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Why Is Laundry Detergent Expensive? (Money-Saving Tips)

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So, you’re revising your monthly budget and looking for ways to save some money. And right then, you get startled as you see how much you’re spending on laundry detergent. You wonder why laundry detergent is expensive—it’s just soap, after all.

Laundry detergent is expensive because it’s a high-demand necessity with costly ingredients. That said, if you’re looking to save money on laundry detergent, you can either buy it in bulk, look for discount sales or coupons, use less of it, or make yours at home.

Keep reading as I’ll discuss why laundry detergent is expensive and share some money-saving tips. I’ll also discuss why Tide is pricier than most laundry detergent brands and give my opinions on whether it’s worth the money. Stick until the end for some alternatives you can try.

What Factors Influence the Price of Laundry Detergent?

Laundry detergent is expensive. Considering that, it’s worth asking why it’s so costly. Is the price justified, or are the manufacturers just making tons of profit off everyone?

The ingredients and manufacturing costs influence the price of laundry detergent. Laundry detergent is not cheap to make. Furthermore, marketing the product can be challenging in a highly competitive market. Because laundry detergent is in high demand, the price is always high. 

Laundry Detergent Uses Costly Ingredients

Most modern laundry detergents are made using petroleum derivatives, a.k.a petrochemicals, oleochemicals, anti-redeposition agents, and many other ingredients. All of this is necessary to pull the dirt and germs off the clothes.

Now, since these ingredients are expensive, especially petrol, it also hikes up the price of laundry detergents.

It’s Expensive To Manufacture Laundry Detergent

Apart from the ingredients, the overall manufacturing and distribution process also hikes up the price of laundry detergent.

The company needs to profit from the cost of the manufacturing equipment, labor charges for employees who work in the factories, packaging, transportation, etc. Where the laundry is manufactured can also raise the price depending on the national laws and regional import/export fees. 

Laundry Detergent Has a High Demand

Laundry detergent is an essential household item with high demand in the market. As such, manufacturers can inflate the prices and experiment to see its effect on the sales figures. For example, Procter & Gamble (P&G)—the group behind Tide detergent—recently said that demand remains strong for their household products despite the high prices.

Laundry Detergent Has High Advertisement and Marketing Costs

Because laundry detergents are in such high demand, more companies are coming into the space to make a profit, leading to greater competition.

Now, companies are pouring money into advertising and marketing to fight in this competitive market. The competition, hence, ultimately raises the price of the laundry detergent.

Tips To Help You Save Money on Laundry Detergent

Making detergent at home.

Laundry detergent is costly if you buy and use it like most people. However, you can save tons of money with a few tips and tricks.

Here are 5 tips and tricks you can use to save money on laundry detergents:

  • Buy in bulk. Laundry detergents typically stay good for about 6 months to a year. As such, you can go to a bulk purchase store and buy a 6 months’ supply of your favorite laundry detergent to enjoy a hefty discount.
  • Look for discount coupons. Many websites or shopping malls offer discount coupons for necessary household products, including detergents. 
  • Wash in bulk. Instead of doing your laundry 2–3 times a week (or more), you can do it once a week and thereby use less detergent. Yes, dirty clothes tend to pile up quickly in some households, especially with children. But you can offset that by buying more clothes with the money you save.
  • Make your own. Homemade laundry detergent can also remove stains and will save you a lot of money. You can also save time making it by preparing a large batch.
  • Wash clothes with just water. If your clothes are only slightly dirty and have no stains, then a modern washing machine can easily clean them without needing any detergent

Why Is Tide So Expensive?

Laundry detergents are already expensive, but Tide takes it a step further. Some Tide products are twice as expensive as their competition. But why is that?

Tide is so expensive because it’s a reliable laundry detergent and super effective at removing stains, hence the premium price. Other than this, Tide also invests tons of money in research and development, branding, marketing, and advertisement. All these inflate its price.

Tide Is a Reliable and Effective Laundry Detergent

Tide products effectively remove stains without damaging the fabric, and that too by using just the advertised quantity of detergent. Without pre-treating the stains, you can rely on Tide detergent to give you clean clothes after a single wash. Because of its effectiveness, it can charge more than its competition.

Tide Does a Lot of Research and Development

Tide invests tons of money in research and development (R&D) to make products that are effective at their job and better than their competition. Procter & Gamble is known to spend $2 billion per year on R&D. They need to hike the price of their products to make up for this expense.

Tide Invests Tons Into Branding and Marketing

The Tide brand is a trusted name and almost synonymous with laundry detergents. They built this by providing excellent products and spending money on years of marketing and advertising. But unfortunately, all this expense inflated the price of Tide products.

Here’s a YouTube video of a 1958 Tide commercial:

Tide Commercial (1958)

Is Tide Really Worth the Money?

Tide is expensive, but it’s also good at its job. However, is it good enough and really worth the high asking price?

Tide is really worth the money if you want a reliable laundry detergent that effectively removes stains after one wash. It’s also more concentrated, meaning you can clean more clothes with a smaller amount of detergent. Tide isn’t that much more expensive in terms of loads per container.

That said, not everybody needs a highly effective detergent because they typically don’t have too many stained clothes. In that case, it’s better to look for a cheaper detergent that’ll save you money but is strong enough to keep your clothes clean.

How to save money while doing laundry.

Alternatives to Tide

Tide has done such a great job at marketing that most people don’t know about other laundry detergent brands available in the market. But no need to worry cause I’ve put together a list going over some great laundry detergents that cost less than Tide but do an excellent job at cleaning clothes.

Here’s a list of the 5 best alternative laundry detergents to Tide:

Key Takeaways

Laundry detergent is expensive because it’s in high demand and uses costly ingredients. The price is also inflated by the manufacturing process and advertisement and marketing costs.

Now, if you want to save money on laundry detergent, you can either buy it in bulk or look for discount coupons. Also, you can wash your clothes less frequently, or if they’re not stained, wash them with plain water. You can also make your own laundry detergent.

Next, you can check out my list of the top 13 laundry detergent alternatives, or how to hang dry your clothes (step-by-step).

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