Can I Use Regular Tide in My HE Washer? A Comprehensive Guide

If you’ve found yourself asking, “Can I use regular Tide in my HE washer?”, you’ve come to the right place. It’s a common question among users of high-efficiency (HE) washing machines. With so many detergent options available, it can be hard to determine which is best for your washer. In this article, we’ll explore this issue in depth and provide clear, step-by-step instructions for using the correct detergent in your HE washer.

Can I Use Regular Tide in My HE Washer
Dinkun Chen, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Understanding the Difference: HE vs. Regular Detergent

High-efficiency (HE) detergents are formulated to be low-sudsing and quick-dispersing, which is crucial for the high-efficiency washers that use less water during the washing cycle than traditional machines. Regular detergents, like regular Tide, produce more suds, which can interfere with the operation of an HE machine and potentially cause damage.

Can I Use Regular Tide In My HE Washer?

The simple answer is no, you should not use regular Tide in an HE washer. Regular detergents can produce too many suds for an HE machine to handle, which can lead to poor cleaning performance and potential machine problems.

What Happens if You Use Regular Detergent in an HE Washer?

When you use regular detergent in an HE washer, it can create excess suds. These suds can remain in your clothes, making them feel soapy and less clean. Furthermore, the suds can also trap dirt lifted from clothes, allowing it to redeposit on your garments. Over time, this can lead to buildup within your washer, potentially causing performance issues and possibly shortening the lifespan of your machine.

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For more articles on washer efficiency, click here: Washing Machine Efficiency: Comprehensive Guide to Saving Energy

Using High Efficiency Detergent in a Regular Washer

On the other hand, using high efficiency detergent in a regular washer is usually acceptable. These detergents are formulated to be efficient and effective at all temperatures and water levels, including the larger volume of water in conventional washers. However, you may find that you need to adjust the amount of detergent to ensure proper cleaning, given the larger water volume in these machines.


In conclusion, it’s recommended to use high-efficiency (HE) detergents with an HE washer to ensure optimal performance and longevity of your machine. Understanding your washer and the detergent it requires is key to maintaining its efficiency and delivering fresh, clean clothes every time.