After eight years of research and development and testing, testing, testing with consumers, Procter & Gamble introduced Tide Pods, a single-dose laundry detergent, in 2012. The process involved 75 technical resources dedicated to the project, more than 450 packaging and product sketches, and 6,000 consumers involved in the research. So how should you use Tide Pods and how well do they clean?
Tide Pods are a single-dose laundry detergent. The convenient pre-dosed liquid pods contain super concentrated Tide detergent, stain remover, and optical brightener in a three-chamber polyvinyl film packet. The outer film dissolves completely in any temperature water to release the cleaning products.
Tide Pods are added to the washer drum before clothes are added. Never add the pod to a dispenser drawer or automatic dispenser of any kind. One pod is recommended per average load. Two pods can be added if the load is large or heavily soiled. The pods work in both standard and high-efficiency top-loading and front-loading washers.
Listed ingredients on the outer packaging are:
- nonionic and anionic surfactants
- ethoxylated polyethylene polyamine
Complete ingredients are:
- alcoholethoxy sulfate
- linear alkylbenzene sulfonate
- alcohol ethoxylate
- citric acid
- sodium fatty acids
- diethylene glycol
- propylene glycol
- sodium hydroxide
- polyethyleneimine ethoxylate
- sodium cumene sulfonate
- diquaternium ethoxysulfate
- disodium diaminostilbene disulfonate
- sodium formate
- calcium formate
Tide Pods contain no phosphates and are safe for septic systems. Since the pods dissolve completely, there is no recycling except the outer package. Check with your local recycling center to see if they accept the plastic used in the outer container. Product instructions are listed in English, Spanish and French.
NOTE: Due to the problem of children mistaking single-dose laundry detergents for candy, Tide now offers Tide Pods in an improved child-lock pouch so that children cannot see the product.
Tide Pods come in seven formulas: Ocean Mist scent, Spring Meadow scent, Original scent, Original plus Febreze, Original plus Febreze Sport Odor Defense, Original plus April Fresh Downy scent, Ultra Oxi, Fresh Coral Blast, and Free and Gentle (no scent or dye).
Tide and the P&G Story
Tide, manufactured by Procter and Gamble, has been a part of American culture since 1946. Over the years, the formula, packaging, and advertising have changed to meet the demands of the marketplace.
To meet consumers' diverse laundry needs, Tide offers a variety of products including Tide Total Care, Tide Sport with Febreze Freshness, Tide Coldwater, Tide with a Touch of Downy, Tide with Bleach Alternative, Tide Stain Release (now called Tide Boost), Tide Simply Clean & Fresh, as well as Tide To Go.
P&G serves billions of customers in more than 70 countries around the world with a huge portfolio of brands including Pampers, Ariel, Pantene, Bounce, Bounty, Dawn, Charmin, Downy, Iams, Gain, Crest, Oral-B, Duracell, Olay, Head & Shoulders, Gillette, Braun, Fusion, and Febreze.
Product Review and Laundry Recommendation
All of the original Tide formulas are effective at cleaning everyday soil and leaving clothing fresh. Tide Pods are no exception. Loads of laundry tested came out clean and smelling fresh with the Ocean Mist scent that I tested. However, the Pods formula did not remove every type of stain. Red mud and set-in oily stains did not come out completely in the wash cycle.
One of the concerns with Tide Pods is that the packs cannot be used for pretreating stains. A heavy-duty detergent formula like Tide contains enough enzymes to break apart soil and can be used as a stain remover to pretreat stains. With the Pods, you will need to have a separate stain remover for pretreatment.
Tide Pods are very easy to use. They dissolve completely in both cold and hot water. The formula is low-sudsing which is a plus for completely removing suds and soil in the final rinse.
The only "trick" to using the pods is that your hands must be completely dry when handling them or the outer film will begin to dissolve. You should also keep the outer container sealed when not in use especially if you live in a high humidity area to prevent melting.
The pods should always be kept away from children, vulnerable adults, and pets. They look a bit like candy and can squirt into eyes or mouths if punctured.
Even with the higher cost per use versus liquid or powdered detergent, Tide Pods are so convenient for anyone who must use a community laundry room or laundromat because they are easy to transport. They are also an excellent idea for anyone with limited mobility or dexterity who cannot handle jugs and heavy boxes of laundry detergent powder.
We recommend Tide Pods for use on laundry as an effective heavy-duty detergent. Only you can weigh the cost versus convenience and determine which is more important to your laundry routine.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.