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Did I just doom myself with an HE washer?

654 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  thefreckledmama
Our old washer crapped out last week so we just bought a new top-load high-efficiency washer. I had heard that the HE front-loaders were tricky with diapers, are the top-loaders the same? It's an HE but it's not super-fancy, I can still pick the load size and all that. Any tricks I should use before my first load (we've washed a couple loads of clothes but not any diapers yet). And should I stick with my normal Purex free and clear detergent I've been using for the diapers or try out an HE detergent?
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We have a FL, so I can't help you with TL-specifics, but my understanding is that regular detergents suds up way too much in a HE machine. So my rec. would be to get HE detergent, they should make it in your regular brand.
FWIW, our HE does a great job with the dipes. I would rec. using the "extra water" option, if your machine has one. Good luck!
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We've always used an HE for our diapers. We use regular detergent (all free and clear) but less than half of the normal amount, and we don't use the extra water option. If you had a system that worked for you on your last washer, try your best to replicate it on the new one and see how it goes. I think you'll be impressed!
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Personally I would only use an HE detergent as the problem with regular detergents is that they are too sudsy/not concentrated enough...which is more of a problem with diapers. I would be worried that with a regular detergent you would either have build up problems or have to rinse multiple times. I use 1/4 the recommended amount of my detergent (currently use charlies) as recommended by some of the companies I've bought my diapers from.
I've never had a problem with my dipes in the FL. I do use an HE detergent (bi-o-kleen) for the dipes, and I do a pre-rinse with a bit of Calgon water softener. I wouldn't use a regular (non-HE) detergent...I've found they really foam up and you need to do a million rinses with them. When I was growing up we had a FL and we just used less detergent (there were no HE detergents then) but it doesn't seem to work as well these days to do that. <shrug>
we LOVE our he washer..
You DO need to use H/E detergent. Many of the cloth recommended ones are safe for h/e. we use planet.
one thing i noticed with ours, the cycle to add softener doesn't quite jive with what i want to do with adding vinegar, so i got a downy ball, fill it with vinegar, and so far/so good.
you'll come to find a setting combination that works for you, too.
for me, i use: prewash, set it on hot/cold, then hit the button for "extra rinse."
it takes a loooong time to wash, but they get very clean!
like a pp said, don't add the recommended amount of soap, use way less, those nappies really foam up and won't rinse very well if not. they don't need that much soap and they get clean regardless!
Still haven't done a load of dipes yet, but I think I'm going to invest in some HE detergent before I do - I washed a pukey shirt and towel with my last load of whites using regular detergent and you could still smell the puke on them after they were washed. That doesn't leave me hopeful for poopy diapers. I don't know if that's a washer or detergent problem, I think I'm going to have to play with things. IDK, maybe it was just what he ate right before he threw up...
With a HE washer, you definitely should get a HE detergent. HE detergents are different in a couple ways (possibly more, but these are the ones I know for sure). One is that they have less suds, and too many suds in an HE washer can damage the machine. Another difference is that HE detergents have more/different additives that help keep the dirt suspended in the water instead of redepositing in the clothing-which is especially necessary with the decreased amounts of water HE machines use.

When I started CDing, we had just bought a new FL'er that ended up being returned, and we went back to our old TL'er. Honestly, I GREATLY preferred the FL'er, and found it to be much less of a hassle than a TL'er, but everyone has different experiences.
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