The Illegal Laundry Detergent Trend That Has People Shaking Their Heads

Shrinkflation is a term that refers to the practice of companies offering less product for the same price (or even a slightly higher price) than they used to, and it's a very real phenomenon. Packages are getting smaller but grocery bills are through the roof. Obviously, this has many consumers frustrated and desperate for solutions. However, there's one viral trend that's emerged from the situation that's a bit of a head-scratcher. In short, people are taking advantage of the notoriously empty space in commercial packaging — in this case, liquid laundry detergent bottles — and pouring product from one bottle to fill another one up to the top, and that's the one they buy. This is causing a slew of problems, for obvious reasons.

To be clear, this is theft. People are being arrested, and those arrests could result in a multitude of unforeseen complications in their lives for years to come. House Digest does not condone this behavior in any way. In fact, there are several things you can substitute for laundry detergent if you'd rather not reward corporate greed in times when profits are bigger than ever yet families continue to struggle. However, no matter how frustrating you may find the policies of capitalism, breaking the law is not the answer.

A bad idea's ripple effects

It's possible that people are simply too comfortable filming themselves these days, but it must be said that taking a video of yourself committing a crime and then posting it on the Internet is not the smartest move. Not only is it evidence that's admissible in court, but it also sets a bad example for those who are younger or more easily influenced.

Furthermore, if you steal laundry detergent from one plastic container to fill another and then put the diminished container back on the shelf, a future unsuspecting customer takes the hit. If, on the other hand, the store notices or is made aware of the deficit and removes the bottle from the shelf, it's the store — not the brand itself — that suffers. Ultimately, if the targets of your anger and frustration are the corporations employing shrinkflation, a boycott of their products would be more effective — at least to their reputations — than essentially stealing money from the stores that sell them. 

Continued losses like this will result in even higher prices or, in extreme cases, locked cabinets. And honestly, the last thing anybody wants while running errands is to have to flag down a Target employee to unlock the Tide Free & Gentle.