Cutting down the cost of washing machine powder

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I remember reading a while ago that it costs the washing machine powder manufacturers more to make the carboard box than it does to make the washing power inside the box. In all events having to pay between 4.50 and 6.50 odd for a box weighing 2.4Kg week after week mounts up to a big expenditure.
There is all this endless chat from manufacturers in their adverts about how white etc, etc, but do they really know what they are doing? It was not so long ago that it was found some of these powders actually cause the clothes fabrics to rot.
Since most peoples clothes are not really that dirty as a general rule, is there not a simpler less expensive alternative that could be made up to put in a washing machine? Thanks for any advice.
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google:
how to make your own laundry soap
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On 2/19/2010 8:10 AM, john bently wrote:

also believe the cost of liquid concentrates are lower and was advised to use them as friendlier to my septic system.
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Good grief! That's 5.5lbs of detergent. Unless you're washing clothes for a platoon, that shouldn't have to be purchased "week after week". For a family, it should last months. Don't they have sales at the supermarket on this stuff? Here in the USA the supermarkets have various brands on sale all the time. I use whatever happens to be the best deal, usually one of the lesser known brands, and buy a couple jugs when it's on sale. I get it for maybe $3 for a 2x concentrate small to med jug. I then have enough for months.
I haven't ever done a test to see if there is any difference between say Tide and one of the cheaper brands. All I know is I don't have really tough cleaning, eg no kids, no dirty work clothes, etc and the off brands work fine. Unless you have some very high usage requirements, I can't imagine it's worth it to screw around trying to figure out how to make detergent.
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On Fri, 19 Feb 2010 08:43:18 -0500, Frank wrote:

Yup. I use Bio-D liquid and get about 100 washes out of 5li. The machine stays (reasonably) clean and never smells. So, for me, about 17 p.a.
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I buy a large bucket of Sears Ultra HE detergent for around $20. I generally do two to three loads of laundry a week and one bucket lasts probably 4 years. I only use about half the prescribed amount since my water is quite hard. Everything seems to come clean with half the amount of detergent.
I don't consider $5 a year to be too much to pay for laundry detergent.
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On Fri, 19 Feb 2010 08:56:48 -0600, Brian Elfert

Do you own an He washer? I own a Kenmore front loading He and it uses about one third the detergent that the top loading Kenmore of 1975 it replaced used. The trade off is the wash cycle is longer. In fact the longest cycle with pre-wash and extra rinse is almost 2 hours!
Purchased an 8LB (80 loads) box of detergent when I bought the washer a year ago and it's still half full. I think the He washer does a better job cleaning and with a 1200rpm spin the clothes take half the time to dry. Most of the time I hang stuff to dry in the basement or outside weather permitting saving even more energy.
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Jeff The Drunk writes:

Yes, I have a front load washer that recommends HE detergent. I think there are more choices for HE detergent now, but years ago the large bucket of Sears HE detergent was the least expensive way to go.
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As in buying anything, don't go for the advertised stuff, buy teh house brand. Lately a "Basic" brand showed up. On sale for IIRC around $8 for 20 lb bucket. That is less than a third the cost of the major brands.
Harry K
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In article <fe2cda56-edd0-45f0-afb2-

Plus, you get the bucket.
--- ---
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john bently wrote:

Unless your water is unusual, you can probably use way less detergent than the detergent box says.
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Question for the group....
I've always used liquid detergents but find it messy at times
Are powders just as good and maybe cheaper?
Also, I use detergents with NO scents, smells, etc!!
Does there exist a powder like that for top loader (or FL) use?
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snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

Yeah, they certainly can be.

Not in some situations. I wash in cold water and wear dark blue T shirts all year round and find that you get a sort of scum with powders which appears to be due to the soap not dissolving entirely.
You can wipe it away when hanging it on the line, but there can be too much to bother with and so I use the clear liquid detergents that dont have that problem.

Dunno, havent compared on prices, essentially because I use so little that its not a major consideration. I have very large numbers of the commonly worn stuff like T shirts so I can do a full load and so the cost isnt a significant consideration.

Yeah, me too. Same with the shower, I use Pears Transparent, because its one of the few with no smell at all. I use it for the hair too.

Dunno. The liquid detergent I use is has no scents or smells.
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snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

I've never used liquid detergents, and I never use detergents with scents.
When I've calculated it in the past, powdered detergents are way cheaper where I've shopped.
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what is the brand you use?
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snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

Tide currently.
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On Fri, 19 Feb 2010 13:10:06 -0000, "john bently"

You are probably right that the box (plus handling) is far more than the detergent itself costs. The trick is to buy the biggest box you can find. Then some of the fixed costs are amortized over more of the product. We have warehouse stores here that will sell you detergent in a big tub. That is usually the best way to go. You get about 200 loads per tub and you can probably use less per load stretching that out to 250 or so. I do not consider this a big expense. The electricity to wash and dry a load is far more than the soap.
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john bently wrote:

Thats a lie. If it did, some would supply them in plastic bags etc.

I dont use anything like that much.

Yes.
No they dont.

Yes, and that is trivially buyable too.
Obviously those that do not advertise will be cheaper, but there is rather more risk with cheap chinese crap.

Even advice to shove you head up a dead bear's arse ?
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john bently wrote:

Buy a bucket of laundry soap powder at Costco and it will last you six months to a year. Use half the amount they recommend. Avoid liquid laundry detergent which is far more expensive than powder.
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I don't know if there is a COSTCO in the UK, where the OP seems to be located. But, if they have the equivalent of Walmart or Sams Club in the UK, check out their prices. Also, in the US we have "Consumers Reports" that has done a comparison of many different brands of clothes washing soap. And, as others have said try using half the amount the manufacturer recommends and see if that isn't just as good. The mfgr has no incentive to recommend anything less than the maximum amount they can get you to use and still have most of it come out in the rinse.
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