Problems with Tide Detergent

jerrod6July 10, 2008

I talked with a friend tonight. She told me about a severe rash she has been under (doctors)treatment for. Later she realized that she had switched to Tide 2x. She went to the Tide web site BB and found several posts describing folks who are having the same problems. Severe rashes.

Others are complaining about Tide He causing items to smell mouldy and not rinsing completely. Still others are complaining because they can't find regular Tide anymore.

Check out their web site at

Not good.

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I just bought regular Tide at Costco, the huge box. No problems with it.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 2:51AM
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I'm very sensitive to many of the perfumed/dyed detergents. 20 years ago I had big problems with Tide when I tried it so I never used it again until this past winter. I'm now using Tide Free/Sensitive skin and no problems at all. I think your friend's problem is 3-fold: 1) Get the Free/sensitive version, although I can use the 2x regular when dosed correctly; 2) She needs to run a hot bleach cycle through the machine occasionally to clean it; and 3) Dose correctly. It's very easy to use too much with the 2x, and I say that from experience. Occasionally I'll run an extra rinse cycle too. No itching around here. And the cleanest clothes I've had in a long time. Start using much less than recommended and increase if the clothes aren't coming out clean. Using too much will build up in the clothes unless you rinse it adequately and that's not the detergent's fault. Again, be very careful measuring. Probably best to get a spoon or something rather than using the cap because a little too much is going to complicate things and if you hold the cap on an angle it's easy to put too much in.

If you're talking about 1x when you say "regular" Tide, yes, all 1x has been discontinued in favor of 2x. You can find some occasionally that's leftover.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 9:16AM
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Tide is the only powder HE detergent I can find at the grocery store now, so that's what I've been using. Liquid Gain HE and Tide HE were very soapy and didn't seem to rinse out as well as the powder. Having said that, I'm now wondering if the recurring exzema my son is experiencing on his arm could be related to the Tide. I wish I could find a good HE powder detergent that I didn't have to order over the internet!! I live in a small town so my choices are limited, but I guess I'll have to try and find something.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 9:19AM
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Tracey oh:

Go to sears in the paint department and get a bucket/box of sears detergent. It's very reasonably priced and usually some of them if not all are always on sale. In the powder versions, the scoop is very small (1/4 cup) and it does a full load of wash. Usually, they don't leave any strong scent behind when the laundry is done.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 12:49PM
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I think 2x is liquid so the problem may only be with the liquid.

Cynic what about just regular liquid tide.. No 1x no X just regular - do you know if that is available.
I will mention your suggestions to my friend She said she was going to call Tide about the problem.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 3:45PM
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My dishcloths and washcloths started smelling sour after Tide switched to the 2X. I didn't think that my clothes were nearly as clean with the 2X, hence my complete switch in detergents.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 8:32PM
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At this point, I'm only using Tide detergent (liquid HE w/bleach) for white clothes, sheets, and towels. We haven't had any skin issues.

A sample pack of Tide HE w/Dawn scrubbers came w/ my washer, and it did an unbelievably good job on a very grubby king-size comforter, but I haven't seen that HE formula at the stores where I shop, and I don't know that I'd pay the money for it if it were available.

I have been very pleased with Sears HE Ultra Stain-Fighting detergent for jeans, the guys' work/outdoor clothes, and everyday clothes. I've also been *extremely* pleased with Cheer HE Ultra ColorGuard for our dressy dark clothes.

Thankfully, none of us have sensitive skin, but I did read (here, I think) that some people who do really like the Sears HE detergent.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 3:19PM
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I've always used SA8 detergent. For a top loader used 1/8 cup, and now with a front loader I'm using only 1/16 (like a tablespoon or so). It dissolves completely even in cold water. It's very good at cleaning, and is good for the environment. I order it from the internet, but you can probably find it elsewhere, too. shippbiz

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 10:50PM
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We had this problem with Tide 2x liquid and thought it was just us. My son develop eczema all over his body. The pediatrician told us Tide was one of the harshest detergeants around. We switched to Purex pure and charlie's soap and haven't had a problem. Also All and the chep Gain worked fine, just not Tide 2x liquid anymore.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 4:39PM
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jerrod6, the "old" Tide liquid, before it became more concentrated or "2x" has been termed "1x". So 1x is the old version which for example would be, I think, 32 loads per 100 oz, vs the 2x which is 32 loads per 50 oz bottle.

