A quick glance at the cost of laundry detergent is the single biggest source of household income in the U.S. In fact, according to a new study, the cost per household has tripled over the past two decades.
The report, published by the Center for Investigative Reporting and Public Secrets, analyzed data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and found that households spending more than $1,000 annually on laundry detergents are spending nearly $1 billion annually in total household spending.
According to the FTC, household spending on laundry soap, detergent, and conditioner rose from $3.6 billion in 1980 to $12.6 trillion in 2015.
The average price of detergent was $1.20 per gallon.
The price of conditioner was $0.86 per gallon, which equates to an average of $1 per gallon of conditioners.
Laundry soap and conditioners are one of the few household items that cost less than a dollar each, according the FTC.
For example, a gallon of laundry soap at the grocery store will cost you $1 at the pump.
The new study found that the average price per gallon for detergent and conditionering in 2016 was $3,816.
The report also found that household spending for conditioners rose from a low of $2,869 in 2011 to $9,064 in 2016.
The cost of a typical laundry detercer was about $1 to $2.25.
A full wash is about $50, according an FTC report.
According the BLS, the average household spent $7,664 on conditioners in 2016, up from $5,983 in 2015, the most recent year available.
That means the average American household spent about $13,000 a year on conditioner in 2016 and spent more than a quarter of a billion dollars.
Launder laundry, it appears, is a cheap way to save money.