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The Right Detergent for the Job

Q. Do high-efficiency laundry detergents do a better job?

A. A high-efficiency or HE detergent is recommended for washing machines that are more energy-efficient. In fact, some new models’ warranties will not cover problems caused by the use of regular detergents, reports ShopSmart, a magazine published by Consumers Union.

In general, effective cleaning is a matter of choosing the right type of detergent for your washing machine. Regular detergents create more suds and are intended for older top loaders.

Using them in newer front loaders and high-efficiency top loaders, which use less water, can cause delays in washing cycles, keep clothes from rinsing properly and promote odor-causing residue.

HE detergents are more concentrated, so be sure to measure carefully. Using too much will hurt washing performance.

Sid Kirchheimer writes about health and consumer issues.

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