With the increasing choices in appliances, people can choose different types of machines for their daily use. Nowadays, front-loading washing machines are quite popular, for which specially designed high-efficiency detergents are required. Though front-loading washers cost more than the top-loading or regular ones, they can be a great deal as they consume less water for each load. It is a crucial difference for financial as well as environmental aspect.
There are different types of detergents like liquid, powder or pods. Some are concentrated while others are not. The manufacturers of machines recommend high-efficiency detergents for front-loader and HE top-loaders. These machines are manufactured to utilize less amount of water than those of the agitator top-loaders, which becomes the utility point requiring low Sudsing detergent. But if you are using a standard top-loader washing machine, you can keep on using the regular detergents as well as HE detergents if you need. But don’t use the standard detergent in the front loader washing machine. It can damage the appliance, void the warranty and hamper the cleaning process.
If you use lesser hot water while cleaning garments, it saves money as well as energy. There are cold water laundry detergents available in the market wherein the cleaning enzymes are manufactured to act more efficiently in cold water.
High-efficiency washers utilize only one-third of the water of vertical-axis machines, which saves energy and water. Although, less water means normal laundry detergents do not dissolve entirely which leaves residues on clothes. Regular detergents are not the best for cloth diapers, whereas high-efficiency detergents are used for these clothes, as they clean efficiently and adequately in less water.
It’s not rocket science to understand or remember the routines for using a high-efficiency detergent in a front-loader washing machine. Use a double rinse and spin in the cold water. In case of whites, prewash and then do the second rinse. You can use a very long cycle with Tide HE detergent. Go for a second rinse for the whitest white clothes but with no use of soap. You can go for a cold rinse or a prewash, then add detergent and wash hot or rinse cold during the longest cycle.
HE detergents consume less water which is environment-friendly. Although, some people claim that their clothes or diapers don’t come as clean as the regular ones, but that’s not true. If you have read the guidelines and used it correctly, there should be no such issues.
If you have bars of Fels-Naptha soap, borax powder, and washing soda, you can prepare your high-efficiency detergents at home. Grate the bar of Fels-Naptha soap by a coarse grater. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add 8-10 cups of water to melt the soap. Now, add 2 cups of borax and 2 cups of washing soda, and stir properly. Next, pour a gallon of hot water in the bucket, pour the added mixture into this. Mix. Keep on adding sufficient water to create 3 gallons and mix again. Keep it overnight, and the mixture will solidify into a gel.
Don’t forget to switch the detergent compartment to ‘liquid’ in the washer while using this composition. In case of high load, use ¼ cup borax and ¼ cup of Washing soda in the prewash drawer, press auto-soak in case of front-loaders. It will remove the hard stains more efficiently.