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May 1, 2017

Tide+ Provides 20% More Loads?

Filed under: Food/Groceries,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:17 am

How could it be? Two 92 ounce bottles of Tide+ detergent are side by side on store shelves, with one claiming it gets 48 loads and the other says 59 loads.

Tide  +

The cap explains that the bottle on the right above is new and gets 20% more loads per jug.

Tide 20% more loads

Don’t even try to decipher the small print under the 20% claim (hint: they used a slash when they should have used a semi-colon).

The secret to how they squeezed more loads into the same size bottle is partially disclosed in fine print on the back.


Tide 48 load
Tide 59 load

In small print, we first learn that the number of loads claimed is for “medium” size washing loads, which really appears to be a euphemism for small loads. But by examining the pictures of the caps shown, one learns the other trick of sorts that P&G used to get more loads out of the same size bottle. They changed the dosing. Where previously, filling the cap to line 2 gave you 48 medium loads, they now instruct users just to fill the cap to line one to miraculously get 59 loads — 20% more.

Similarly, the dosing changed for large loads from filling the cap to line 4 previously, to now filling it to only line 3. Curiously, for “full” loads, they still recommend filling the cap to the fifth line. And in so doing, users will achieve no increase in the number of loads at all.

That actual number of large loads per bottle, incidentally, is only a bit more than 21 according to P&G for both the old and new bottles. Twenty-one loads when the front of the bottle promised 48 or 59 loads? Nice. But, unfortunately, this is a game played by all detergent makers — promote the largest number of loads possible based on the smallest amount of clothing to be washed.

We asked P&G whether they accomplished the claimed increase in loads merely by changing the dosing instructions to use less, or whether they changed the formula making it more concentrated. In a series of emails, their PR spokesperson replied in part:

We further concentrated the formulas of Tide Plus Downy, Tide Plus Febreze, Tide Plus Bleach Alternative and Tide Cold Water so that you can use less liquid per dose but maintain the same cleaning power.

For medium and large loads, the new dosing provides 20% more loads per bottle than before.

We rebalanced the formulas we’ve been discussing and we did so in order to 1) continue to provide an outstanding clean and 2) ensure we could continue to provide the added benefits of each formula with the same dose as our “regular” formulas.

We have not changed the recommended dose for HE Full Capacity … [because] 1) these HE washing machines continue to get larger and require more cleaning power for larger loads… and 2) we know most consumers do not dose at HE Full Capacity for “all” loads on a regular basis.

So, it seems like P&G accomplished getting more loads out of the same size bottle by a combination of introducing a more concentrated formula and by recommending using less.

What still remains a mystery is why those fill lines inside the cap are so darn impossible to find and read.

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  1. Thank you for figuring this out for me. i never get the expected number of loads per bottle anyway. My problem is i have to use more electricity because i have to keep using full cycles to rinse the clothes ever since the new washers just spritz the clothes with water and don’t fill up the drum.

    Comment by Nancy Sing — May 1, 2017 @ 8:09 am
  2. It’s a good idea to use less detergent – that’s less chemicals going into the water system.

    Comment by Teri McD — May 1, 2017 @ 9:33 am
  3. In most cases, the recommended amount is more than is needed anyway. I use less than the manufacturer says and my clothes, including those I wear to do barn work & gardening come out quite clean.

    Comment by Sunny H — May 1, 2017 @ 9:38 am
  4. As long as the price stays the same then it is all good.

    Comment by Richard — May 1, 2017 @ 11:09 am
  5. Richard writes, “As long as the price stays the same then it is all good.” It is far from being “all good.” What Mr. Consumer reports here is just another example of how the likes of P&G work hard at faking us out.

    Comment by hmc — May 1, 2017 @ 1:48 pm
  6. Better than pods, which can’t be adjusted at all for the size of the wash load.

    Comment by Alan — May 1, 2017 @ 2:34 pm
  7. I totally agree with that last statement about the nearly-invisible fill lines!

    Comment by Bill — May 1, 2017 @ 5:35 pm
  8. Shows why an agreed and complied with standard for measuring “number of loads” is needed before these products are ever unit priced “per load”.

    Comment by ian — May 1, 2017 @ 7:02 pm
  9. I dislike that manufacturers advertise washing detergent by ‘loads’. My clothing load will not be the same as my neighbor’s clothing load. The most important things are the concentration and volume.

    From there I can determine which product is giving me the most for my money.

    Comment by Wayne — May 1, 2017 @ 11:14 pm
  10. And what is with the caps that have both 1,2,3,4,5 and A,B,C,D yet the measurements are different.

    Comment by Scott — May 2, 2017 @ 6:20 am
  11. We make our own detergent…way cheaper.

    Comment by Peter — May 2, 2017 @ 8:29 am
  12. Well Alan the people at Tide last year around June did change the amount of Pods you needed for big loads. They suggested on the tub to use one extra pod for big loads.

    Comment by Richard — May 2, 2017 @ 9:49 am
  13. i do landscaping and no detergent, despite saying how well it removes grass stains, cleaned the soil from my jeans. i even presoak, “power wash” not sure what that means except more time washing and have even poured the detergent on the stains and waited an hour or so before washing and voila when they come out there is no difference.

    so if a regular dose does not clean my clothes how is a smaller dose going to do anything ????

    also i would rather see a price increase for more quality than see “new and improved” crap. new and improved means less
    product for more money and they know people do not pay attention and thats how the game is played.

    to prove this point i know customers who still think they get a half gallon of ice cream and when i point out it’s a quart and a half they are surprised. . an informed consumer is bad for business.

    Comment by rich w — May 6, 2017 @ 9:06 pm

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