The most frequent question I get about my homemade laundry soap recipe-both here on the blog and over on my YouTube video for making laundry soap is “Can I use homemade laundry soap/ laundry detergent in an HE washing machine?”
The next most common question is “Really? Only one TBS for a load?”. . . but I digress.
HE stands for “High Efficiency” -HE washers are typically front loading washers specifically created to use less water than a standard washing machine. Because less water is used, laundry detergent must be low sudsing and disperse quickly. About.com has a great article explaining HE Clothes Washers that you can read for more information.
Unfortunately I do not have an HE washer, and I can not offer solid advice or personal experience on this question. What I can say is this. Homemade laundry soap has almost no suds-that is actually one of the complaints you hear from first time users. “There were no suds and the water looked gray? Is that right?”*
If I were the person with an HE washer, I would personally feel comfortable trying the homemade laundry detergent in the machine. However I am not an expert-each of you faced with this decision will have to make your own choice based on the facts you have available.
I did look around to see what some of my favorite sources had to say about using homemade laundry detergent/soap in an HE machine. The fabulous Tipnut addresses this about 2 pages down in her “Homemade Laundry Detergent FAQ“, and Thrifty Fun had this exact question about HE washers & soap asked-you can go read all the answers from their readers.
Do any of you use homemade detergent in an HE machine? What are your feelings on the matter?
*note: Yes, it is normal for there to be little or no suds. Yes, it is normal for the water to look gray-that’s the dirt coming out of the clothes. You just don’t notice it with your store bought detergent because the suds keep you from seeing the water.