Many of today’s washers are labeled as high-efficiency (HE) and require high efficiency detergent, as opposed to older models that use regular detergent. An HE washing machine works with specially designed detergent and lower water levels to save more water. Read on to learn the differences between an HE washing machine and how it compares to traditional models.


How do you know if you have an HE washer? Simply look for this symbol. It appears on HE detergent bottles as well, so you’ll know that you’re using the right type.

An agitator washer in action

What is an HE Washing Machine?

HE washers use a specific high-efficiency detergent designed to work with lower water levels while still providing a powerful clean. Compared to older models, HE washers save 6,000 gallons of water per year for an average family, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They’re available as top loading agitator, top loading impeller and front loading models.


If more water gives you extra cleaning confidence, there are washers that let you add more water when you want it. Maytag offers a line of top load washers featuring the Deep Fill option, which uses maximum water levels to help break up tough messes.

A person filling a detergent dispenser with Swash® Laundry Detergent

How Do HE Washers Clean?

If you want optimal performance from your high-efficiency washer, then you need to use high-efficiency detergent. HE detergent is low-sudsing and quick dispersing, and is formulated specifically to work with the lower water levels of HE washers. 

Learn more about how high-efficiency detergent works—in both HE and regular washers—and why it’s crucial to your HE washer performance in our infographic.

Swash® detergent bottles

The Smart Way to Wash

Maytag recommends Swash® Laundry Detergent1, which is 8x concentrated, so you need less than regular detergent. Plus, it’s safe for all washing machines, including HE.

Maytag® top load washer


Browse our full selection of washers to compare high-efficiency and traditional models.

Shop all Maytag® washers

Maytag® washers are designed with performance and durability in mind to help you tackle tough messes. Browse select models with features like the Extra Power button for stain-fighting performance or the Optimal Dose dispenser system that releases the right amount of detergent, fabric softener and stain removers at the right time during the wash cycle.


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  1. Swash and the recommending brands are owned and distributed by Whirlpool Corporation.