Use Less My Butt!

I think this will be one post that everyone will be able to comment on!  I’m pretty sure we all use it, we all buy it, and we all hate doing it!  It’s a never ending cycle that usually falls on to one person for one reason or another.  It’s a chore that must be done, whether it’s every day or just once a week…it’s the laundry!

I don’t mind doing the laundry.  Sometimes I forget that I’ve started the washer and it goes through a whole cycle with an empty drum, but overall I don’t get worked up over it!  What I hate about laundry is folding it and putting it away!  Why can’t it just go from the dryer to the drawer in one sweep and fold itself mid-air along the way? Wouldn’t that be great?  What got me thinking about this in the first place was my last trip to the grocery store.

For the most part we do our shopping at Walmart.  Yes, I know.  It’s not my favorite place either, but when you’re buying cleaning stuff, toiletries, etc it’s the cheapest place to go.  Anyway, on my last trip for this stuff I had to get laundry soap and unfortunately,  they didn’t have the size I normally get.  As I scanned the shelves, I noticed that our brand came in a *NEW* smaller container with more ‘Concentrated Power, Use Less” plastered on the bottle.  So, instead of the 2x ultra I normally get, I got the 3x ultra.  According to the bottle I was suppose to get 96 loads out of the thing.  The same number of loads I’m suppose to get from the 2x ultra bottle.

I get home and place my new laundry bottle on the dryer next to the old bottle that was almost empty and start to wonder how many loads I actually get out of a jug of laundry soap to begin with.  So began my experiment.  When I started the new 3x ultra (smaller) bottle of laundry soap, I started keeping track of how many loads of laundry I was doing and tallying it on the side of the bottle.  To make sure I was accurate, I read the instructions and filled the little cup to the correct line and used that for each load.

First thing that I noticed was that the prices for each container are the same! The 2x ultra container that has 150 oz cost $10.64 at Walmart.  The 3x ultra container that has 96 oz cost $10.64 at Walmart.  WTH?   Second thing I noticed really pissed me off.  The little cups that come on the jugs that also act as the cap, were the same size on both the 2x ultra container and 3x ultra container! The SAME SIZE!  Tell me oh wise people, if the measuring cup is exactly the SAME for a container that has 54 oz LESS laundry soap, how am I going to still get 96 loads out of that container?  Hmmm?  Anyone, anyone??!  I still have to use the same amount of laundry soap per load whether it’s 2x concentrated or 3x concentrated!   Third thing I noticed was how much laundry I actually do in one week!  Holy crap!  I was doing 5 loads of laundry some days and I do laundry throughout the week!  I don’t save it all for one day!  When the 3x ultra concentrated container was empty of it’s 96 fl oz that I was suppose to still get 96 loads out of, I had only done 85 loads.

Hmmm, now I’m no genius, but I’d say this is one great marketing scam!   I’m sure someone was given a huge bonus for figuring this out and knowing that America would fall for it!  Their slogan should be, “3x ultra concentrated so you think you need less when really you’re getting less, paying the same price and using the same amount so you need to buy more sooner than you would have so we make more money”!  Use less my butt!

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23 Responses to Use Less My Butt!

  1. Joy says:

    I can’t even believe you did all this math and did all that keeping track. Oh man Sue, you have me beat!!! I’ll be back but I just had to say that. LOL!!!

    • shane says:

      I was going to say the same thing as Joy. Although I gotta hand it to you for doing that. I’ve always wondered if you really get the amount is says on the bottle. Now I don’t have to. You should write a letter to the company and bitch maybe you’ll get some free crap!!

  2. SKL says:

    Hm! Are you sure the instructions say to use the same amount? That would tick me off so bad, I would probably boycott the company. I hate when anyone lies to get ahead at someone else’s expense!

    I used to have the same irritation with toilet paper. For the longest time, they’d say you’re getting the equivalent of 3 rolls in one, but the paper was so thin, you just had to use more of it. Then you got used to using more and did that even when you went back to the “normal” type. What a scam. I bet they figured they could get away with it because, who’s gonna go public whining about their toilet paper usage? (ahem . . .)

    I love the idea of the concentrated soaps and stuff. Takes less space and the difference is just water anyway. But it takes presence of mind to remember not to use the same quantity you’re used to. My sister comes over to babysit on Sundays and she’ll use like a quarter bottle of dish liquid in one day. It’s the fancy, natural, concentrated kind – and I could go two weeks before the level of the detergent sinks one inch. So ultimately, unless all users are disciplined about it, it is easy to way overuse the “new concentrated version” of these products. Did the merchants foresee this result? Probably, on a temporary basis. Does that make them evil? I don’t think so, if they tell the truth about how concentrated the product is.

    But yeah, that is a lot of laundry you are doing. I find myself doing about 3 loads a week nowadays for myself and my 2 kids, which is a lot more than I ever used to do. Maybe I am just a slob . . . .

    • Sue says:

      That’s my point though SKL. You are suppose to need less if you’re using the concentrated version, but when the measuring cup is exactly the same on the one that’s more concentrated than the other, you’re not really using less!

  3. Ellen says:

    Thanks for the testing, Sue. This is indeed a scam. Did you send an email or letter to the company? Perhaps they will send you some new detergent containers. And indeed, 5 laundries a day. That is a lot! To be honest, I do not mind folding the laundry. I mostly do it in front of the TV. I use the whole sofa. I am most times alone then. 🙂

    • SKL says:

      I enjoy folding the clothes. Actually, I enjoy everything to do with laundry – as long as I don’t have to iron, LOL. There’s something relaxing about the hands-on aspect of it. Or maybe I’m just weird. Then again, at times when I have to do more loads (e.g., when they found lice at my kids’ daycare, when my kid barfed 10x in one night), then I am less enamored with laundry for a while.