Another thought is the hardness of the water could impact rinsing. Some water softener (like Calgon) could help you use less detergent. My softener died and I have no problems with rinsing the Free & Sensitive version. For that matter when I tried the 2x normal Tide, it worked fine for me too and no itching. I just can't stand the smell of the scented Tide or for that matter most any of the scented detergents. At least the Great Value and Sun didn't leave smells in after washing. Tide scented and Gain definitely do.

BTW, the powdered Tide hasn't been concentrated more as the liquids were. Not sure if they will or not. My totally uneducated guess is they won't change that since the market for powdered detergent is so small by comparison. I'd guess they'd leave it alone. Again, total speculation.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 10:53PM
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I guess I am jaded but I think the market for powdered detergent is so small because the manufacturers have spent a lot of money telling consumers that liquid is more convenient. I can't seem to find this more convenience they are talking about. Why pay for liquid containing water. I also think that manufactures have generated the market for liquid detergents by pushing the shelves full of them while reducing the amount of powder available

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 12:32AM
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Laundryman, I have been meaning to check out the Sears detergents for awhile. Thanks for the reminder.

The problem I have with the All and Purex HE detergents is that they just didn't clean as well as the Tide. I have two active boys who play sports, and to top it off I live in an area with red clay in the dirt which is near impossible to get out without a lot of extra products-currently I use Shout, oxyclean, STPP and on the baseball and football pants I will occasionally use Mexican Ariel.

One of the reasons I haven't tried Charlie's is that because it's a more "natural" product, I just don't know if it could handle all of the stains that I have to deal with as well as the chemical-laden Tide or Ariel.


    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 9:41AM
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jerrod, you bring up a good point with all of the liquid detergents now available.

When I was a little girl, my Mom switched from powder to liquid because the powders weren't completely dissolving in the wash.

After I got my own place, then got married, I carried on with Mom's thought that powders simply won't dissolve completely. Well, I've switched. Probably the change in how they make powders today, but I have found that they do a better job of dissolving since I was a kid.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 4:56PM
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You may want to try Charlie's Soap. It's not a natural product. It is a pure detergent mixed with sodium carbonate. It got the name because people at the textile plant where the formula was invented kept asking for some of "Charlie's soap" to take home, and the name stuck.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 11:44PM
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Cynic, Tide concentrated their powdered detergent years ago. They explained it as taking out ingredients (fillers) that weren't needed. Sun and Purex still make unconcentrated powdered versions of their detergent which they call "classic". The concentrated version is called "ultra".

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 5:52AM
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Pecanfudge, I was referring to the current conversion or "compaction" as they call it. I love marketing names! I don't know for sure, but I'm hard-pressed to believe that there's not still a lot of fillers in powders.

sspye, I find the same thing to be true. I quit using powders because I'd have big clumps in the washer after the cycle was finished. Usually it was worse after I had the detergent for a couple months. It would clump up rock hard. Now it's more "granular" rather than "powder", at least that's how it seems to me. But I think that probably had a lot to do with the conversion to liquids. Of course, certain brands were liquid only and a lot of people liked them and when discontinued, they were used to liquid so they'd stay with it. I think if there was a market for powder, that's what the manufacturers would make.

As a friend put it, once you pour the liquid in, it's already dissolving so there's no problem with it mixing in. I think she hit it right at least in many peoples' eyes.

Now I definitely agree about the water in there. I'd prefer using an eyedropper to put the stuff in rather than grunting home gallons of water in the detergents. But we're grunting home fillers in the powdered stuff too, I'm sure. I think the compaction is a step in the right direction. Maybe in a few years they'll concentrate it more. Why waste the packaging and for that matter the water, fuel, labor, etc too. But then, we know why. People don't think they're getting their "money's worth"! I was talking to some people in a local store about the concentrated stuff and he was saying that the old ladies were the worst about accepting it. They insist they're not getting as much and are being cheated. They can't believe that half as much will do the same thing. (sigh) Somehow Pat Paulsen's song is going through my mind.... Senility is just around the corner!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 7:13PM
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Cynic do you think liquids cause more suds than powders and do you think they rinse from the clothes as easily as a powder does?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 11:25PM
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Jerrod6, that's a good question and I'm not the best person to address it but here's my experience FWIW: I think SOME liquids cause more suds than SOME powders and I think SOME powders cause more suds than SOME liquids. Hows that for a political answer? :) But seriously I think the detergent will vary and it's not necessarily whether it's powder or liquid, but rather the makeup of the detergent and I tend to think it may make a difference how it reacts with the water chemistry too. I've seen (as others have noted here in the forum) some "HE" detergents will cause far more suds than some non-HE detergents so that's why I laugh so hard when I see people scream USE ONLY HE IN A TL!!!!!!! That's SO foolish!

