Why Is Tide So Expensive? [Plus Cheaper Alternatives]

People always tell you that you’ll be doing countless loads of laundry once you have children, but no one can really prepare you for the endless piles of tiny clothes covered in mysterious stains. I recently found myself standing in the laundry detergent aisle searching for the best deal, knowing my toddler always manages to get stains all over her clothes within minutes of getting dressed.

I automatically reached for a bottle of Tide, but stopped when I saw the price. The generic brand was half the price, I couldn’t help wondering if I would be sacrificing quality if I went with it. Why is Tide so much more expensive? 

Tide has worked very hard over the last 70 years to ensure their brand is recognized easily by consumers. Tide is one of the many products under the multinational consumer goods corporation, Procter & Gamble. They work very hard to market their variety of products through television commercials, product placement in TV shows or movies, and much more.

They offer a wide variety of products and pride themselves on being an all-around laundry solution, consumers can find any product to fit their needs. Most importantly, Tide works because they’re constantly working to make sure their product is the best on the market. 

1.  Name Recognition 

You may be asking yourself where Tide came from. In 1946, Procter & Gamble introduced Tide as the first heavy duty laundry detergent in the U.S. The new product was promoted in television commercials during daytime and primetime T.V., the goal being to get in front of their target audience – homemakers. It’s no surprise that Tide continues to be the number one laundry detergent on the market. But what makes it different?

From the beginning, Tide stood out from the other laundry detergents with their bright orange and yellow packaging. While we know the brand today as the leader in laundry detergent, they continued to create products that would make the task of doing laundry much easier. It’s no wonder Tide quickly became a favorite among homemakers and families.  

Tide had to make sure to stay relevant with some of their competitors, always boasting that their product was the toughest on stains and would make your clothes even cleaner. It’s no wonder that they continuously release new products over the last 70 years to keep up with the needs of their consumers. Their wide variety of products ensures that you will find the best detergent or stain remover to fit your needs.

It has taken Tide a long time and money to become the best-selling laundry detergent on the market. They value quality over anything else, which is clear in their wide variety of products. Tide Powder Laundry Detergent, Mountain Spring, 102 Loads 143 oz

2. Variety Of Products

Tide offers a wide range of products including liquid detergent, powder, even single-use pods. They also have a line specified for high-efficiency washers. It seems like there’s nothing they don’t offer in the realm of laundry detergent and home essentials. Every household has different needs, and Tide has so many options to choose from, they make it easy to find the best detergent for your family. 

Tide Plus Bleach

We all know that little ones create lots of messes and products like Tide plus Bleach can help keep the quality of your clothes looking fresh and clean. This product uses non-chlorine bleach, meaning it won’t alter the color of your clothes, but it will keep your whites looking even brighter. Unlike other products in the line of Tide detergent, Tide plus Bleach is only available in powder or liquid form. Tide Plus Bleach Alternative Safe on Colors HE Turbo Clean Liquid Laundry Detergent, Original Scent, 1.36 L (29 Loads), 46 Fl Oz (Pack of 1) (037000875482)

Tide Ultra Oxi

If you are hesitant about using bleach for your family’s laundry, Tide Ultra Oxi is a great alternative for getting tough stains out of your laundry. Tide Ultra Oxi not only promises to remove stains but will get out deep-set odors that stay on certain clothes no matter how often they’re washed. Have kids who get sweaty playing sports? Tide Ultra Oxi may be the perfect product for you. Tide PODS 4 in 1 Ultra Oxi Liquid Laundry Detergent Pacs, High Efficiency (HE), 73 Count

The Infamous Tide Pods

The infamous Tide Pods are perfect for those who never know how much detergent to use per load, just pop a pod in and start your machine – it’s that easy. Tide Pods are also available with their Ultra Oxi formula, Free & Gentle, and with Febreze. While Tide Pods are more convenient, some consumers may find that liquid detergent is better at removing stains and keeping their clothes looking brand new. Tide PODS Laundry Detergent Soap PODS, High Efficiency (HE), Original Scent, 96 Count

Tide Purclean

One of Tide’s newest products is Tide Purclean, the first plant-based laundry detergent in their line of products. According to Tide’s website, this means that 75% of the ingredients are derived from plants and subjected to processing. Tide boasts that Purclean is still going to get the stains out of your clothes and will work well in energy-saving cold water.

Basically, they promise that you’ll get the same great Tide with a more eco-friendly footprint. Tide Purclean Plant-Based EPA Safer Choice Liquid Laundry Detergent Soap Eco-Box, Ultra Concentrated High Efficiency (HE), 72 Loads

Eco-Box Packaging

In April of 2020, Tide introduced the Eco-Box, which is packaging with 50% less plastic than regular detergent. They currently offer regular Tide, Tide Purclean, and Tide Free & Gentle in the Eco-Box. If you’re looking for a product that will reduce your carbon footprint, this may be one of your best options out there. 

It’s no secret that Tide has worked very hard to ensure their product is the best and most recognizable detergent on the shelf. Their variety of products are accessible to consumers, and the familiarity makes the daunting task of laundry even easier if you know that you only need one product to get the job done. Tide’s ever-growing environmentally-conscious marketing also shows that they are working hard to stay relevant in our changing world. Tide Free and Gentle Eco-Box Liquid Laundry Detergent Soap, Ultra Concentrated HE, 96 Loads - Unscented and Hypoallergenic for Sensitive Skin, Free and Clear of Dyes and Perfumes

3. Stain Removal

Tide has always prided itself to be the toughest on stains, this concept was first introduced in 1968 with their detergent formulated with special enzymes to break down even the toughest stains. When you’re paying a lot of money for clothes – especially baby clothes, you want to keep them to stay as clean and fresh as possible. 

