Can I Use Regular Detergent in the Washer 

No, you cannot use regular detergent in the washer because it conflicts with the washer leading to poorly washed clothes. What’s more is that regular detergent produces suds with reduced water levels, in which cases you might be presented with a “SUDS” error code in your control panel. If this happens your washer will stop for a short time for the suds to dissipate.

Alternatively, you could troubleshoot this problem by wiping the interior of the drum with a clean and dry cloth to get rid of the excess bubbles and soap residue. You will then set the machine to a full load and leave it to fill with water before adding two cups of distilled white vinegar. Once you have completed the wash cycle, you will carry out a second rinse cycle that will help get rid of the lingering residue.

Also, if you use the regular detergent in your High-efficiency washer chances are that the wash cycle could take longer and which will negatively affect the cleaning performance or make the machine overflow.

If you take a closer look at the operational mechanism of the front loader, you will realize that it washes by rotating the tub and continuously lifts the clothes, and drops them into the detergent water. So, if there are suds in the water they will block the clothes from being dropped into the water, and if the suds are too heavy then the clothes won’t be dropped completely.

How to use regular detergent in the washer

Sudsing is a common problem with the front loaders but then again back in the day there were not so many washer detergents and most people used the regular detergents with the H. E machines. For the perfect wash, you will want to use a small amount of the regular detergent in your front loader or High-Efficiency machine. Individuals who own new model washers will attest that the manufacturers insist on using H.E detergents only, to prevent over sudsing caused by regular ingredients.

Thus if you own one of the older washer models that have not specified the detergent that you must use, then you can use the regular detergent powder, but first, you must ensure that you find an accurate measuring cup and then follow the instructions outlined on the detergents box. If you will be using hard water then you must first soften it up by adding a cup of vinegar, this will dissolve the minerals and soften the water.

Differences between regular detergent and the H.E detergents

HE vs regular detergent

There is a very huge difference between washing powders designed for use on high-efficiency machines and the ones used for handwashing. The H.E washing powders or rather the ones used on washing machines have been configured to dissolve quickly when put in water, it lathers easily and washes clean. Now the big difference between the H.E washing powder and the handwashing powder is that the latter does not dissolve or lather easily.

And that is why when you use normal handwashing detergents, you have to first soak your clothes. So, for as much as you can use the regular washing detergent on your washing machine, keep in mind that frequent use will lead to your washer getting spoilt fast. This is because the powder stains will remain on the clothes and the drum of the washer.

Detergents for top loader and front loader washers

As discussed above the regular detergents produce more foam when compared to the H.E detergents and that is why they mostly work well with the top-loading washers. Now the detergent used on the front loader is quite different from the one used with the top loader because it contains an anti-foam ingredient. Remember that a front loader washer uses less water while the cleaning operations are characteristic of enhanced mechanical actions.

Front-loaders therefore, don’t do well with the regular washing detergent or the detergent used with top loader washers, as they encourage the build-up of suds in the washing machine. Once the above happens then it is very likely that foam will build up between the outer and inner drum wall of the washer and will end up creating a suction that can cause the motor to burn out.

H.E detergents do not produce a lot of foam but offer the best cleaning service while utilizing less water and are especially recommended for use with the H.E washers.


Regular detergent can be used in the washer, but first, you will have to experiment to determine the right amount of detergent that will give you a proper washing action. Besides manufacturers are now coming up with detergents that can be used for both handwashing and on the washing machines. And even better is that directions will be provided on the packaging of the amount of detergent to use on the washer or for handwashing.


What can I use in my washer when I run out of laundry detergent?

If you run out of detergent, you can use a cup of borax or baking soda with the normal load.

What is the main difference between H.E detergents and regular detergents?

The H.E detergents dissolve quickly and lather easily, while the regular detergents take long to dissolve and produce a lot of foam.

Dennis Vaughn

Dennis Vaughn is a certified plumber and has been offering apprenticeship experiences to most of his employees for the past 12years. Dennis owns and runs an appliance store, and has a team made of different expertise from electricians, appliance repair individuals, and plumbers. According to him dealing with appliances is one thing but the after-sales services are what makes for the loyal clients. Many people don’t know who to call when their appliances break or become faulty, and a good number are not aware of the varieties of appliances in the market tailored to fit their expectations. The above is what necessitated the creation of the extensive excerpts on the washing machine units, which come complete with directions on the simple home repairs.