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

Tide Laundry Machine Cleaner Review

New to front loading laundry machines back in 2013, we did not know how smelly they can get. So we learned, “by fire,” how important it is to keep their odors tame. We learned that you must now and again, cycle the washer through with a decent cleaner like Tide. So, in this Tide laundry machine cleaner review, we discuss our test of this cleaner. We list the pros and cons we thought of while using this washer cleaner.

Well, our noses soon taught us how important such a regimen is for preserving a clean smelling laundry machine. These, as well as top loaders, can develop smells and odors. The smells come from mold and mildew. Those often grow around the seals, in the piping, and in the washtub itself.

Front load laundry machines seem prone to harboring these unclean smells. The washer in our apartment at the time was a front loader. So, finding a workable deodorizing solution rose to top priority for us. Our quest for a good deodorizing product ended when we found Tide Laundry Machine Cleaner.

Tide laundry machine cleaner review. Picture of the top of a box of Tide laundry machine cleaner, 5 pouch package.
Tide laundry machine cleaner review. 5 pouch package of Tide HE laundry machine cleaner, top view.

This Tide cleaner works quite well. You simply dump a pouch into your empty laundry machine. Then run it through the regular wash cycle (NOT the specialized cleaning cycle, mind you). Then, any mildew or moldy smells immediately disappear, replaced by a … hmmmm… not sure how to describe it, …. The fresh aroma hints that the machine is now clean. The scent seems like a floral sort, with a tinge of perfume thrown in. It’s unique, but definitely more pleasant than the smell of old, soggy clothes.

Tide laundry machine cleaner review. Picture of side panel one of a 5-pouch box of Tide laundry machine cleaner.
Tide laundry machine cleaner review. Tide laundry machine cleaner, 5-pouch package, side view.

The instructions suggest running one pouch through the laundry machine once per month. Plus, they say to do it once per week for three weeks for really bad machines.

Now, we only wash a couple loads per week. So our front loader stays odor free for two or three months. We just leave its door open between washings. Then, the odors rarely build up more than a few times per year. So we only use a few Tide treatments annually.

Tide Laundry Machine Cleaner Review: Benefits, Pros, Advantages, and Benefits

Single Portion, Pre Measured Pouches

These airtight thick plastic bags keep the active ingredients fresh until use. Resembling thick cellophane, they cannot be easily torn open; requiring sharp scissors instead. Do not open the pouches until ready to use them, as doing so might render this product less effective.

Cheap to Buy

We purchased the five-pouch box for approximately $10. Cheaper solutions, such as straight bleach and baking soda may or may not work. They may be effective alternatives in at times. But if you have little time to goof around, go with Tide. If you need a laundry machine cleaner that does it right the first time, Tide is that sort of beast. Though more expensive than baking soda, Tide cleans the laundry machine right the first time.

Reverses Soap, Dirt, and Minerals Buildup

Not only does this deodorize, but it helps keep small pipes and openings in the laundry machine from clogging. Tide helps preserve High Efficiency performance therefore.

Odor Remover

Highly potent smell stopper. The scent left behind strongly suggests that the laundry machine has definitely been cleaned through.

For Front Loading and Top Loading Laundry Machines

We’ve used Tide without damage on laundry machines that advise against using chlorine bleach in them.

Safe for Septic Tanks

Since this product relies primarily on oxidation to work, its effect has limited duration as the active chemicals oxidize. By the time it reaches the septic tank after washer cleaning, its active ingredients have become essentially inert.

Tide Laundry Machine Cleaner Ingredients

These include surfactants, oxygen bleach (percarbonate), sodium carbonate, sodium sulfate, and perfume.

Tide Laundry Machine Cleaner Review: Cons, Limitations, Problems, and Disadvantages

Can Irritate Nose and Eyes

Avoid this eye or nose irritation by pouring the powder slowly into the washer. Watch out not to create a “dust cloud” in the air.

May Not be Cheapest Laundry Machine Cleaner

Numerous “home” remedies can work well to deodorize clothes washing machines. But Tide, though costlier, works better in a wide array of laundry machines.

Aroma can Stay Strong for Days After Use

While the clean scent is nice at first, it can get irritating, as it sometimes does for us. It stays strong in the machine over a day after use. Suggestion to Tide: Cut back on the perfume.

But if the scent really bothers you, that’s easy to fix. Run the laundry machine through another regular, hot water cycle. But don’t add any soap or additional Tide cleaner. A soap less wash cycle rinses out any left over cleaner from the washer. Doing this may limit the long-term effectiveness of this product. That is, your machine may smell badly again in a shorter time.


Tide Laundry Machine Cleaner Review: Our Rating

Each pouch costs roughly $2. You use one pouch per cleaning. We found Tide laundry machine cleaner a reasonable price point. Tide provides a low effort, long lasting answer to the recurring front loading laundry machine stench. Tide solves it conveniently and effectively. Aside from the strong, lingering perfume scent, this product indeed works as advertised. So we’d rate Tide laundry machine cleaner at 98 out of 100.

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Tide Laundry Machine Cleaner Review: References

Revision History

  • 2018-04-15: Originally published.