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.
HE washers use a tumbling system rather than an agitator. In front-loading models the tub rotates clockwise and then counterclockwise to achieve the tumbling motion. In top-loading machines clothes are cleaned in a shallow pool of water and the washer uses a gentle spinning or rotating plates or disks to achieve the tumbling action. Both machines spray clothes using re-circulated water during the rinse cycle.
Clothes may seem dryer when removed from an HE machine because more water is removed. This will save energy during the drying cycle.
Even with the reduced water levels, HE washers can accommodate the full-sized loads to which we are accustomed.
It is important to purchase detergents specially formulated for HE washers to get good results. HE detergents are low-sudsing and quick-dispersing. Using a traditional detergent will result in too many suds that will prevent the tumbling action needed for cleaning. HE detergents hold soil in suspension so it is not re-deposited onto clean clothes even in the low volume of water.
Look for the HE symbol on the detergent box or bottle. Most pre-treat products are still normal to high sudsing and their use should be limited in HE washers. HE detergents can be used as a presoak or pre-treater.
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