3. Less is more. Many of us are now using high-efficiency front-loading washer machines. You want to make sure you're using a high-efficiency detergent, or follow the instructions for front-loaders. Contrary to belief, adding more detergent than you need for your machine does not give you cleaner clothes — in fact, the opposite is typically true. The dirt floats away in the suds of the wash. With too many suds, the dirt will not be effectively washed away.