Tide likes to pride itself on its ability to get out even the toughest stains without having to treat the stain separately before washing it. It helps take a little bit of stress out of doing laundry without having to spot treat every stain on your family’s clothes. It’s a relief to throw all of your clothes in the wash with some Tide knowing that they’ll come out clean and stain-free!

4. All-Around Laundry Solution

Over the years, Tide has established itself as an all-around laundry solution. Not only are they known for their detergent, but they also offer stain removal and fabric care products. Which means if your toddler dumps a cup of grape juice on your carpet, you can find the solution with Tide. 

If you notice that your washing machine is starting to smell or is just in need of a good cleaning, Tide offers a product that will clean it quickly and efficiently. It’s important to maintain your washing machine so you can stay on top of your never-ending laundry needs.

Having a brand you trust to cover everything in your laundry room can make the task of doing laundry less daunting. With knowing everything Tide has to offer, it’s easy to put your trust in them as the top choice in laundry – and home-care.Why is Tide so Expensive?

5. Less Is More

One thing that is clear when comparing laundry detergents on the market, Tide claims to offer the most loads per bottle. Tide is more concentrated than other detergent brands, which makes it easier to stretch the detergent out between all of your loads of laundry. You only have to use a small amount of Tide to get your clothes clean. 

With cheaper detergent, it always seems as if you have to use more and more to get your clothes clean. Tide allows for some flexibility with how much you use per load, which can make the bottle last longer. Even with their smallest bottle of original detergent, you can do 32 loads of laundry for $6.89. 

This is one of the biggest differences between Tide and other brands on the market, even though you’re paying more money, you won’t run out of detergent as quickly. The value of the product is based on the volume of loads, and we consistently see that Tide offers the same amount of detergent with the promise of more loads.

6. It Works Because They Work

Tide is continuously working on their formulas to ensure they are the top product. This research is expensive, which will lead to a more expensive product. When it comes to your laundry and ensuring your clothes are clean the first time, wouldn’t you prefer a product that puts the work in to make sure their product is the best?

Tide advertises that they will work the hardest to keep your clothes clean the first time you wash them, and there is truth in their words. Tide is consistent in their quality and promises to get the job done. This quality assurance takes time, and will ultimately lead to a more expensive product. 

Seeing the consistent quality of Tide, it’s no wonder they are at the top of the list among other laundry detergents. If you choose to make the switch to Tide detergent, there are always coupons and deals you can find to make the higher price a little more reasonable for your budget. Tide Hygienic Clean Heavy 10x Duty Liquid Laundry Detergent, Original Scent, He Compatible, 59 Loads, 92 Fl Oz

Comparison Between Different Brands

As a mom, I am always looking for the safest and best detergent for my family. Below you will find a breakdown of the variety of brands you may find in your local Target, with a focus on laundry detergents free of fragrances and dyes. We’ll break down each one in-depth to help you make the best decision for your family. 

Tide  154fl oz 107 loads $19.99
Seventh Generation 150fl oz 99 loads $17.99
Gain 154fl oz 107 loads $14.99
All Free Clear 141fl oz 94 loads $9.49
Everspring  100fl oz 64 loads $10.99
Up & Up Free + Clear 150fl oz 96 loads $8.59

Tide’s Alternatives

When you break down the prices per load for each brand, it’s obvious that Tide offers the most, but other brands like Gain are offering the same volume for less money. What’s the difference here? The only difference between Tide and the Gain detergent is that Gain doesn’t offer a version of their product that is fragrance and dye-free, which is something offered by almost all of the other leading laundry detergent brands. Both brands are also under the umbrella of Procter & Gamble. 

All Free Clear is another laundry detergent that promotes being tough on stains while being gentle on the skin. Their website claims they are the number one detergent recommended by dermatologists due to the fact that it’s free of dyes and fragrances, which should make consumers feel better about using it. All Free Clear offers their detergent in a slightly smaller bottle than Tide, but for more than half the price. 

For the environmentally-conscious consumer, brands like Seventh Generation and Everspring may be a better fit. Both Brands boast clean certifications, along with bio-based, and cruelty free. It’s an easy way to incorporate one’s lifestyle or beliefs into something as simple as laundry and to feel good doing it. 

By contrast, the cheapest option is Target’s generic brand, Up & Up Free + Clear. You get almost the same amount of laundry detergent for more than half the price Tide Free & Gentle, is it really that much different? The simple answer is yes and no. Both brands are dye-free, phthalate-free, no fragrance added, paraben-free, and dermatologist recommended. But Tide Free & Gentle is a certified clean product, which may make consumers feel more comfortable using it for their families. 

Final Verdict

There are many things to consider when choosing the right laundry detergent for your family. As we’ve learned there can be factors as big as whether a brand is cruelty-free or bio-based, or if they can remove tough stains from your laundry. Figuring out what’s most important to you may take a little time and research.

For me, consistency is everything when it comes to doing laundry. I want to ensure that my clothes will come out of the wash clean and stain-free, while being gentle on our skin. While other brands may be able to help get stains out, it seems that no brand can guarantee consistent quality like Tide.

Everyone has different needs based on their individual household, doing your research can help make the best decision for you, and you may find that spending a little extra money on Tide detergent will be worth it.

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