Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Using Less Laundry Detergent

Wait! Don't go!

I didn't buy this Tide liquid laundry detergent. Like the paper towels she stuffs under the sink, this "essential" was brought by my visiting mother.

It's been a long time since I last used Tide. How much detergent do you put in one load, anyway? You'd be hard pressed to tell from the faint white "one load" line in the middle of the cap. Apparently, my husband has been using the full-cap, 3-load amount for each wash.

I'm certainly not going to tell a husband-who's-nice-enough-to-do-wash how to do the wash. Instead, I took a Sharpie and marked the one-load line a little clearer.

If your children do their own laundry, drawing a line on the cap might stretch your liquid detergent a little farther. If you really want to toe the line, draw it a little less than one load.

Check out What? My Checked Bounced for a load-by-load account of how long a bottle of Tide lasts, 2 Tbsp. at a time.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gulp....I am washing a large load of laundry, as we speak, with Tide. And I just wiped up a spill from making coffee with 2 paper towels. No frugality here, I guess!

Susan

SaversAdvice said...

I also add about 3-5 capfulls of water after I've done a few loads of laundry. This works great and keeps DH from using too much!

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't use Tide any more, too expensive. I buy the large jug at Sam's Club (their brand) and it sits on a shelf. I buy the jug that has the 'dispensor' thingy on it. I don't use their cap to measure either. I use one of my grandma's china coffee cups. I know that a quarter cup of this will do my load just fine. This is their HE detergent because of my front-loading machine. I love this machine. It might not have been the most frugal machine in the store, but it is HUGE and does a fine job. The clothes come out almost dry from the spin. I hang the laundry in the sun to dry and it smells wonderful.
I also use very few paper towels. I keep a roll in the kitchen for draining somethings..but I also keep newspaper in the kitchen..I put two to three sheets of newspaper on the plate then 1 sheet of paper towel...drain what ever and throw it away.
Thanks for the blog. You do a wonderful job. Roxie

What Works For Us said...

We do the same thing - but I've never thought of drawing a line for hubby (and I SHOULD). Good tip!

Nico said...

What a great tip! Now how do you get your hubby to do laundry? ;) Love your blog.

Tammy said...

I so agree! As long as my husband is doing the laundry, the only thing I really care about is that he doesn't throw my clothes which I line dry, in the dryer! =)

Meredith said...

I would actually prefer to do all the laundry myself, as I am much pickier and more careful.

But I won't complain if my husband wants to throw a load or two in the wash! He's great about getting things started for me, especially when we return from a trip.

Elizabeth said...

I use much less than they call for, because so much of the detergent is "filler". I use 1-2 Tbs when I wash my cloth diapers particularly.

Meredith, or anyone else lol, do you have any insights about buying appliances? We are going to be renting my dad's house, and he just told me that he's taking his washer/dryer OR I could buy them for $200... they are not that great though, in terms of efficiency. I'm wondering if we would be better to find some newer used ones for a bit more...

AmyG said...

My hubby does the washing too, it is his choice of a way to help, since we both work. I make my own laundry soap and we use that all the time, I haven't purchased commercial laundry detergent in ages. :)

Thanks for all the great posts, this is a wonderful blog!

Gena said...

I never use Tide - it costs way too much for me. I use Gain or All, and I buy it when they have it with a rebate at B.J.'s (like Sam's or Costco). I only fill it to the small load line and our clothes have always gotten clean.

I'm about to try my first batch of homemade laundry detergent - the powder variety. We'll see how that goes. It is way cheaper, but I hope it gets my clothes clean enough.

Hubby NEVER does laundry here. I like to do it all anyway.

Anonymous said...

You may also want to make your own detergent - even cheaper! It's so easy!! My DD is allergic to detergents, so it's a double boon for us - cheap, helps her not break out, and it cleans SO MUCH better. I microplane down a bar of Ivory, which makes about 2 cups of soap fluff. Then I add in 1 c. washing soda (Arm and Hammer - but NOT baking soda!) and 1 c. Borax. Shake it up until it's all mixed and then use 2 T. per load. Really. It works like a dream and I think all told it runs less than 20 cents a load. Love your blog!

mama k said...

I actually always use a little less than recommended even. The clothes get just as clean and every little bit counts!

2boysmama said...

My hubby is a consumer reporst junky so we use tide since it is rated #1. I do notice a difference (he does!) when I don't use Tide.

We have a HE washer so I only use aboue 1/8 the amt of detergent that it recommends. This make the cost of detergent go waayy down!

Frugal Disney Mom said...

As you know I have my laundry experiment going strong with my bottle of tide. My only advice is check that line cause even though I used a sharpie my line did start to wear off so I had to redo it.

Lu said...

I buy a large thing of Purex and find that it doesn't clean unless I use a full cap full. Any suggestions? BTW, I have a two year old and he's potty training, so I have lots of stains! Maybe a better suggestion for an inexpensive spot clean?!

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting discussion. I would love to try Meredith's homemade detergent, but we have a HE (High Efficency) Machine and I am hesitant to try it in that machine. For the gal wondering about new appliances, if you have a large family at all, my advice would be to absolutely get one of the new high efficiency machines. They are WONDERFUL for large families because they do a large amount of laundry in a hurry, and they don't use much detergent or water. That's important for us since we live in the country and have a septic system. Has anyone tried the homemade detergent in the HE machines? I'd be curious in how it worked for you!
Susan

Anonymous said...

I'll add one more thought about the HE machines. They seem to get our laundry exceptionally clean, compared to our old top load machine, and they do come out practically dry from the spin. That's a real savings on the drying time. I also hang laundry out when I can, and it takes almost no time at all out on the line when they are spun almost dry to start with!

Susan :-)