I am so honored beyond belief to have Carrie guest post today at Mama’s! Carrie blogs at Colorado Springs Bargains and more recently at Denver Bargains. And she is the smart cookie that created Grocery University. I was thrilled to meet Carrie at Blissdom last year and was even more thrilled to see her again at the Savvy Blogging Summit. Oh to have the wisdom and expertise that she does!
Ever wonder if that bottle or box of laundry detergent is really the number of loads it says it is? What size “loads” are we talking about, anyway? Someone tell me I’m not the only one who thinks about these things…
Medium, Large, or Extra-Large Loads?
I’ve been curious about this for months, and I finally took a few minutes to figure it out. I took a box of Surf powdered detergent, which has lines for medium, large, and extra-large loads, and figured out how many ounces of detergent each load size used:
Medium Load: 1.5 oz Large Load: 2 oz Extra-Large Load: 2.5 oz
The box contains 3 lbs, 12 oz of detergent, or 60 oz total. It claims to provide enough soap for 40 loads. But is that 40 medium, large, or extra large loads? Some quick math showed me that I’ll only get 40 loads of detergent from that box if I use the line for medium loads. If I put the amount of soap recommended for a large load, I’ll only get 30 loads, and if I fill the soap cup to the extra-large load line, it will last me for just 24 loads.
So, it seems that a 40-load box of detergent will last 40 loads if you use the fill line for a medium load. Most of us probably wash what we’d consider “large” loads, but I’d bet that a medium-sized scoop of detergent is plenty for a large load.
I’d assume this is similar for liquid detergent as well. Most liquid detergent has two fill lines, and I would guess that you’ll only get the advertised number of loads of laundry if you use the lower line. Which, again, is probably plenty. I would love to hear what Mama Laundry has to say about how much detergent is necessary!
Mama Here: Yes, Carrie is definitely right in that the advertised number of loads on the packaging is based on the smallest load-size. The advertisers are smart – they know consumers will more willingly pay for a $5 bottle of detergent that has 32 loads, as opposed to the same detergent that costs $5 but only has 20 loads. The consumer believes that they are getting more product for their money.
Do I believe that a ‘large’ load of laundry will get just as clean if you use a ‘medium’ amount of detergent? Well, it depends. If you are using a premium detergent such as Tide I believe that it will. If you are using store-brand detergent, possibly not.
It also depends on how dirty/soiled the load of laundry is. If your husband works outside all day in the heat, you’ll need a ‘large’ capful of detergent to adequately clean his clothes. If you are washing a large load of just regular, everyday clothes you can probably get by just fine with a ‘medium’ capful and still have clean, fresh-smelling, stain-free laundry.
There are some rules about laundry that don’t change: always sort whites from reds/purples or wash lingerie on the delicate cycle to ensure a long life. But then there are vague areas where the rules vary from wash load to wash load. Experiment with your preferred brand of detergent and with your own family’s laundry to determine how much detergent is needed.
If you can get by with washing large loads with a medium capful of detergent, then by all means, do so! The less detergent you can use, the less money you spend!
Carrie Isaac helps Colorado families save money on everything from groceries to entertainment at Colorado Springs Bargains and Denver Bargains. Their mission is to “help Colorado families save money on the things they have to buy, and enable them to do things they couldn’t otherwise afford”.
I am pleased to link this post to Frugal Friday over at Life as MOM.