Responses to the "line 3" question:
Emily (2/9/03): Maybe it's the "Whoa! Don't put in this much detergent" line, you know you don't want to end up with bubbles all over the floor.
John (2/9/03): Good question, it's like why do hotdog buns come in packages of 8 and hot dogs come in packages of 6?
Erin (2/9/03): I would say for extra dirty large loads. Just a little extra umph.
Matt (2/9/03): I've seen the superfluous line myself and I think it's for the laundryer's discretion. Don't worry about it.
Elise (2/9/03): Really, really dirty stuff.
Bill (2/9/03): Extremely large loads. You use more for really dirty clothes. And there is an oversized washer down there too.
My Mom (2/9/03): Just forget about it, or you could email the manufacturer.
Meghan (2/9/03): Extra heavy loads. (A lot of clothes).
Blake (2/9/03): The third line is nothing. It's there because of how the plastic gets shaped.
Christine (2/9/03): I'm pondering the line 3 thing... I think it's because if you have especially dirty clothes, then you need more detergent, so there is a line 3. Really dirty clothes, and a large load warrant more detergent.
As you can see, I received a wide variety of explanations. A few people seem to think that it is for extreme loads, but they cannot agree on whether or not that means extra large or extra dirty. The instructions do mention something about using more for heavily soiled loads, but they still never specifically mention a third line. So why have a line? I think it's shady. Christine suggested that the line is there for people who need that organization. Perhaps this question will never really be answered.A message from Tide! (2/10/03)
You can use the third line for large & heavily soiled loads. Additionally, all of our products use the same cap. It helps us keep production costs down. When using Liquid Tide with Bleach Alternative, the recommended usage amounts are line 2 for medium loads and line 3 for large loads. So, the third line has a dual purpose.
USA Tide Team
Well, folks, that's the official explanation of the mysterious third line on caps of liquid laundry detergent. I hope that this short investigation has been entertaining and educational. I was relieved to learn that the third line is documented in the instructions for at least one of the products. Honestly, I'm just glad it's over. Now laundry doesn't scare me.
Extra note: What you just experienced was the start of what is now known as "Home of the Wysz." It was just a page about laundry detergent, along with a note promising that I would post pictures soon. Of course if you wanted to see some really old stuff, that I won't officially include as part of "Home of the Wysz," click here.
Wysz's Blog (Includes links to Wysz's other pages)