Detergent Companies Are Unhappy With Our Efficient Washing Machines

High-efficiency washing machines, which use less water to clean your clothes, are an advance that most customers seem to like. Do you know who doesn’t like them, though? Detergent manufacturers. With traditional machines, consumers can dump any old amount of detergent in with our clothes, and it doesn’t matter. With a high efficiency machine, using too much detergent causes problems, so consumers are finally using the correct amount of detergent.

In a standard machine, excess detergent just rinses off, and you could use too much soap for decades without even realizing it. Apparently, many of us were.

We can’t have been over-pouring by that much, right? Apparently, we have. A market researcher tells Bloomberg Businessweek that detergent sales are down by 6.4% since 2009. That period also coincides with sales of machines with larger capacities than in the past, which means fewer loads overall and less soap used per load. High-efficiency machines started to catch on about a decade ago, and it took a little while for consumers to figure out how much soap to use.

What is Big Detergent’s solution to the problem? Better prices. All of the major brands, from Tide to Purex, are offering coupons, deals, and price cuts to coax customers back to their brands.

Laundry Detergent Makers Want More Suds [Bloomberg Businessweek]

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