Liters and milliliters, which are both units used to measure volume in the metric system, are utilized around the world.
However, in the United States, volume measurements such as gallons, fluid ounces, cups, or tablespoons are more common.
This sometimes makes it difficult to get a feel for items that are commonly measured in liters and milliliters.
Taking a look at some everyday things, however, can help you better understand the measurements.
Things Commonly Measured in Liters
Many beverages sold in larger containers are often measured in liters.
A liter is just over 1/4 of a gallon, so many drinks, such as water, juice, or milk, are often measured and sold in cartons or bottles of several liters.
Even in the United States, where liters aren’t as commonly used to measure, soda is very often sold in two-liter bottles.
Detergents and Soaps
Like drinks, many liquid detergents and soaps are sold in liter bottles.
Examples of these include laundry detergent, dishwashing soap, and hand soap, which is often sold in larger quantities so that smaller soap dispensers can be easily refilled.
Using liters to measure soaps and detergents helps to ensure that customers are getting an exact amount of the product they need.
Other cleaning supplies such as bleach or window cleaners are also often sold in larger quantities so they can be diluted with water. They’re sometimes sold by the liter.
In the United States, most paint is sold in quart, gallon, or 5-gallon sizes, but because it’s sold in larger quantities, paint can also be sold in liter increments.
How much paint a person needs to buy will depend on the size of the room and the type of paint.
How much a plastic zip bag, freezer bag, or reusable snack bag can hold is often marked in liters.
This is because the liter is intermediate size, falling between a gallon, which is larger, and ounces, which are a bit smaller.
Selling zip-top bags in liters offers more of a choice when it comes to size and also lets people gauge how much of any liquid or food item they’re putting in the bag.
Although it’s sold by the gallon in the United States, gasoline is often sold by the liter in countries where the metric system is commonly used, such as most of the countries in Europe.
A liter of gasoline is given a particular price, and drivers can fill up with however much they need.
Things Commonly Measured in Milliliters
Milliliters are a much smaller measurement of volume than liters.
One liter equals exactly 1,000 milliliters, and 1 tablespoon is about 14.7 milliliters.
For this reason, milliliters are used to measure smaller amounts of volume.
This makes it very easy to use milliliters to measure out medicines, which, in liquid form, are often dispensed in small amounts.
Using milliliters helps to ensure that the exact dosage is given and that the person using the medication always takes the correct amount.
Because milliliters are so small, using milliliters to measure can also help when determining the proper dosage.
Perfume and Makeup
When it comes to perfume, a little goes a long way, so perfumes or colognes are often sold in small bottles.
Because the bottles are so small, they are often measured in milliliters.
Other liquid cosmetics, such as day creams, moisturizers, primers, and makeups like foundations, mascaras, and lip glosses, are also often sold in milliliters.
Comparing how many milliliters there are of a certain product to other products and their price can sometimes help makeup enthusiasts find a better deal.
Nail polishes and nail polish remover are also often measured in milliliters.
Toothpaste and Shampoo
Bathroom items such as toothpaste, shampoo, and hair conditioner are often sold in volumes that are too small to be measured in liters, so they’re often measured out and sold in milliliters.
Some larger shampoo containers, however, might be measured in liters.
As mentioned above, larger quantities of beverages, such as large water jugs, milk, and big soda bottles are often sold in liter increments.
However, smaller drinks, such as an individual water bottle or a soda can, are usually measured in milliliters because it’s a much smaller amount.
Other drinks, particularly kids’ drinks such as juice boxes, are also often measured in milliliters.
Although chemicals aren’t an everyday item for most people, many people in the science or medical fields may need to use or purchase chemicals frequently.
Chemicals can also be used to clean and maintain pools or hot tubs.
Because chemicals are often sold and used in relatively small quantities, these chemicals, such as chlorine, ethylene, or ammonia, are often measured in milliliters.
Measuring in milliliters is very exact and it’s easy to convert within the metric system, so milliliters make it simple and accurate to perform different chemical equations.