Can You Use Normal Detergent In A Front Load Washing Machine?

It is perfectly okay to use normal detergent in a front loader, but if you can lay your hands on a high-efficiency laundry detergent it would be better. 

Normal detergents are formulated to work in a lot of water thus developing many suds as you wash them. Because a front loader typically requires little quantity of water, the suds can over power the washer and therefore result in a host of problems such as streaking on clothes, smelly washer, and even poorly washed clothes.

In the rest of the article, we’ll discuss more on using normal detergent in a front loader, and also check out other alternatives for washing in a front loader.

Use a High Efficiency Laundry detergent in a front loader

Whenever possible, try to use a high-efficiency washing laundry detergent in a front loading washing machine. Nowadays, many brands of detergents are incorporating high-efficiency variance into their detergent lines. So it’s very easy to lay your hands on one.

High efficiency detergents develop less suds compared to normal detergents. This fact however, doesn’t mean they clean less efficiently than normal detergents! 

In fact, they are very good at doing what they do best, and that is cleaning clothes in small quantities of water. This makes them extremely compatible with front loaders, because front loaders too are made to accommodate only little quantities of water during washing! 

What happens when you use normal detergent in a front loader

Unless you’re making sure to use moderate quantities of normal laundry detergent in your front loader, then you would certainly run into the following problems we’re about to discuss. 

Smelly washer

Front loaders on a normal day are prone to developing smells and pathogenic growth, due to the standing water in them that refuses to evaporate when the door is shut. This is actually one of the main selling points of top loaders over front loaders. 

Now the addition of sudsy detergent to the equation, means that you’ll have suds all over the place in the washer including the nooks and crannies which would be difficult to get rid of unless you make it a point of duty to run a heavy duty cleaning session after every wash, which isn’t going to be feasible!

With suds everywhere in your machine, the problem becomes even more pronounced! 

Poor cleaning

Another issue you might run into is poorly done laundry! Clothes clean less effectively in a foamy and sudsy environment, because their contact with the wash water is reduced by a great degree. 

Streaking on clothes

The chief cause of streaking on clothes is too much detergent. When you have too much detergent, you produce too many suds which deposit on your clothes and cause streaking. So what’s the solution? Use less detergent or use a formulation that doesn’t form too much suds.

If you opt for a normal detergent, then you would have thes streak formation on your clothes, and the fact that front loaders use less water compared to top loaders when it comes to rinsing makes everything even worse. 

And know this, too much detergent not only causes streaking, it can trigger allergic reactions in those that are allergic to the chemicals in laundry detergent.


Using too much of normal detergent in a front loader can cause overflowing. An overflow in a top loader is almost impossible, because the drum is deep and so the suds won’t be able to climb up that high and overflow. 

The same isn’t true for front loaders however, because the construction differs, and this time around, the suds can easily climb high and overflow through the doors. 

Can you use pods?

Pods are great alternatives to high-efficiency laundry detergent. These are simply detergents packed into polyvinyl casings that are actually dissolvable. 

Pods are premeasured and typically compatible with high-efficiency machines and therefore would fit well in front loaders. 

Using pods is very easy, simply toss them into the empty drum then add the clothes in and run a cycle. Make sure you use the right number of pods for the amount of load that you have, otherwise you might end up with streaks on your clothes.

Can you use dish soap?

So we’ve talked about HE detergents and laundry pods in the front loader. What else can you use in a front loader? Dish soap? 

The same reason why you should avoid using normal laundry detergent in a front loader is the same reason you should avoid using dish soap in it too. Dish soap creates so many suds that impedes washing and also affects machines in the various ways that we’ve outlined above.

Along with this fact, avoid using shampoo, body wash and also hand soaps in a front loader.

Final Thoughts

Normal laundry detergents can be used in a front loader washing machine, but you have to make sure you’re using very little of it otherwise you’ll end up with too many suds that would cause problems for your machine and laundry.

The best form of detergent to use in a front loader is HE detergents. They produce less suds and would do a good job at cleaning clothes. Another option you have is laundry pod like those from Tide and Persil. They’re much more convenient than any other type of detergent out there as they are pre measured and mostly HE compatible.