HE (high-efficiency) laundry detergents are specialized formulas made to use in HE washing machines. The main difference between a HE detergent and a regular one is the amount of suds. HE detergents produce less suds and are designed for the lower water environments of HE machines. 


How can you tell if you have an HE washer? Does HE detergent actually work? Can you use non-HE detergent in HE machines? Read on to find out.


Do You Have a HE Washer that Needs High-Efficiency Detergent?


What does HE mean on laundry detergent?

If you’re shopping for an HE detergent for your high-efficiency washer, look for the blue and white oval with the letters “h” and “e” surrounded by a white swirl on the label. It should be the same symbol you saw on your washer.
The HE symbol might be located on the front of the bottle, or on the reverse, near the washing instructions and ingredients. When you see HE on a laundry detergent bottle, you’ll know that this detergent is designed for HE washing machines.

HE Detergent vs Regular Detergent: Which Should I Use?


There are various types of laundry detergent for the various types of washers, kind of like there are different types of fuel for different types of engines. Just as you wouldn’t put gasoline in a diesel car or truck, you should only use HE detergent in a HE washer.


You’re probably wondering, “can you use HE detergent in a regular, non-HE washing machine?” The answer to that is, yes! While you should not use regular detergent in a HE washer for the reasons stated above, it is fine to use HE detergent in a conventional washing machine. You should increase the amount you use since more water in the washer cycle will dilute the detergent further. And remember, don’t expect as many suds! HE laundry detergents are low-sudsing by design.


HE detergent vs Ultra-Concentrated Laundry Detergent



While almost all detergents today are HE, only some have the added feature of being ultra-concentrated. Detergents with the HE symbol on the bottle are formulated for the low-sudsing, low-water environment of an HE machine. Ultra-concentrated laundry detergents can be used in regular, non-HE washing machines and in HE washers if they are also HE detergents.


Swash® Liquid Laundry Detergent is both HE and ultra-concentrated - it’s an 8x detergent. What sets ultra-concentrated detergents apart is that they use less water in their formulation. Large bottles of laundry detergent are diluted with water, while concentrated laundry detergents contain less water and are less diluted. As a result, you don’t need to use as much detergent in every load to get the same cleaning performance.


Since ultra-concentrated detergents will be combined with water inside your washing machine, they don’t need to dilute the detergent inside the bottle. By reducing the water and concentrating the detergent, you can have a smaller bottle that is easier to ship, pour, and store, taking up less room in your laundry area.


Can I Use Swash® Laundry Detergent in an HE Washer?


Choosing HE or Concentrated Laundry Detergent