Gain Powder Detergent's New Box Seems Smaller - Is It A Ripoff?

by Surprise
(Oakland CA.)

A Stain Removal 101 reader has shared her experience when buying Gain powder detergent at the store.

She says:

I went to purchase a box of Gain last evening. As always I get the box for 80 loads and I was shocked to see the size of the box is smaller.

It says 80 loads on it though, and when I arrived home I compared the size of the new box to the one I have at home and the size of the new box is much smaller. So, to my surprise we are paying more for the 80 loads box and getting less.

I understand we are in a recession but come on. Let's not try to fool the customers. I will now look for another brand of detergent. I will not pay $11 dollars for this anymore.

Taylor says:

Thanks for sharing this issue about Gain detergent with me. I looked at Gain's website to see if they had re-formulated their powder some, or redesigned their box, which could account for this change in size, but could not find any mention of it. ***UPDATE - More information was sent to me below, by another reader, about this issue, so read on to find out more, since Gain apparently has reformulated their powder detergent.***

There are truth in advertising laws, so if it says you can get 80 loads out of it, I would assume you actually can. On the other side, this isn't the first time packaging has been changed to make you think you are buying the same amount, but it is really less. Frankly, I'm just not sure if you got ripped off or not.

Has any other reader experienced this issue? What have you noticed about the box size? I would love to hear from people sharing their experiences so we should know if this is something we should watch out for, or not. If it is happening with Gain it is most likely a trick other laundry detergent brands could also use, so is there something we should watch out for to get the best value?

You can share your own reviews and experiences about Gain laundry detergent here, or read other reviews that have already been submitted.

In addition, have you noticed an issue with changes in the packaging with other laundry detergents? If so, you can share your laundry detergent review here for any brand.

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Gain Powdered Detergent Is Now 3X Concentrated So Box Is Smaller

by Latasha

Latasha has shared more information about Gain powdered detergent, which explains the mystery of the smaller box size.

Latasha says:

In response to Gain having a smaller box for the 80 loads, it is now 3X concentrated.

I noticed this when I made my last purchase of laundry detergent. I feel that in this economy, when one sees a smaller box she feels as though she is getting less bang for her buck. I also had this feeling when products were changed to the 2X concentrated formula.

When Gain first became popular I used it and loved it. But, it seemed the more popular it became the more expensive it became.

Taylor says:

Thanks Latasha for sharing that insight about what happened to Gain powdered detergent. That really solves the mystery of the smaller box.

When the previous reader wrote in to complain to me about this problem, I tried to research the issue, but didn't find anything that would explain it. When you shared this with me, I did even more research and found this information from Gain's website, which for some reason I didn't see before. It said:

Starting in February 2011, you’ll notice that Gain powder detergents have been compacted by 1/3.


Our compacted powder laundry detergent products were completely reformulated.


With the new P&G compacted formulas, we recommend that consumers use 1/3 less of the amount of detergent as used with our previous non-compacted powder detergents. This lower amount is reflected in a new scoop size, as well as within the usage instructions included on the package. As a result, consumers can enjoy the same number of loads per carton.

It sounds to me, after reading this, that nothing funny is going on with the smaller box as the reader above had feared.

However, everyone using Gain detergent in the powder formula will need to be careful not to use the same amount of detergent you used to use, but instead make sure you use the smaller amount now recommended, so you actually can get the same number of loads out of it as before.

Although it does not say this on the site itself, it sounds like all Procter & Gamble powdered detergents went through this change -- such as Tide and Cheer, for example. I will try to investigate this more, to see if this is the case, and update everyone about that.

In the mean time, what is more interesting to me is that Gain has had a formula change for its powdered detergents. Of course, Gain says this formula change has not negatively effected its cleaning power, and that it still cleans as well as ever.

But instead of just taking Gain's word for it I would love to hear from those of you that use Gain powder, and have tried the new formulation, to share your experiences with it. Do you find it to work as well, or not?

Please share your Gain laundry detergent reviews here, or read other reviews that have already been submitted.

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While the New Gain Box is More Concentrated - Check Out the Even Smaller Box Now

by Dee

Dee has shared a new update in the Gain powder detergent drama which has been unfolding around here recently.

Dee says:

This week I purchased my box of Gain, and thought; wow that box looks even smaller now.

It cost the regular price, so it must be the same, right? Well sure enough, I got home to discover that my $15 box of Gain is giving me 30 loads less now.

I buy the "larger" box, and when they downsized to the "ultra" formula, I still got my 150 loads. The new box purchased on July 12, 2011, at the same price, is now only 120 loads.

My eyes weren't deceiving me. I am a long-time Gain user; however, this was my last Gain purchase.

In these times customers not only look for, but need value in products. No way to keep customers P&G; you lost a customer here - and I cant be the only one who has noticed the the downsized version of the smaller box.

Thanks for listening!

Dee, a disappointed P&G customer

Taylor says:

Dee, thanks for updating me with what is happening with the price of Gain powder detergent.

I know what you mean about rising costs. It seems like businesses are doing this across the board, and it is SUCH a bad time for these increases for consumers.

What irks me more, though, is the attempt to conceal the price increase with a smaller box. The first time someone wrote in to complain about this, the box size had decreased because of a formulation change, and they really hadn't been ripped off, but to me, it sounds like you have.

In these tough economic times I think we all need to reevaluate which name brand products we use, and potentially be willing to switch to something cheaper, be that a homemade laundry detergent, or a lower cost brand.

Please share your laundry detergent review here for this or another brand, telling me what price tricks you've encountered, or what low cost detergent you think doesn't sacrifice quality for cost.

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Gain Laundry Detergent Small Size Box For Same Price!

by SR101 Reader

This change in the price of Gain, and its change in box size sure has gotten readers of this site upset. I've gotten yet another comment from an SR101 telling me their experiences with the powdered version of this product.

SR101 Reader says:

Wow! I used to buy an 120 load box for $14.95 at Target. The price slowly increased over time to $18.00 a box.

Now they make the box smaller for the same price, saying you use less of the product. Well, I have always used less because I bought my HE washer before they had HE detergent.

I am going to be looking for another laundry detergent because P&G must think we are stupid to not notice the amount of product you get for the price.

FYI - the old box size 190 oz (120 loads) $18. New size box, 132 oz (120 loads) $18. You do the math!! Big time rip off!

Taylor says:

Thanks for sharing your opinion about this topic. Like I said above, it really has seemed to get people really fired up, and rightfully so.

Although they are still providing everyone with 120 loads for the same price (unlike the reviewer above who says she used to get 150 loads for the same price now charged for 120 loads), they obviously use less packaging and materials now with the new formulation.

Presumably this is a cost savings for P&G, but instead of passing any of that cost savings on to the consumer, they have just kept the price the same to increase their profits. At least that is the way it looks, from the outside, although I don't have access to P&G's books to know if that is really the case. If nothing else, the consumer perception on this matter has been bad.

If you're finding the price of laundry detergent too expensive these days, and are looking for more lost cost alternatives, I would love to hear which ones you are settling on.

Please share your low(er) cost laundry detergent recommendations here, telling me why you like that product, and how it works for you.

***Update: I got a comment from an SR101 reader stating:
I always buy this product but the price is not worth me buying it ANYMORE!!!!!!!!!
***End Update

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Gain Isn't As Expensive Where I Shop So It May Be Your Store Instead Of Gain Raising Prices

by Heidi

Heidi has shared her opinions about what may be happening with the increases in price in Gain powder detergent.

Heidi says:

I hope this will help. The reason why you get less ounces per box is because they have removed some of the fillers.

Detergent manufacturers, all of them, did research and found that all the fillers they were putting in (example would be Sodium Carbonate) were unnecessary, so they cut back on what they were putting in.

None of the cleaning agents in any of the brands have been lessened, just the fillers.

As for the raise in price, always double check with the manufacturer on their suggested retail price. Local economy, shipping, or old fashioned price gouging by the store could be responsible for a price increase.

For example, the average price for Gain Concentrated Powder (80 load) here is $12 in my hometown factoring in various stores. I had checked it the other day, because I do a LOT of laundry and I was thinking I might try out some of the Gain Powder and see how it compared to Tide with Bleach powder to see if it could save me even further in the pocket book.

I have actually caught a store here or there price gouging and called them on it. Usually once the community in your area finds out about it the stores revert back to reasonable prices again.

Taylor says:

Heidi, you make a good point that local factors may effect price increases, which are not controlled directly by the detergent manufacturers.

In addition, you are right that Gain powder (along with all P&G manufactured powdered detergents) was recently reformulated to become more concentrated. I posted a link above to Gain's announcement about that on its website, along with some of the information they shared about the change.

However, I would guess that they did not remove sodium carbonate from their detergent ingredients. Sodium carbonate is also known by its more common name of washing soda, and is actually a very powerful cleaning agent, and a major component of almost all homemade laundry detergent recipes. I don't know that for a fact though, but generally washing soda is an active, not inactive ingredient, for cleaning clothes so I would guess they removed other fillers instead of this. (If anyone has info to the contrary though I would love it if you shared a link, since I don't claim to be an expert -- just someone who tries to stay well-informed.)

Has anyone noticed price increases of Gain, or any other detergents recently? Are you looking for less expensive alternatives? I'd love to hear your household tips for laundry here, including for how you save money while doing laundry.

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Tammy's Gain Powder Detergent Test With Old And New Versions

by Tammy
(Summerville, S.C.)

Tammy is the latest to share her thoughts on Gain's recent change in powdered detergent formula, which they have explained is a reformulation which concentrated it, so you have to use less than before in each load. Tammy did a test to see for herself if you could use less.

Tammy says:

My husband and I are in debate over this. I decided to test my theory, which was that it indeed was stronger and more concentrated.

I had the old formula and the new. So what I did was using warm water I started two machines at the laundry. After some water was in the machine, about an inch, I added the recommended dose of regular detergent.

Then, in the other machine I added 1/4 cup (regular measuring cup) to the water. I waited and watched to see if the suds were the same or different.

To my surprise the new Gain had more suds and the other old Gain had less suds. So, I washed the laundry. I have two small children and lots of laundry.

The old Gain cleaned my children's clothes and smelled the same old wonderful smell of clean. However the new Gain clothes were just as clean, but the Gain smell was a little stronger.

My husband believes this is just a way for Gain to get more money for less product. After my own investigation I will stick with the Gain I Love.

Taylor says:

Thanks Tammy for sharing the results of your test.

If I understand you correctly you found your clothes got just as clean with the new Gain formula, even though you used less of the detergent as directed. That is good to know. The only way the new formula will not be more expensive is if you use the smaller recommended amount now, instead of using the larger amount you used to use.

Have anyone else tried the new powdered Gain detergent, with the new formula? If so, I would love to hear your thoughts about it too. You can share your review here, or read other reviews that have already been submitted.

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New Gain And Tide Powder Formulas Took Full Scoops To Clean My Clothes

by SR101 Reader

An SR101 reader shared her experience with the new formula of both powdered Tide and Gain detergent. This page is mainly about Gain's new formula, but actually all P&G brand powder detergents were reformulated, meaning that this occurred not only with Gain, but also with Tide and Cheer, to name some of the most popular brands.

SR101 Reader says:

My grandmother, mother, and I have used Tide all our lives. The new Gain and Tide sizes each took a full, rounded scoop before the water felt like it had any soap in it. I had tried them at the recommended amount and my clothes did not get clean. "More concentrated" my eye!

So, after three generations, I am leaving Tide and Gain behind. Gain's perfume scent got too strong anyway.

I have been using Arm & Hammer for the past 4 months, but they have recently decided to reduce the size of their boxes, too. So now their 80 load box does not do 80 loads for me either.

I do not quite know what to use right now. Sun detergent did not work -- did not get husband's work clothes clean.

I have also heard that the front loader machines do not get the clothes as clean as an agitator washer. I hope my agitator washer keeps going for many more years. Hang the water usage -- I want clean laundry.

Taylor says:

Thanks for sharing your experience with the new formulation of these powders.

I actually got a review (see above from Tammy) who felt like the new soap amount actually worked as well, and she did not have to add more. However, I understand everyone's experience is different.

I would love to hear from even more people, sharing how the new concentrated powdered detergents of P&G work for them. Did you need to use more than the recommended amount to get your clothes clean, or was the smaller scoop now enough?

In addition, I hadn't heard about any change in formulation in the powdered Arm & Hammer detergent. I will try to look into this to see if they've also concentrated their powder like P&G did. Has anyone else using this powder detergent noticed an issue?

Please share your laundry detergent reviews here, for any of these brands, sharing your experiences with them.

***Update: I got another comment from an SR101 reader who said:
I've used Gain for years....probably at least 10 years. I am not happy with the new formula at all. It costs more, and I don't use less because it's concentrated.

I'm looking for a new laundry detergent.
***End Update

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Scoop size
by: Anonymous

I emailed Gain about the fact that the scoop size is now much larger & even though Gain is now for HE & regular washers, recommends that we use more. I got no response to explain what's going on. I feel like because the box is smaller, costs the same, we have to use more to make up the price difference for the company.

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