  4. mad hatter tosha... says:

    yep hate that!!!!

  5. Laura says:

    I remember an uproar a while back surrounding (sorry, guys) Tampax Tampons.

    They had decided to “save money” by reducing the larger box (36 count, maybe?) to 20 tampons, but continued to charge the same price. IMMEDIATELY women all over the country went absolutely crazy, writing the company, threatening a boycott, etc.

    The response was so huge and so quick that the company did a swift about-face, and put the original size box back on the shelves, at the previous price.

    Don’t mess with a woman and her wallet!!

    Write to the company, Sue. Tell them that you’re onto their little scheme. See what comes of it.

  6. Sue says:

    Thanks for all the comments! No, I haven’t written to the company yet. I really thought, “I’m only one person what are they going to say? So sorry we scammed you?” I don’t think so, but I did get mad all over again writing the post so maybe I will do something about it! Believe me, I thought about boycotting the brand, but it’s the only brand that doesn’t make my husband break out so I’m kinda stuck 😦

  7. Nikki says:

    WTH?? That’s ridiculous! I would write or email then to them if I were you. It wouldn’t hurt and like others have said, it might get you something.
    I never use the amount the bottle says. In fact, I use only half. That is all you need. Jason being a appliance pro says all that detergent ruins your washer. You only need half of what they say to use.
    I hate putting laundry away too! Jason and I have a tag team plan with laundry during the weekend. I used to not do any laundry on the weekend because I felt I deserved that time off. But Monday would roll around and I’d be so backed up! It’s amazing how much dirty laundry accumulates in 2 days! Now he washes all the laundry on the weekends and I put it away as he goes. Works well. I wish I had him during the week!
    You should email the company though, and if you do keep us posted!!
    BTW…I just love that laundry sign next to your washer!

    • Sue says:

      Thanks Nikki! I can’t even remember where I got that one! I have another one that is a pair of pants that says “Laundry, Drop Your Pants Here” 🙂

    • Joy says:

      I think Jason must be right about the amount you use. I remember a few years ago when my dishwasher quit working and I had to have a guy come out and look at it. The first thing he told me was to use half the soap of what they said to use. He said it gets plugged up in the drain if it doesn’t all go down it. It gets the hard stuff that gets on your dishwasher soap bottle. He also told me to never use those “capsule” like tablets. He said they get stuck in the motors and drains and plug them up too. Just so you know.

      I also know now that I have the front loading machines, you have to use a different soap and WAY less soap. I use “maybe” half a cap for each load. Maybe one day you’ll have front loading Sue 😉

  8. Just a Mom says:

    I have always wanted to add up how many loads you get to a bottle of detergent! Thanks for doing the work for me.
    Companies do this all the time! Remember when you could get a pound of coffee or how about a pound of bacon? They reduce the amount all the time but they seldom reduce the price!

  9. Joy says:

    You know what really irritates me about this is that they’re telling us we are getting more and we’re not. I wouldn’t mind SO MUCH if there wasn’t a lie being told.

    I remember a year ago or however long ago it was when I wrote the post about boxes getting smaller. Cereal and juice bottles. Anyone remember that one? Anyway, it’s when you feel you’re getting cheated that you get mad. If you knew, like if the company said, “hey, times are tough, we’re going to buckle down, small up our product,” then I don’t think people would be so mad but you feel like you’re getting more and obviously you’re not.

    Great post Sue. You’re right, we can all relate to laundry. I remember back in the day when I had to haul it down two flights of stairs and then back up. Ugg……It feels easy with just Paul and I now.

  10. Brilliant post, Sue! You sure made me laugh. But you’re ABSOLUTELY right! Those big letters on bottles of detergents and soaps and stuff are almost ALWAYS a scam it seems… The people who think this stuff up are super-duper smart, no doubt about it, since they manage to dupe us all into buying things, but still – you must admit that they must be agents of the devil or something like that! 😛

  11. mssc54 says:

    Now I can rightly see how all you women-folk are all in an uproar.

    Sue you left out one criticle aspect of you equation. Did you weigh each load to determine that you were washing “load for load”?

    If you want to be further annoyed just take a look at the cereal boxes. The boxes are smaller but the cost is the same or more. And it’s virtually impossible to find concentrated cereal!

    You should print out this post and mail it off to the Scam Artist Company. 😉

  12. Tessa says:

    Scientist Sue! Great experiment! I always was curious about that too! There are so many ways they try to scam customers with advertising! Thanks for the head’s up! I figured it is all in advertising-that more expensive doesn’t mean it is better-I use to think so-but after using the CHEAPEST Arm and Hammer it works just as good!! I don’t want to give those companies what they want-more money when they are doing nothing that much better!!

  13. c says:

    As one who, sadly and somewhat doggedly, works in retail I can tell you that little things like that ‘3X’ and ‘use less’ on the containers snare shoppers like moths to a flame. Most folks wouldn’t do what you’ve done, even if they had that something-is-rotten feeling in their gut.

    Have you noticed the skyrocketing price of laundry detergent? And now there’s all these accessories- balls for softener (I still don’t get how that works), stuff you stick to the side of your dryer for 2-4 months, 3-in-1 packs of sheets to put in the wash that consist of detergent, softener and a static minimizer, washing machine washers…


  14. joz1234 says:

    I find that if I do one load everyday, I make a point to put it up. If I do it all at one time, I never get it done and I never get it put away until about 3-4 days later.

    I’ve been suspicious of the detergent thing too. I might try the half thing and see how it works. I don’t bug about it to much because I buy the cheap stuff. I want to see if tide really does a better job, but I hesitate to spend so much money.

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