Oh, recent experiences: When overdosed, Sun powder causes as much or maybe more than Tide Free/Sensitive liquid. Great Value powder causes less than either of the aforementioned. Arm & Hammer liquid can be pretty reasonable on suds but "Spring" liquid is pretty sudsy. Gain Powder seemed to be decent and lower sudsing but I only had limited experience with it. Gain 2x and Tide 2x can suds quite a bit, again, assuming you overdo it on all of these. YMMV of course.

I don't do that many loads of laundry these days so a box or jug of detergent lasts me a long time. This makes it difficult to experiment with many brands and give them a fair chance. You really need to try them for a while, rather than one or two loads to give them a fair evaluation.

And rinsing, well, again it varies but I find more problems with using too much being the problem before the type of detergent. I have no rinsing problems when I'm careful about how much I use and my clothes are clean and soft without fabric softener or many additives. Since I started using Tide Free/Sensitive last winter, I don't even add the borax, oxy and other stuff, even Calgon, that I used to use.

Now if you'll excuse me I'll go into hiding before I see the charge of the Charlie Commandos! ;)

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 7:10AM
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In response to Tracey (above):
"One of the reasons I haven't tried Charlie's is that because it's a more "natural" product, I just don't know if it could handle all of the stains that I have to deal with as well as the chemical-laden Tide or Ariel."

It has been quite some time since I have used Tide, however I have been a long time user of Gain until a recent switch to Charlie's Soap. Honestly, I don't know if it is the change in detergent or the pre-treatment (Shout to Charlie's All Purpose) - but, old well-set stains are gone from my laundry not to mention the fresh stains that I attract. If you try Charlie's and aren't satisfied there is always the money back guarantee.

BTW A great source I have found for Charlies is "Whole Foods". I think my last 80 load bag was $8.99. A decent deal if you are located near one of their stores.

And Cynic, while not a Charlie Commando, I consider myself in training.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 6:13PM
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I have to admit...until coming to this forum, I hadn't tried ANYTHING other than Tide liquid. Yes, I'd add bleach, oxy, borax, washing soda, stain pre-treaters, fancy smelling liquid softeners and of course use dryer sheets.

I've reduced my consumption to the addition of oxy occasionally...and what is left of one bottle of Tide for pre-treating. But, other than that, I'm using Charlie's exclusively.

I've finally used the last of my bleach, since my husband loved to clean every piece of anything in the house with it...sigh. I have bleach stains on everything that you can imagine. I'm now adding a smidge of borax and/or washing soda to my I have some homemade laundry detergent around....and I add those items at the laundromat near my cabin. But, I've completely stopped using ANY fabric softener's or dryer sheets. Yikes, the cost of those alone save me a great deal of money. It has taken about 2 months of use of Charlie's for my jeans and towels to become soft...but, it's working! :)

Oh, and I bought a brand new pair of jeans that I washed...they came out softer than using fabric softener and dryer sheets. I'm impressed. It works for me. It may not work for everyone else.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 11:41PM
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Thanks for sharing your experiences with Charlie's. Honestly, if I didn't have to order it over the internet I would have this in my house now. I wouldn't mind trying the all purpose cleaner either. I think it's very interesting that you can use an all-purpose cleaner as a stain pretreater. As it is now, I go through Shout like crazy between ground in dirt on baseball pants and food stains, etc.....But if I ever make it to a whole foods (we have a wild oats about 80 miles away), I will pick some up. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 9:25AM
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Tracey ~

I must tell you that I use Charlie's All Purpose cleaner, exclusively, to treat stains. It is also great as a carpet spot cleaner. I have read that some folks use it in those rental carpet cleaning machines and use much less since it is so concentrated.

I think you should go ahead and try the product(s) - cleaner and detergent - since you have nothing to lose and the company will refund (not happily, but you won't get any grief) the price if it just isn't working for you. Be sure and give either or both products a real good try and you might be surprised. I am happy that I don't have a bunch of toxic chemicals in my home. No more sneezing!


    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 9:48AM
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Lots to digest here. This is very timely for me, because we will be moving into our renovated house soon and using the Duet set we selected (fingers crossed that it was a good choice).

I had forgotten about the Sears detergent and its hiding place in the paint department as well as Charlie's Soap. There isn't much selection of powder HE detergents at supermarkets in my area (regular Tide was the only one I noticed at the Meijer I visited last night). Is the Cheer HE Ultra ColorGuard liquid or powder?

I'm trying to figure out what detergents to start with. I don't want to buy too many kinds of detergent and start running tests. I'd rather scratch losers off my list and then compare any new candidates with the winners. In addition to the above, I'm thinking of giving Persil (MegaPerls, PowderXL, or Sensitiv) a go, but the stuff is so ridiculously expensive.

