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An Easy Way to Save Money on Laundry Detergent

Amount of laundry detergent to use in a small load

Do you read the instructions on the back of your laundry detergent? Do you look for the fill lines on the cap or scoop? Or, do you just fill the cap without thinking and dump tons of laundry detergent in the washing machine?

Not to long ago I was the non-measure, use as much as possible type of person. Actually, I’m still don’t measure precisely (I err on the side of under-filling) but I’m informed and more strategic about it!

If you want to spend less time and money buying and stocking up on laundry detergent, be aware of the fill lines.

The fill lines are somewhat deceiving as compared to the size of the laundry detergent cap or scoop. In fact, on my test case below the lines were extremely difficult to see!

Amount of laundry detergent to use in a small load:

Amount of laundry detergent to use in a medium load:

Amount of laundry detergent to use in a large load:

Amount of laundry detergent to use in an extra-large load:

The difference in the amount of laundry detergent this particular manufacture suggests using in a medium and large load is negligible. It’s only about an additional teaspoon for the large load. But, pay particular attention to the amount recommended for the extra-large load; it’s still just a little over half of the cap! In college I would fill the entire cap (or scoop when using powered detergent) for one load! I could have probably doubled my usage on one container of detergent!

To save money on laundry detergent, pay attention to the fill line and don’t over use. If other family members help with the laundry, consider drawing lines on the outside of the cap for easy visibility!

How much laundry detergent do you use?


Linked to Life as Mom

  • Glenda July 16, 2010, 12:03 am

    I like to use a Sharpie to mark the level–that way I don’t overfill.

  • Sarah July 16, 2010, 5:09 am

    I think I don’t fill it enough sometimes! Since we do cloth diapers, we wash everything in the same expensive detergent, so I’m pretty stingy with how much I use each time. That being said, I try to get by with the least amount no matter how large the load. I figure my clothes are still coming out clean and that’s all that matter.

  • Living So Abundantly July 16, 2010, 6:51 am

    I use to put a whole cap-full in, no matter how many clothes–yikes! I have been definitely trying to use less. What a great post! :)

  • Johnlyn July 16, 2010, 9:45 am

    You are right on with this post!

    Since moving to this new house we have to use a LOT more detergent than we ever have in the past. Our water is so hard here!

    One easy thing that I did in the past was to put in a an 1/8 measuring spoon in the detergent instead of using the huge scoop that came in the box. Sometimes I’d have to use 2 scoops, but more often times that not 1 scoop would work fine.

  • Natalie July 16, 2010, 2:17 pm

    I am with Sarah on this one, even down to the cloth diapers. Sometimes I worry that I “underfill”, but I have notice that with all the new concentrated products and different size containers the amount you need has changed a lot in the recent years depending on the brand.

  • Nora Duvigneaud July 23, 2010, 12:14 pm

    I lean towards under-filling especially if my loads are not really icky! Also, you can use less detergent if you don’t over fill your machine….

  • Anna August 30, 2012, 8:50 pm

    I use powdered detergent and actually switched the scoop they provide out for a 1/4cup measuring cup. That is the amount they recommend but their provided scoop is twice as big and just begs to be filled.