Tide Pods Laundry Detergent: A Review

Tide pods lined on store shelf
Mike Mozart/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Laundry detergent has had some major changes throughout the years, developing in many forms like bar soap, powder, liquid, and gel packages. The detergent brand Tide has a product called Tide Pods, which includes a pre-measured amount of laundry detergent, a stain booster, and a brightener, which is wrapped up in a gel pack designed to dissolve in a load of laundry. When you are ready to wash a load, you simply pick up a pod, put it in the drum of the washing machine, place the clothing inside the drum with the pod, and wash normally. Unlike liquids and powders, there is no need to measure, wipe up inevitable spills, or pour additional laundry tools into the mix.

Tide Pods: Pros

Fresh and Clean Clothes" With a 77 count of the Spring Meadow Tide Pods, you can do a mountain of laundry. The small gel capsules perform well and allow clothes to come out just as clean and fresh as other laundry detergents, such as regular liquid Tide. With even the toughest loads from camping trips, soccer games, and other activities, cycles that instruct using two pods can withhold some of the dirtiest laundries.

Convenience: Simply grabbing a pod and throwing it in the laundry is extremely convenient. Even kids will be excited to use the pods, and families won't have to worry about any kind of mess to clean up. Although the cost of the pods may seem higher than your regular laundry detergent, the pre-measured size makes sure that nothing goes to waste, unlike liquids that can be spilled and over-measured.

Cleaning Power: You may be skeptical that Tide Pods can't do the trick, but even loads of old clothes found under bunk beds in boys rooms or stuck in nooks and crannies can get super clean with a simple and small gel pack. Smelly clothes can get the best results by using just one pod. Tide pods remove dirt by using a 3-in-1 breakthrough technology that dissolves in hot and cold water and dissolves the toughest stains and suds.

Two Peas in a Pod: This product is perfectly portable for those who share a washing machine with other people. College students, apartment dwellers, and busy families will benefit from being able to throw a few pods in a plastic bag as they tote their clothes to the laundry. This is also great for roommates who want to split the cost and distribute detergent pods in an easy, equal, and manageable way.

Con #1: Price

The price for Tide Pods generally costs anywhere from $5.99 to $24.99, depending on the size, and is subject to change. For example, you are likely to pay around $19.99 for a 77 pack of Tide Pods at your local grocery store, without a sale or coupons. If you do the math, this works out to about .26 cents a load. Comparably, this is a little more expensive than the per load price of many liquid laundry detergents. For a lot of cost-conscious customers, this may be more than they are willing to pay for convenience. For others, however, the time and waste saved by Tide Pods will make up for the boost in price.

Tide Pods are often available wherever laundry detergent is also sold. Typically, you can find them at grocery stores, pharmacies, and discount stores. Tide Pods are available in small (14-18 loads) and medium (31-40 loads) bags. They are also available in large (up to 66 loads), extra large (up to 77 loads) and extra, extra large (up to 90 loads) plastic tubs. There are three available scents including Spring Meadow, Ocean Mist, and Mystic Forest.

Con #2: Problems Dissolving

Some reviews may show that Tide Pods have trouble completely dissolving in the load. If you use certain machines, like HE machines, Tide Pods may be more difficult for you to use. The best way to see if it will work on your machine is to test three loads with the pods in warm, cold, and hot water. Double check the rubber seal to make sure that no gel pieces are being lodged there, along with any other hints of an undissolved pod.

You will also need to be careful not to use wet hands when reaching into the container to grab a pod. Similar to dishwashing gel packs, the pods begin to dissolve when they get wet. Although a little water may dry up without completely dissolving the pod, pods exposed to water can often stick together and become difficult or impossible to separate. While it may be more difficult to keep wet hands away from a dishwashing gel pack box, it isn't as big of a deal when sorting and washing laundry.

Con #3: Appearance

Although the appearance of the Tide Pods is pretty, that's​ a large concern for those with small children. The pods almost look like candy, and they have a fun or whimsical quality that makes you want to play around with them. Despite the cool look, it should be kept away from kids, like any laundry detergent. It might even be a good idea to show the pods to your kids and explain that if the pods are ruptured, they could squirt into an eye or get on their skin.

Con #4: Separate Stain Remover

One of the issues consumers may have with Tide Pods is that a separate stain remover may be necessary at times. Although the Tide Pods generally do a good job with laundry, a separate stain pre-treater might be needed for specific fabrics or clothes needing extra help. Regardless, this isn't different than what we are all used to with laundry. Most of us have experienced having pre-treat clothes and use laundry detergent at one point or another. Simply keep a separate stain remover around for clothes that might need more of a boost than a regular dose of laundry detergent can provide.