Don’t Waste Time On Tide Washing Machine Cleaner

Viewpoints reviewers tried out Tide Washing Machine Cleaner and say this is one product to skip.

Contributors to have been trying this new Tide cleaning product, most of them coming to the underwhelming conclusion that although it works, they can do without it.

You may think that once you’ve found a washer, dryer, detergent and fabric softener you trust your laundry worries are over. The Tide company disagrees. The new Tide Washing Machine Cleaner is advertised as a once-a-month cleanser meant to fight odor-causing residue build-up in your washer, leaving it smelling and working better than before.

VIDEO: The Tide Laundry YouTube page offers this video to teach you how to use the cleaning product.

The Tide Washing Machine Cleaner only scores 79 out of 100 on, but then again, there isn’t much to compare it to. Not many other brands have invested their time or money into coming up with an easy-to-use washing machine cleaning system (just pop the pouch in the washer and run an empty cycle with hot water). Is this because the cleaner just isn’t necessary? One Viewpoints reviewer summed up the issue well:

“Tide Washing Machine Cleaner: Sure it works, but do I need it?” RudiXeno, Reviewer since 2007

Tide vs. Home remedies

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There is no shortage of ideas about how best to clean the average laundry machine, especially not from Viewpoints contributors. The question is, does the Tide cleaner surpass them all? For around $7 for a pack of three pouches, it better. Unfortunately, most reviewers still prefer their old home remedies of bleach, baking soda, white vinegar or even just a hot wash in an empty machine.

“Bleach works better, and a whole lot cheaper. I tried [Tide] and could see or smell very little difference. Then I thought, maybe I should just try bleach instead.” connieparrish, Reviewer since 2009

“Overall I like the Tide Washing Machine Cleaner, I’m just not sure it does more than just running an empty wash with some detergent in it… I’m not sure it’s something I really need, especially considering the long-term cost of always using it.” jps246, Reviewer since 2008

“This is my greatest reservation with this product. It could prove useful, but it would be just as easy to clean your washer using items you already have on hand.” Bryan-Carey, Reviewer since 2007

Having washer odor problems?

Yes, Tide Washing Machine Cleaner may be extraneous, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. The Viewpoints reviewers who are loving the Tide Washing Machine Cleaner tend to be those facing particularly bad washing machines situations. If you’re running more than a few loads a week, find yourself washing lots of greasy clothes or heavy towels, or are otherwise having problems with mold and odor in your machine, Tide may seem well worth it to you. The most favorable reviews are coming from those with nose-wrinkling stories about their laundry rooms.

“This stuff is great!!! The nasty smell was gone after one use!!!” FrauKarasch, Reviewer since 2007

“I now will Not be without this product. I have recommended it to several people who had that strange smell in their machine. It worked every time too. Thanks Tide for a wonderful solution.” mrssure, Reviewer since 2009

“I’m a mom of three children ages from 10 to 3 and I’m always washing. I was not sure of the Tide Washing Machine at first until I tried it for the first time, now i’m hooked. This is something that I will add to my grocery list.” puncher520, Reviewer since 2009

When to turn to Tide

The necessity of the Tide Washing Machine Cleaner is certainly up for debate. Overall it seems that unless you are having a specific problem, your washing machine can live without this product. But if all else fails, or you’re willing to spend a little extra per month, Tide does do exactly what is says it will.

“Clothes were coming out fresh (no Febreeze required) and the inside of the washer smelled like it should – clean.” twinmom0828, Reviewer since 2010

Some extra advice

The Viewpoints review pages abound with tips and advice for washing machine users who are looking to clean their overworked household appliance. One popular one? Make sure you’re leaving the door of your machine open in between uses (especially if you’re using a front load washing machine), it can really reduce your risk of mold!

Suzanne Herman Suzanne Herman (3 Posts)

Suzanne Herman is a writing intern at Viewpoints. Suzanne is a student at Barnard College majoring in English.