YONKERS, N.Y. — Using too much concentrated laundry detergent can wash its benefits away, says Consumer Reports, which recently looked closely at products from All, Era, Purex, Tide and Xtra and uncovered unclear instructions and inconsistent cap measurements that can drive up laundry costs.
The independent, non-profit organization says it found that it’s often unclear how much detergent is needed to get the job done right, and it can be easy to use too much. It blamed cap fill lines that testers found were difficult to see or too close together to produce accurate dosing.
Concentrated laundry detergents—2X, 3X and even 8X—have less water and other nonessential ingredients than conventional products, Consumer Reports says. Most consumers don’t realize that the “X” is often tied to a previous formulation of the same detergent, so 2X would give equal performance as the previous detergent while using half the dose.
Also, the “X” does not apply to different models of the same brand or for comparisons across brands. For example, a 50-ounce bottle from one maker doses 32 loads while 32 ounces from another does 28 loads.
Consumer Reports recommends following label directions until the measuring lines on laundry detergent caps are well defined. Also, it recommends using HE detergents in a front loader or high-efficiency top loader, because other detergents may produce too much suds.
The full report on concentrated laundry detergents can be found here.