We've been using sensitive varieties of various detergents in the top-loader at the house we rented during the renovation period, but I'm not sure they'll be needed in a front-loader due to its superior rinsing capability (I'm also thinking of trying vinegar, though I doubt I can get my wife to use it).

I'm not much of a "laundry chemist" (no offense intended) but am willing to try a few easily-purchased additives. One thing I want to avoid is chlorine bleach. I don't like its smell and believe it does more harm than good. I'm also not a fan of dryer fabric softener sheets and think they are a likely source of many people's sensitivities.

I prefer using powder for the simple reason that any spills can be brushed or vacuumed up quickly (and maybe even still used). Spilled liquid or gel detergent, on the other hand, can result in a major clean-up effort. Spilling seems more likely when filling the cups in a front-loader's pull-out drawer than when dumping into a top-loader's yawning cavity.

Has a conclusion ever been reached whether powder or liquid is more likely to cause mold and whatever else can grow in a washing machine? Our Duet came with a thoughtful packet of Affresh. ABT sells the stuff for $15 for three tablets. I'm thinking about putting the machine on a monthly cleaning cycle to avoid the problems I have read so much about here (yes, I understand that avoiding using too much detergent and running too many cold washes will help).

Any thoughts on any of the above will be much appreciated!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 12:17PM
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I know an auto mechanic that degreases car engines with Tide. Works great, but I don't want that stuff on my clothes or my skin.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 2:42PM
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Chipshot--sounds like you need CS. Soft clothes(no dryer sheets or liquids) hypoallergenic(sensitive skin) powder formula(less mold with powder plus CS helps keep the machine clean)only use 1 tablespoon(less chance of spilling)no vinegar needed(CS softens naturally plus rinses clean).

I don't sell this either, just pointing out the pluses.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 2:07AM
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A lot of people seem to assume one must use Tide HE detergent in liquid form, but Amazon sells it in various powdered formulations. So does Target.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 12:56AM
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My daughter uses Tide HE liquid in her Samsung Silvercare FL and I absolutely hate the smell it leaves on her family's clothes. When I pick up my little grandsons their clothes smell like cigar smoke, ICK. I did give her something else to try but she's not willing to plan ahead and change to Charlie's which is what I've used since my new Bosch FL arrived. My one comment about Charlie's is that the towels aren't soft enough w/o some liquid Downey. So we use 2 tablespoon's full on the towel loads only.
BTW where at the drying sensors that someone here recomended that I clean monthly to avoid a build-up of residue from Downey?
Ya know, sometimes I long for the simple days of my OLD Maytag washer that lasted close to 15 years! ;-)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 3:31PM
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I've noticed more and more liquid HE's appearing in stores in just the last few weeks. Has anyone else? I still think I want to use powder but am curious whether about differences between the liquid and powder forms of Charlie's Soap (which, unfortunately, I don't believe is available at any nearby retailers - yes, I checked Charlie's website).

Have you tried using vinegar instead of Downey with Charlie's Soap, Compumom? I can't help but think your daughter may be using too much Tide in her Samsung. Maybe you can diplomatically run a load in it without adding any detergent and see if Mr. Bubble makes an appearance en masse.

Do you find vinegar improves your results, Sparky823? Does Charlie's have much of a smell (which I know won't matter much if it rinses clean)? If not, my wife probably won't do much more than raise an eyebrow (she's used to me trying products she perceives as "non-mainstream").

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 6:28PM
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Hi Chipshot-
After I posted I went and checked my supply of Charlie's liquid and found that I needed some more. I called them and a very helpful gentleman steered me to the powder rather than the liquid. I'm going to give it a whirl. I also bought 3 bottles of the stain remover for my mother, daughter and myself.
The Charlie's guy told me to buy some STPP or real TSP from the paint store and put 2-4 TBLSP in with a load of towels for 3-4 washes. He said that the "crunchies" would wash out and from then on I could use vinegar. He thinks that the water out here is harder than usual. The Miele installer ( from my dw) doesn't think so, but I'm willing to give it a whirl. Vinegar alone did nothing. I tried that for over a month with no results.
I think you may have something there that DD is using too much detergent. She bought some soap from Melaleuca-- I think it's an Amway type of company. She was supposed to have 80 loads or something and the bottle was almost empty when I saw it. I can't imagine, even with 2 little ones that she did that many loads. I'll try and tell her gently...
BTW when she used that detergent the kids clothes didn't smell!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 7:52PM
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