Picture of side panel one of a 5-pouch box of Tide Clothes Washer Cleaner.

Tide Washing Machine Cleaner Instructions, How to Use

We post these Tide washing machine cleaner instructions here, based on the directions on the box.  Then, we go further. We write in the little tricks and tips we found while cleaning our high efficiency (HE) washer. These tips improve how well this Tide cleaner product works.

Tide Washing Machine Cleaner Instructions, How to Use: Cautions and Warnings

Only Deodorizes the Water Handling Parts

Tide works well on washer components that come into direct contact with the water circulating system within.  These include the tub, water jets, pump interiors, the drain, and door seals.

But if foul odors persist after regular cleaning, then your washer may be on the fritz.  Indeed, there may be leaks in the piping system where water is collecting beneath but never drying; a breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria.  So a persistently smelly washing machine may require repairs.  These odors due to mechanical failure are beyond the scope of this product to eliminate.

Not for Washer’s CLEANING Cycle

Many of today’s HE clothes washing machines have a special CLEAN cycle.  But the box gives Tide washing machine cleaner instructions. They say that it works best in the REGULAR WASH cycle.  Use normal wash cycle and set water temperature  to HOT.  We further raise the effectiveness of Tide washer cleaner, with the HEAVY DUTY button.  This gives a longer wash time, and presumably, a better cleaning to boot.

Not a Laundry Soap

Do not put any clothes in the washer while cleaning it with this product. The Tide perfume scent that might be left on the clothes might get too strong.

Tide washing machine cleaner instructions. Picture of the top of a box of Tide washer cleaner, 5 pouch box.
Tide washing machine cleaner instructions, 5 pouch package, top view.

Tide Washing Machine Cleaner Instructions, How to Use 

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

For stubborn odors or visible dirt and growths, use Tide Washing Machine Cleaner weekly for three weeks in a row.  Then use once per month (maintenance mode).

To clean, pour ONE pouch directly into washer tub.  Do not put in the soap dispenser.

Close / latch the door and run on REGULAR wash cycle, using HOT water.

To avoid frequent odor return, leave 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 immediately wash a load of clothes, it stays longer.  That remainder kills many odor-producing bacteria and germs.  Plus, it prolongs the washer’s odor-free status from the last cleaning.

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Revision History

  • 2019-04-26: Added tags. Deleted ad scripts.
  • 2018-04-11: Originally published.