The Tide (Free) Has Turned!

The Tide (Free) Has Turned!

There’s a new Tide detergent hitting the shelves and all I can say is that it’s about time! Rejoice cloth diapering parents! Tide Free & Gentle has a made a change for the better and I want to make sure you know all about it! Up until now, families with HE (that’s high efficiency) machines who wanted the cleaning power of Tide, but in a more gentle formula without any fragrance have been left with only liquid detergents to choose from. That’s the case in Canada, anyway. That’s not to say that liquid detergents aren’t effective on cloth diapers. They most certainly can be effective on cloth diapers, but when you’re also dealing with hard water, powder detergents have a tendency to work better. That’s in large part because powder detergents contain more water softening agents than their liquid counterparts. Now, everything has changed! It’s a new world out there for families looking for a gentle and unscented POWDER detergent for HE machines! 

What am I talking about? Tide Free & Gentle POWDER for HE machines! That’s right, folks! At long last the wait is over, and you CAN use Tide Free & Gentle powder in your HE washing machine. What you want to look for is the new symbol on the front of the detergent box that shows two little washing machines with a tiny “HE Turbo” symbol, and the words “all washers”. Boxes without that symbol are the old non-HE safe formula. How much should you be using? I’d recommend line 2 on the Tide scoop in the first cold cycle, and line 5 to a full scoop of the Tide scoop in the second hot cycle. (For more information on the fundamentals of washing cloth diapers you can check out THIS POST).

The Tide (Free) Has Turned!

Why is this riveting cloth diaper news? Allow me to explain. For as long as I’ve been helping parents set up functional wash routines for their cloth diapers (hint: it’s been a number of YEARS), my top recommendation for a “free” detergent has been Tide Free & Gentle. When a family had a non-HE “old school” top load washing machine, I jumped for joy just a little bit on the inside because they were lucky enough to be able to use Tide Free & Gentle POWDER. Those with HE machines were stuck with Tide Free & Gentle HE liquid. The trouble is that Tide Free & Gentle HE liquid isn’t effective in even moderately hard water without a water softener. What that means is that water that tests at over 60ppm for total hardness requires the addition of a water softener with Tide Free & Gentle HE liquid (same goes for the non HE safe liquid Tide Free & Gentle). But now! Now, Tide Free & Gentle HE POWDER is available for HE machines too! Best of all, you can skip the water softener unless your water is over 100ppm. It’s always a good idea to test your own water, but the water at my house in Calgary tests at 100ppm, so even I could use Tide Free & Gentle powder without a water softener!

In addition to the cost savings of not needing an additional water softener under 100ppm, I’ve also found that powder detergents rinse out more easily from cloth diapers than liquid detergents. Not everyone will agree with me on that, but that’s been my experience with liquid detergents in moderately hard water.

You should  be able to find Tide Free & Gentle powder for all machines at your local grocery store, or wherever you buy detergent! Happy laundering!

The Monarch Mommy Top Mommy Blog

24 Comments on “The Tide (Free) Has Turned!

  1. Ooh I didn’t know that powder is more effective!! Verrrrry interesting!! I love that all brands are coming out with a free and clear version that works for everyone!! We have super sensitive skin here and need everything free from all the extras.

  2. I’ve never seen this Tide in California but I’ll keep my eye out for it. It would be great to see a comparison between this and other Tides for cleaning cloth diapers. I haven’t used Tide because I hear how harsh it can be for sensitive skin, so I hope to see this product near me.

  3. As soon as i need new laundry soap im trying this !!

  4. I use this product, but the non-he version in my older style machine. I assume they are going to discontinue the non-he powder. Will this change the way I use it?

  5. This is what i use in my front load he machine. It has worked well.

  6. Do you know what Canadian stores it is found in? In GTA/Durham?

  7. Urghhh I want to get this so much but I jave about 5 years of Nellies laundry detergent left. I’m not sure it’s working wonders on our cloth diapers but I can’t bring myself to switch until it’s all done. Plus we have super hard water, I’m surprised no one has had kidney stones yet!

    • If it’s the giant Nellie’s bucket from Costco, you can return it. You don’t need a receipt, just the membership card. For super hard water, you’ll want a strong detergent plus an added water softener like Calgon or Borax.

  8. I’ve been wanting to try this but wasn’t sure if it was as good for cloth diapers as original Tide…so thank you for this post!

  9. this is my favourite detergent by far! The reason we can cloth diaper because of babies sensitive skin and need more! Do you perhaps know who carries it consistently? It seems to be randomly at stores I’ve been too :(.

  10. Where can you find this in Canada? I have a hard enough time finding powder Tide and in my searching I’ve never seen this kind.

    • Tide Free powder for all machines/HE is at Canadian Tire. Tide Original powder is available at most grocery stores (Safeway, Sobeys, Superstore, Loblaws, etc.), and at Costco.

  11. We love Tide Free but we’re told with our septic system to only use liquid. We use the free & clear in our carpet cleaner Machine also..

  12. Hi! I tried Tide free and gentle HE couple Times now but I have issues with bubble! I explain: I first extra rinse, extra spin, then I rinse but no spin to have the cloth soaked, finally I extra wash, extra rinse, extra spin warm/cold. Even if I put soap at line 1, during the wash cycle only, when I do a rinse after all that process, to see if there us still soap, when I go see, there are bubbles ! Before using Tide free and gentle, I used one cap load of mini kiwi soap. I changed because the cloth smells amoniac. When I first tried Tide free and gentle with soap at line 5, I had to rinse the cloth for two days! I don’t know what to do. Can you give me some tips?

    • Are you using a front loader? Are you fluffing and bulking the drum in between cycles? How often do you run a machine clean cycle with an Affresh tab? When was the last time you emptied the drain trap (you may have to remove the front panel of the machine underneath the door to access the trap)? How hard is your water?

      The first thing I’d do is make some adjustments to your wash routine.

      Often when there’s oversudsing with an HE machine, it’s caused by something being stuck in the drain trap. So you definitely want to check that.

  13. I tried the liquid but it didn’t work that great for us. I’d like to try the powder

  14. There is no way I could go to line 2 and line 5. Right now I do 1 and 3 and sometimes it still feels like there is detergent left.

    Also, even though it isn’t recommended, I stop the machine before the roast cycle and start the wash again from the beginning. If I don’t do that, I have so much detergent left. Plus my machine had poor agitation.

    Any suggestions?

  15. My city’s water hardness is 123 ppm, do I still have to use water softener? If yes, what brand would you recommend and how much to add for HE machine? Because I’ve never used water softeners before.
    Thank you!

    • I’d do 1/2 cup of borax in your main (2nd) cycle only. 🙂 If you’re in the US, you could do 1 capful of liquid Calgon instead (Calgon isn’t available in Canada).

  16. Thank you for this post! We have been using powder Gain and I am just so tired of the scent. I tried using Laundry Tarts before and love the idea of it, but our diapers weren’t getting as clean as they needed to be. I am definitely going to pick up a box of Tide Free and Gentle!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *