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Generic Dish Detergent: Can You Save Money Buying Generic Cleaning Products?

Updated on October 15, 2015

Generic Products

Are times tight? Thinking about how to reduce your grocery and household bills to manageable levels in these credit-crunchy times? If so, then it’s a fair bet that ‘basics’ and ‘smartprice’ products are making a notable showing in your shopping basket of late. If not, then why not? (Yeah, it can be embarrassing to have your shopping trolley filled up with the tell-tale, giveaway, orange or red-striped packaging. But so what? The benefit's in your bill a the checkout!)

Wash those dishes!

Public domain image.
Public domain image. | Source

Should You Try Generics?

I’m not suggesting that all generic lines and generic products of everyday household foods and goods are A-OK and just as good as the more expensive equivalents. (Hint: I’ve tried a whole lot of them, and plenty of them aren’t). But it’s sufficiently often the case, to make it worth your while to find out with respect to individual products.

Can You Save Money On Generic Products?

Especially when you check out the prices! Some of these babies are unbelievably cheap, even though the supermarkets are beginning to catch on that the whole loss-leader model might produce actual losses in the cases of certain customers. Just think, if you hypothetically cut the price of every item on your shopping list in half – well then, you'd cut the cost of your whole shopping list in half too!

Cut Your Household Bills: Buying Generic Washing Up Liquid

While we're talking generics, what about washing up liquid? (That's what we Brits call detergent – I'm given to understand that Americans find it amusingly literal. Hey, that's what you use it for, that's what we call it!) All the major British supermarkets seem to have a generic version. Of course they're all so similar that it's easy to suspect that they're all from the same supplier, just with different artwork!

Sainsbury's 'Basics' washing up liquid is presented in a rather charmingly artless style: the subtitle to its logo reads, “cleans, no added promises”. As with other Sainsbury's Basics products, it leaves you feeling pleasingly minimalist and clear-eyed. Not the kind of person who falls for marketing hype and shells out extra bucks for fancy claims and packaging! The artwork is an easily recognisable bright orange, and the graphics too are a touch faux naif: a slightly inept drawing of a pile of clean plates with a bubble or two floating off them, such as a somewhat gifted ten-year-old might well produce. It's really rather clever!

What of the product itself? Well, I can only quote the packaging once again: “cleans, no added promises”. There's a slight citrussy/pine scent to the detergent that is pleasant enough, and the texture and stickability (I.e. to plates) is, well, about average and what you might expect from dishes detergent.

What of the frequent claims that cheap dish detergent is weak and runs out too quickly, when compared with more high-end alternatives? Well, I think I've found the answer to that. I've only recently realised that the design of the bottle in generic washing up liquid bottles is such that it is only too easy to dispense much more than you actually intended. Let this carry on, and you'll have run through the bottle in no time. The nozzles of the more expensive name-brand alternative detergent bottles offer much more control and the ability to dispense a mere pearl of detergent should that be wished.

What's the answer? Personally I've begun to decant the contents of bottles of Sainsbury's Basics detergent into empty name-brand bottles instead. A value price combined with name-brand control – the best of both worlds! Of course, if you have a liquid soap-style pump dispensing bottle handy, that offers still more control and savings opportunity!

How about buying generic dish detergent from other British supermarkets? Certainly the bottle of the Asda generic brand – Asda Smartprice Washing Up Liquid - leads one to suspect that it may in fact be from the same supplier, and possibly actually an identical product. The packaging – bright green and black, with Arial-type block type, is less cute and appealing. But when you get a sniff at and use the product, there's no perceptible difference to the Sainsbury's Basics washing up liquid, or nothing that I could perceive in any case. I'm happy to buy either, and happy to have a few extra coins still jingling in my pocket after shopping!

Thinking of buying more generics on your supermarket shop? Generic dish detergent is well worth checking out!


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