In our recent re-test, Tide Plus Bleach Alternative HE still cleaned the best overall out of all the detergents we tried. It actually didn’t top any one category this time around, but it performed consistently at the number two spot pretty much across the board while the other detergents tended to be good at one stain but bad at others. Its standouts in the retest were coffee, wine, and blood, coming in only behind the two powders in this last category. This very good overall performance earned it our top spot the second time around.
We confirmed Tide Plus Bleach Alternative’s excellent performance using a UV/Vis spectrometer, measuring the amount of color remaining on stained fabric swatches after washing in different water temperatures. Tide Plus Bleach Alternative HE Liquid bubbled to the top on not all, but many of our tests.
So, really, the only difference between this detergent and the Tide Plus Bleach Alternative was slightly worse performance and the price. Tide Ultra Stain Release is a little more expensive than our main pick, too, coming in around 40 cents per load versus 36 cents per load for the Tide Plus Bleach Alternative HE. Tide Ultra Stain Release does have a pretty swanky cap though, complete with pour spout and stain treatment scrubber.
The finalist chocolate stains. The lighting in this picture isn’t the greatest, but you can tell that 14 (Tide plus bleach alternative HE liquid) and 20 (Tide Ultra Stain Release) are lighter than the rest. This is why I let a scientific instrument figure out the color differences for me.