aren't using enough detergent. Low suds are normal and desired when using an HE washer.

I hope this information is helpful.

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whirlpool wtw5tesvno


Whirlpool washers are available in many colors and with different options, including various tub sizes, front or top load styles, a fabric care system, high efficiency wash features and energy, time and water sensors. The washers may be purchased in department stores, home repair stores and online. Many are Energy Star rated. However, the washing machine may malfunction occasionally and not agitate or spin. If this occurs, some troubleshooting steps may be useful in solving the problem.

1 sure the washer has electrical power and is connected to a grounded electrical supply. Replace or reset the circuit breaker or fuse if needed, particularly in event of a recent power outage. Make sure the washer lid is closed tightly before use; the washer won't work if the lid is open.

2 void selecting the following cycles: "Extra Low,, "Low," "No Spin", "Delicate," "Casual/Perm Press" or "Hand Washables." All of these cycles use little to no spinning or agitating during the cycle. Select the highest possible spin cycle for the fabrics being washed.

3 pen the washer lid and redistribute the load; unbalanced loads may cause the washer to stop or slow down. Add additional items if only one large item,
such as a rug or blanket, is in the washer.

4 Use only the recommended amount of laundry detergent, as excess sussing can reduce the overall spin speed or cause the washer to stop agitating. If the Whirlpool washer is a high-efficiency model, use only high-efficiency laundry detergent.

5 Examine the drain hose and straighten if kinked. Remove any possible obstructions and ensure the end of the hose is no more than 96 inches from the floor, as this will cause water to flow back into the washing machine.


Nov 13, 2011 | Whirlpool Washing Machines

3 Answers

does kenmore recommend liquid or powdered detergent for front load machine

liquid is best as powder is mostly made of a "clay base" in its detergents??? yes i did say clay!

Nov 28, 2010 | Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

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