Picture of the top of a box of Tide Washing Machine Cleaner, 5 Pouch Package.

How to Use Tide Washer Cleaner

We describe here how to use Tide washer cleaner, based on the directions on the box.  Then, we go further. We add in the little tricks and tips we found while cleaning our high efficiency (HE) machine. These tips augment how well this washer cleaner product works.

How to Use Tide Washer Cleaner: Cautions and Warnings

Only Deodorizes the Water Handling Parts

This cleaner does a good job on the water handling components inside the washer.  These include the tub, water jets, pump interiors, the drain, and door seals.

But if foul odors stick around after regular cleaning, then your washer may be on the fritz.  Indeed, there may be leaks in the internal piping system, causing water to collect beneath the unit, but never drying. This can create a breeding ground for odor-causing germs.  So a persistently smelly washer may require repairs.  Getting rid of odors due to mechanical failure are beyond the scope of this product.

Tide Washer Cleaner is Not for the CLEANING Cycle

Many of today’s HE washers have a special CLEAN cycle.  But the Tide box says that it works best in the REGULAR WASH cycle.  So use the NORMAL cycle and set water temperature to HOT.  We further raise the effectiveness of this Tide cleaner, by using the HEAVY DUTY cycle.  This gives a longer wash time, and presumably, a better cleaning to boot, though this does use more energy and water.

Not a Laundry Soap

Do not put any clothes in the washer while cleaning it with this product. The Tide perfume scent could deposit on the clothes and so, might get too strong.

Picture of side panel one of a 5-pouch box of Tide Clothes Washer Cleaner.
Tide Clothes Washer Cleaner, 5-Pouch Package, Side View

Tide Washer Cleaner Instructions, Step by Step

Apply once per month. Then, leave the hatch door ajar when the washer is not in use.

For stubborn stink or visible dirt and growths, apply this product weekly for three weeks in a row.  Then use once per month (maintenance mode).

To clean your washer with this cleaner, pour ONE pouch right into the washtub.  Do not put in the soap dispenser.

Then close and latch the door and run on REGULAR wash cycle, using HOT water.

To avoid frequent odor comeback, leave the door stand open between washer uses. This allows complete, quick drying of the tub, seals hoses, pumps, and other parts.

If you wash bleach loads, make them last in a washing session.  Why?  Because the little bit of bleach left in the washer after the last load remains for a time.  Then, as long as you do not wash a load of clothes right away, it stays longer.  That remainder kills many odor-producing bacteria and germs.  Plus, the bleach prolongs the machine’s odor-free status from the last cleaning.

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Suggested Reading

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  5. Quieting a Noisy Window Air Conditioner

References for Tide Washing Machine Cleaner Instructions

  1. Tide Washer Cleaner Official Product Page at TIDE.COM
  2. Where to Buy Tide Washer Cleaner

Revision History

  • 2021-09-10: Added the Suggested Reading section.
  • 2021-08-24: First published.
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