Consumer News

CATrends: Advertised Number of Loads on Liquid Laundry Detergents

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Consumer News

CATrends: Advertised Number of Loads on Liquid Laundry Detergents

This article highlights a trend in class-action litigation as identified by our Class-Action Tracker. Thus the name of this feature, CATrends. (Apologies if you were expecting funny cat videos.)

Several liquid laundry detergent brands are taking consumers to the cleaners, according to a recent trend in class-action litigation.

Since November, at least seven class-action lawsuits have been filed against the makers of Tide, Gain, Xtra and others alleging the companies misleadingly market that products contain enough detergent to wash a specific number of loads of laundry without adequately disclosing that the number on the front label corresponds to small- or medium-sized loads and not full-sized loads.

Plaintiffs claim that most consumers wash the largest load of laundry possible but when they follow instructions for full-sized loads, the products at issue only contain enough detergent to wash half – and sometimes fewer than half – the number of loads advertised on the front of containers.

States a lawsuit against Procter & Gamble over its marketing of Gain Aroma Boost filed in March:

The majority of Americans who take advantage of the whole usable capacity of their washing machines will not be able to do 32 loads of laundry, because if they fill the cap to Bar 5, corresponding to “Full Loads,” they will only be able to do one-third as many. Even if consumers fill the cap to Bar 3 for “Large Loads,” they will get close to half as many as the 32 indicated on the front label.

Gain was the second-best selling liquid laundry detergent brand in the U.S. last year, behind only Tide, whose sales surpassed $2.4 billion. But it’s not much of a rivalry: Procter & Gamble owns both brands.

Other brands named in litigation include All, Ajax and Kirkland Signature.

So, if you regularly wash full-sized loads – following the instructions on the back of the container – and have ever wondered where all the laundry detergent went, perhaps now you have your answer.

Find more of our coverage on home life here.

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