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How to Select Green or Eco-Friendly HE Detergents

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Green or Eco-friendly HE detergents can be difficult to find in many stores. If you can't find products specifically labeled as eco-friendly, a little label reading will offer alternatives.

HE or high efficiency washers have been on the market for more than a decade but have become even more popular as consumers are drawn to their water and energy saving capabilities. These washers use 20 to 66 percent less water than traditional agitator washers. Less water means less water to heat and energy use can be 20 to 50 percent less offering long-term savings and environmental benefits.

As front-loading machines become more prominent in the United States, more green high-efficiency detergents will be developed and stocked on store shelves.

While it is important to purchase detergents specially formulated for HE washers to prevent too many suds and prevent the tumbling action needed for cleaning, you can use 2X green detergents in your HE washer. You just need to use significantly less. I would start with 1/4 the recommended amount and see if you are pleased with the cleanliness of your clothing. Be very careful that you don't use too much 2X detergent or you'll have a floor of suds.

Another green alternative is to use any Procter and Gamble HE product. The main problem in detergents to our environment is surfactant nonylphenol ethoxylate or NPE. Proctor and Gamble stopped using this chemical several years ago and phosphates have been banned in laundry detergents for many years.

Select a product that is fragrance and color free - one formulated for sensitive skin - to get the most chemical free detergent.

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