March 30, 2020

5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Household Products

pouring laundry detergent into machine

From all of us here at Seventh Generation, we hope this finds you well. As we adjust to a new normal, it’s more important than ever to remember we’re all in this together.

It’s also a moment when many of us may be encountering sparsely-stocked shelves at grocery stores, or taking a break from our regular shopping routine, which means it’s the perfect moment to share some tips for getting the most out of what you buy—or already have.



Let’s start with laundry, where you can get the results you expect without using extra.

  • Did you know that only 28% of people follow laundry dosing instructions precisely [1]. That means that the majority of people are likely using more detergent than is required. It’s very common to just use an amount either out of habit, by roughly measuring or even use more in “just in case”. We recommend reviewing the instructions on the label and using the measurement lines found in scoops or caps. They often vary by detergent brand and formulation so it can be easy to end up using more than what might actually be needed. Also, you can use ultra concentrated formats, which requires less detergent per dose.
  • You may also be able to choose a single laundry detergent for the household and consolidate laundry loads. While it can be nice to have multiple laundry soaps on hand for items like baby clothing or athletic wear and wash in smaller, separate loads, many detergents are versatile enough to work for all. If sensitive skin is a concern - perhaps in households with babies or allergy sufferers - choose a fragrance free detergent and use it for the rest of the household’s clothing too.



When using hand soap, know that what’s most important is the technique – at least 20 seconds of scrubbing , and doing so often throughout the day. Here is a helpful video from the CDC.

  • According to the FDA[2], using anti-bacterial soap isn’t necessary when washing your hands. As long as you’re washing properly, any hand soap and water is just as effective.
  • In fact, most soaps will do in a pinch. If hand soap is sold out where you live, grab body wash as a stand-in. 


Paper Towels

At times like these, many of us are likely using more paper towels than usual, but there are some ways we can manage how much we use.

  • Consider subbing in clean rags for cleaning and hand drying. For a quick, 1-hour family activity, gather old clothing that’s too worn to be donated, then cut into single-use, hand-sized utility rags. Put a trash-bag lined container with a cover next to the sink to collect them after use, then toss the rags in with your next load of laundry.
  • When using paper towels, note whether there is a select-a-size perforation. If so, show others in the household this feature and encourage just using the smallest size that is needed for the job at hand. 

We hope these tips give you some useful ways to simplify and get the most out of the products you have on hand. For more ideas like these, and also to share some of your own, consider joining the discussion in our Generation Good community too.

Finally, we know that recently you may have had trouble finding our products in stores and on-line. Rest assured that Seventh Generation is doing everything we can to get the items you depend on for your home and family back in stock as soon as possible.

Now more than ever, let’s remember to support each other and stand united on behalf of this and future generations.

[1] Ipsos (January 2019), Laundry Habits & Attitudes Study