Using Every Bit of Laundry Detergent

Oh, the good old days. We were young, in love and in college. We would spend $10 a week on groceries, eat at A & W on Tuesday for .15 Coney with .15 mug of root beer. On Sunday night, we would hit McDonald's for their yum cheeseburgers, which were made of real meat back then. We were so broke that we did not buy paper towels or napkins. Gas was about .25 a gallon. My husband sold pots and pans to put us both through college.


Now, I am wondering if we will be living on a similar budget as we think about retiring. I have always cut corners and watched my pennies because we have never made a huge salary plus we had three children at home to love and raise.

Here is a surprise that I discovered recently. It may surprise you, too. This is not a reflection on the product in the picture because about the same amount came out of a very expensive All Free and Clear. It is what is left in the bottle, which would normally be trashed. I removed the plastic pour spout by using a butter knife and a dishtowel. You will need the towel because the spout is slippery. Push the edge of the spout up with the knife until it is completely off of the bottle. Turn the bottle upside down into a cup and let it all drain out overnight.


The result was over 1/2 cup of detergent. It was enough to do one more load. Are you wondering now how many loads you have missed? Try it. There is no use in throwing your money away or putting it in the recycle bin.

By Carol from Hartselle, AL

June 11, 20090 found this helpful

So true! I buy my detergent in the huge containers where you push the button for the liquid to come out. They have an opening on the top end for air release. When mine gets 'empty' I remove the air release lid and turn it upside down to drain overnight into a large measuring cup. Yep, you just about get enough for one more load.

Tracey in Jacksonville FL

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June 11, 20090 found this helpful

I'm using powered detergent now (cheaper) but when I used to get liquid, I would add a bit of water to the "empty" container, swish it around and then upend it in the washing machine on top of the dirty clothes. I'd then leave it for an hour, or overnight, depending. It would drain out and then I would run the wash cycle.

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June 11, 20090 found this helpful

I've been doing that for a while.

Another trick is this:

When no more comes out of the bottle because of the pour spout, remove the spout and hold the bottle under the water running into the machine for a bit, then swish the water inside the bottle and dump into the wash.

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June 12, 20090 found this helpful

To easily remove the spout from the detergent bottle, use pliers. I keep a pair on the shelf with my detergent.

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June 12, 20090 found this helpful

On a lot of the containers, you can take the lid off the container and use it to just hit the spout and it will pop down into the container. Then you can drain the rest of the soap out of the container. Also, you can just reach into the spout of some of the containers and pull the spout out very easily and then either drain the remainder of soap out into something, (I usually just put it over the washer and let it go in there and rinse the container before I do my next load of washing.)

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June 12, 20090 found this helpful

I always use pliers. Done this for years. Most all of the brands with spouts come off easily.

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June 15, 20090 found this helpful

I just cap the bottle and stand it upside down on the shelf overnight. It usually fills the cap and, for me, that's enough for 2 loads. I have cut back on the amount of laundry and dish washer detergent. Half the "recommended dosage." I figure the sooner I run out the sooner I must buy more which is what the maker wants me to do. I "ain't goin' for it."

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June 17, 20090 found this helpful

Yes I do this everytime, the lid usually comes out with my middle finger though. I usually rinse it while the water is running in the wash tub and is plenty for the last load of the bottle.

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June 25, 20090 found this helpful

It is so true how much of so many products are left in a container. At first I would take the spout out or leave it inverted. Then I found the easiest way to get every last drop from a laundry bottle is to fill it up with my laundry tub tap. The first filling I use warm water. However, if you use hot water to fill the container it will not only get all the soap out, but if you squeeze the softened bottle, then quickly put the top back on, it will work as a type of "vacuum" flattening the bottle so it takes less room in the recycle bin. I do the same for my softener bottles and many types of other empty plastic bottles. You'd be surprised how "flat they become.

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