Sunday, August 21, 2005

Returning Crummy Products

Our purchase of a front-loading washing machine apparently requires "high efficiency" laundry soap. A trip to our "formerly favorite but very close grocery store" turned up no fragrance free options, so being fans of the usual (former?) Tide smell, we decided to try Tide High Efficiency laundry liquid.

Holy crap. This stuff stunk to high heaven. We don't have chemical sensitivities but being bowled over when you open your drawer and feeling like you need to sneeze because you've just put on a bra was beyond the pale. It was so bad we couldn't even just suck it up and deal. And this stuff is more expensive than regular laundry soap! Back to the grocery store it went and we received the full refund. We also expressed a strong desire for a fragrance free option (which are never truly fragrance free, but are always in the realm of "not offensive").

It turns out Sears has it's own brand of dye and fragrance free high efficiency compatible soap that looks cheaper too. So we'll be trying that next.

The moral of the story is if you try a product and don't like it...demand your money back.

Incidentally, the refund was in cash but we purchased the item using our new Citi Dividend card, so I think we netted 35c ;)


  1. That's too bad about the soap. I really dislike pretty much all commercial laundry detergent, so I make my own. My mom has a front-loading Maytag Neptune and she uses the same recipe. We've both been using it for well over a year and love it. It keeps my black work pants black (unlike Tide, which liked to make them hazy grey), and it works well on Fiance's construction-worker clothes. It rinses out well, doesn't leave any smell behind, and is WAY cheaper than other detergents and soaps.

    Laundry Soap - with my machine I use about 1-2 T per extra large load, and I'm guessing you would likely need even less, so you may need to experiment with the amount.

  2. First and foremost -- love the blog! Just started reading it. I am also in the process of setting up my own blog to blog about financial matters up here in Canada!

    Quick question for did you get that save-o-meter...I like!

  3. Returning stuff can indeed feel so virtuous. (And when stores handle it well, it is actually one of the things that makes me feel good about shopping there. So I guess they get you either way.) But have you heard that some stores, The Limited was one of them, I think, are starting to track who returns a lot and will refuse to accept returns from those people anymore? Absolutely outrageous.

  4. I will definitely try out that DIY soap!

    Jason...thanks! And if you do a view source you can see my padawan CSS that generates my "meter"

    MadameX...I *am* quite thankful my grocery store handles it well, it allows me to try new products risk free (as opposed to fragrance free) ;)

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  6. Let us know about what soap alternatives and combinations you try and work :)

    I have a regular top loading, cheap washer. If some day I jump into the high efficiency, it would be nice to know what to expect.

    Money and Investing

  7. What is high-efficiency soap??? Never heard of it. Google here I come.

    Congats on the 35 cents ;) I think I netted 5 cents when I bought evaporated milk instead of condensed milk for a recipe my wife was making, and had to return it (for cash as well). Let's just say I don't bake much.

  8. Jonathan, it's actually laundry soap that is "compatible" with high efficiency washers (usually front-loaders). My understanding is that HE washers need soap that produce fewer suds because of the greater agitation (in effect, the clothes are dropped into the smaller amount of water and this adds a lot of air, producing high sudsing). Too many suds can damage a front loader if the soap gets into the wrong places.

    It does appear that folks tend to achieve the same effect by using less "regular" laundry soap. It's all an adventure!


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