The $25 Costco Staple I Buy 4 Times a Year and Use Several Times a Week

published Jun 19, 2024
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For this longtime Costco member (12 years and counting), shopping in bulk is essential to keeping my home running smoothly. The warehouse is stocked to the ceiling with everyday staples (that I buy just once a year), weekly grocery essentials, and fun seasonal finds that I never knew I needed — until I stepped inside.

With summer in full swing, I’m shopping with a slightly different strategy in mind. This month I’m prioritizing pool snacks over school lunch supplies, grill-friendly foods over sheet-pan suppers, and picnic blankets over tablecloths. 

This $25 container of Tide Free & Gentle Laundry Detergent is one of those household items I stock up on a few times a year (think: once a season, or less!). I always make sure that my laundry room is ready with a fresh container at the start of summer. Here’s why.

Credit: Patty Catalano

What’s So Great About Tide Free & Gentle Laundry Detergent?

Laundry detergent might not be used in the kitchen often, but it’s a common household cleaner that makes its way onto many weekly grocery lists. Costco sells several brands of laundry and dishwasher detergents in both liquid and pod form. Tide Free & Gentle liquid laundry detergent is the one I reach for most often, and because its container is so large — 170 fluid ounces or enough for 152 loads of laundry — I only have to buy it about four times a year. At this rate, it’s roughly just 16 cents per load. (If you don’t have a Costco nearby, you can buy the same detergent in a smaller size online, for a slightly higher price per load.)

When my kids were young, I swapped the budget laundry detergent for Tide Free & Gentle from Costco. This formula was better for their baby-soft skin (and my sensitive skin too) because it has no fragrances or dyes and is hypoallergenic. You’ll be impressed with how clean and fresh all of the laundry can be — without relying on clean-smelling perfumes.

Laundry detergents are put to their greatest tests fighting grass stains, cleaning juicy watermelon drips, and removing the signature stinky smell that comes from summer clothes. This one works equally well on the delicate fabrics in adult wardrobes and linens that come close to our skin. It freshens beach towels after near-constant contact with pool chlorine and sticky SPF. It’s also exactly what you need to clean up the sticky residue left on kitchen towels and picnic blankets after a summer BBQ. 

What’s the Best Way to Use Tide Free & Gentle Laundry Detergent?

Use Tide Free & Gentle Laundry Detergent every time you do a load of laundry — and when you buy from Costco you can do over 150 loads before stocking back up. This detergent isn’t just useful in the laundry room — you can mix it 50/50 with water and use as hand soap or dilute it when you run out of all-purpose spray or floor mopping solutions.

Find it in stores: Tide Free & Gentle Laundry Detergent, $24.49 for 170 ounces

This article originally published on The Kitchn. See it there: The $20 Costco Staple I Buy 4 Times a Year and Use Several Times a Week