See the results of my test of using Tide detergent as Tide stain remover, to see how well it works on its own for stain removal.
Tide is one of the most popular laundry detergents on the market today. One of the jobs of a detergent is to clean your clothes, which can include some stains.
Of course, along with detergents there are lots of laundry stain removers you can and may need to use to remove specific stains, and no detergent claims to remove all stains all alone.
On the other hand, if you're going to pay a lot of money for a detergent, and let's face it, Tide is one of the most expensive out there, I'd like to know I can use it to remove lots of stains without having to use additional expensive products too.
In addition, there are always those stained items that seem to sneak into the washing machine without you knowing the fabric is stained, and it is no fun to find a surprise set stain once you take something out of the dryer. A detergent that removes lots of stains lessens this problem for you, without you even knowing about it.
Several people have written review of Tide detergent and shared them with me, saying that they stick with this detergent because it removes stains so well, all on its own. Here are some of these reviews, as examples.
Therefore, I think there is a perception that Tide works well as a stain remover, all on its own. This perception is reinforced by Tide through their marketing, and the touting of the additives, called "Acti-Lift" which is included in the detergent, which is said to remove lots of stains.
What I wanted to do was test this perception, to see if it was true or not.
From time to time I test various stain removers, to see how well they work for removing specific stains, so I can tell you my results and feel confident in my recommendations of various stain removers. To do this I take some white t-shirts, stain them with various items, and then see how well the removers actually clean them.
Typically, with these stained shirts, part of the process is actually washing them with a detergent, like you normally would after you pretreat it. Therefore, I always want to know how much the stain remover removes, versus the detergent I wash it with. Therefore, I always have a "control" during these tests where I wash the shirts just with detergent alone and see the results.
In one of my recent tests the detergent I used as the control was Tide (specifically Tide free and gentle detergent), so I've got pictures of the before and after pictures of the "control" shirts, and I thought I would share them with you.
Below are the pictures of the "control" shirts I stained. The stains included, balsalmic vinegar, red wine, hair dye, grass, blood, coffee, iodine, blackberry, mustard, strawberry, and grape juice. To be fair, these are some of the toughest stains to remove, and I then let the stains sit on the shirt and set for 24 hours before I tried to wash them without anything but Tide detergent to remove the stain.
Now, below is the after picture, after one wash with Tide stain remover detergent. As you can see the grass and blood are removed, as is the iodine. Other than that though, clearly an additional laundry stain remover should be used to get out any of these other stains.
In addition, I should add that I typically use Tide detergent to wash my family's clothes. (***Update - after comparing Tide with even more detergents over time I've switched to a cheaper brand, All Free and Clear). I have had many occassions where grass and blood stains did not completely get removed with Tide detergent alone, as occurred with this test. So, although I really like Tide, and use it myself, I don't think it works well to remove many stains all by itself.
I'm curious though, what do you think of Tide, and its stain removing capabilities? Obviously, I haven't tested it on all kinds of stains, and I did not test it on just general dirt and grime, which I think it does pretty well on based on my general experience with it. I would love for you to share your own Tide detergent reviews here, telling me how it works for you in removing stains and also just general dirt on clothing.
Plus, I did not, in this test, pretreat with the detergent, like using it in a solution as a pre-soaker, nor did I coat the fabric with the Tide stain remover detergent and let it sit for a while, before washing the fabric. I acknowledge that these things can make a difference on how well a stain is removed, so if you've used this detergent in this way, tell me your tips for how you use it!
***Update: One reader has written a thoughtful response to this article, which you can find here if you'd like to read more. ***End Update
First photo by _Fidelio_
Hi, I'm Taylor, a busy mom with 3 kids, so I have lots of hands on experience with house cleaning, laundry and my fair share of spots, spills and other messy catastrophes. Thanks for visiting my site.
I update the website all the time with tips, tutorials, cleaning recipes, reviews of products from readers like you, and tests I've done on various cleaners, removers and laundry supplies.
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CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.
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