High-Efficiency Top Loader Wash Routine

Auto Water Level/No Agitator/Short Agitator

These modern top loaders use less water and longer wash cycles compared to a traditional top loader. In this sense, they function similarly to a front loader, relying on agitation between the fabrics to remove soiling.

General Wash Routine


Choose a short cycle with agitation (not just rinse and spin). Use the quantity of detergent and water temperature listed in the Detergent Index, highest spin speed and deep rinse setting.

Main Wash 

Choose the longest cycle the machine has (eg. Cottons or Heavy Duty), the addition of extra agitation is optional (eg. Intensive option).  Use the quantity of detergent and water temperature listed in the Detergent Index, choose spin speed and deep rinse setting. See Hot vs Cold Water for more information on water temps.


On the line, clothes airer, clothes dryer or a combination. If drying shells or AIOs allow them to cool in the dryer before stretching the elastics. When line drying avoid putting shells in direct sunlight, UV can eventually degrade PUL.

How To Properly Load Your High-Efficiency Top Loader

The same concept of a ‘stew/casserole’ consistency applies to HE Top Loaders (See Traditional Top Loader Wash Routine for more information and guidance on loading). The difference is that water is automatically added by the machine to match the amount of laundry. Some machines are very good at detecting the amount of water needed, most when the machine is at least half full of laundry, some are not. If auto water is an option, test the function to see if the machine achieves a stew/casserole consistency. To view agitation in the machine while it is operating, the lid sensor needs to be covered to mimic it being shut.

How to Properly Load Your Top Loader Without an Agitator