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Tide PODS Vs Liquid: Which To Choose?

In recent years, Tide and other detergent manufacturers have released new products to make your laundry cleaner while conserving time and energy. You may be wondering whether you should be using the PODS or the liquid detergent. We've thoroughly reviewed all the available information and have found some answers.

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

In independent testing, the cleaning power of both PODS and the liquid cleaner came out ahead of other brand products and was similar to each other. Though you may still want liquid on hand for versatility, we recommend Tide PODS for the majority of your laundry needs for the following reasons:

  • Tide PODS are more convenient and easy to use.
  • The laundry PODS are the more advanced solution.
  • For easier and cleaner storage, use Tide PODS.
  • Using Tide PODS may save money.
  • Tide PODS travel well.

There are many reasons why Tide PODS might be the best option for your household. We'll break down each one and discuss when liquid detergent might be better. Keep reading as we cover how using the more costly Tide PODS might save money and which is the greener option.

Tide pods holding by an eldery woman and a woman filling up the container with liquid detergent, Tide PODS Vs Liquid: Which To Choose?

What Is The Difference Between Tide PODS And Tide Liquid?

Both Tide liquid detergent and Tide PODS beat out other competition in a 2019 independent test. They also scored nearly the same when compared with each other in cleaning power.

Tide PODS take the Tide liquid and present it in a neater more convenient package. Since it can control which ingredients are mixed before washing, the PODS can utilize more effective, concentrated ingredients. 

a fish bowl shaped plastic vessel containing 77 Tide Pods capsules

Why Are Tide PODS Better?

There has been a lot of good publicity around Tide PODS due to their great user experiences and how they perform in testing.

They utilize advanced technology in a user-friendly solution. Though liquid detergent may appear the cheaper, simpler, and more familiar option, here are some reasons you may find the PODS more useful.

A hand is displaying a Tide Pods which contains pre- measured amounts of detergent,stain remover and brightener for one load of laund

Tide PODS Are More Convenient And Easy To Use

There may not be a more convenient way to do laundry than grabbing a POD and throwing it into the bottom or back of your laundry machine. Depending on the type of laundry, you would typically use one for medium loads. Use two or three PODS for large and extra large loads.

a tide pod washing gel in a washing machine

Customer support also makes the PODS one of the most straightforward laundry products to use. Tide provides a lot of information on their site about best uses and even tips in their responses to user reviews so that consumers get the most out of the product and can learn from other users' experiences.

Click here to see Tide PODS Original on Amazon.

The Laundry PODS Are The More Advanced Solution

POD technology provides an advanced method for cleaning laundry. The dissolving film is formulated so that the different ingredients are time-released for maximum effectiveness. 

Since the ingredients are now separated into different compartments, they can mix technologies in one packet. One packet carries three or more separate liquids designed to do different jobs all delivered at different times during the cycle.

This three-in-one POD has new cold water technology that allows the film to dissolve in both hot and cold water. It has stain remover and color protection components added to the regular detergent liquid. Its ability to dissolve in cold water makes this the ultimate safe detergent for colored clothes.

Click here to see PODS Coldwater Clean on Amazon.

Can You Pre-Soak Clothes With PODS?

One of the arguments against using them has been that they aren't good for tough stains since you can't pre-soak the clothes.

One of the most notable advancements Tide has made with its POD technology is the ability to release pre-soak fluid into the wash through its PODS, eliminating the need to use a liquid detergent.

This four-in-one POD has a pre-soaking chamber that dissolves quicker than the other components to deliver the Smart Suds liquid that removes set-in stains and odors.

Click here to see Tide PODS that can pre-soak on Amazon.

For Better Storage, Use Tide PODS

The days when your laundry detergent leaked onto the shelf or down the sides of the bottle could be gone. The PODS are stored in mess-proof stackable packages. They also come in compact plastic pouches that can be stored in a drawer for out-of-sight storage.

Click here to see drawer-friendly PODS on Amazon.

Using Tide PODS May Save Money

Though Tide PODS may be more expensive when directions are followed for both types of detergent, in typical consumer use, they may save money. Since the large bottles are more difficult to handle, it's common to mismeasure or not measure at all. Many users report using a smaller amount after switching.

 Using Tide Coldwater can translate to savings on your energy bill over time. Tide estimates that it can use up to 50% less energy to do a load of laundry in cold water. They mention that the PODS are up to 90% active ingredients where the liquid detergent is mostly water.

Savings are also to be had since they partner with other brands to provide other laundry liquids in the same POD, eliminating the need to purchase various bottles. This super concentrated solution partners with Febreeze to fight odor.

Click here to see Tide PODS Febreze Sport on Amazon.

Tide PODS Travel Well

For those living in an apartment complex, condo, or anywhere else where you may share facilities, PODS are the best choice. They can be easily transported in a small container or storage bag, and as mentioned before, they contain all laundry solutions in one POD, making transport simple.

Can You Use Tide PODS In A Sink?

If you are traveling to a place with no washing machine or only have a few items that you need to wash in a sink, do not use a POD. Since they don't recommend opening the Tide PODS to use less detergent, they make Tide Sink Packets for those very small loads.

The packets contain a formula that is specially formulated for hand washing. These are meant for the sink, tub, or bucket and not for use in machines.

Click here to see Tide Sink Packets on Amazon.

When Is Liquid Detergent Better Than The PODS?

Hand pouring liquid detergent on a washing machine

There may be some situations where the liquid detergent may serve your home better than the PODS. Some consumer protection agencies state that it may not be suitable for homes with young children. The packets are attractive and colorful and can present a child safety issue.

If you do choose to use PODS, store them up and out of a child's reach. Store them in the container they came in and not in transparent containers which can make them look like candy to the child.

If environmental impact is one of your concerns, you should know that the PODS may be harder on the environment than regular detergent.

Though the liquid is said to be biodegradable, the film is not. It contains PVA, a plastic-like substance, and a monomer that has been said to be toxic to both marine life and humans.

Which Tide Detergent Is Green?

If you want to go green and use the safest Tide product, they now offer a plant-based liquid. It is made of at least 75% natural plant-based materials. Tide Purclean used less energy in the making and is packaged in renewable materials.

It is also free of chlorine, dyes, perfumes, and brighteners. Purclean Free has earned the Safer Option seal from the EPA and has been certified by the USDA BioPreferred program due to its use of renewable energy in manufacturing.

Click here to see Tide's green detergent on Amazon.

A Liquid Detergent May Be More Versatile

PODS come in a pre-measured package that can't or shouldn't be altered. This makes the PODS useful only for washing clothes in a machine. According to professional cleaners, Tide liquid detergent can be used to:

  • Unclog slow drains
  • Clean ovens
  • Remove stains from the carpet and upholstery
  • Clean toys in bulk

For more about using detergent as a carpet cleaner, see this article: What Can You Use In A Carpet Cleaner? [11 Options]

Final Thoughts

Tide pods holding by an eldery woman and a woman filling up the container with liquid detergent

Now that you have gotten a thorough breakdown on Tide PODS vs. the liquid and what might be a better laundry solution for your needs, choose the one that suits your values and laundry style.

Tide has created a line of products that get the same reliable level of cleaning power every load while being suitable for a wide variety of lifestyles.

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