For me, “deep-cleaning the house” has a place on the same list where you’ll find “getting a root canal.” But sometimes you have to, even it it means pulling out five different cleaners to get the job done. Tide claims its new product can clean more than 225 household items. Sounds too good to be true, right? It might be or it might not be – it just depends on your belongings.
The new detergent is Tide’s attempt to cash in on Oxi Clean. The packaging not only calls out that cleaning product’s name in a “Compare to Oxi Clean” burst; the TV ad tries to capture some of the DIY magic viewers will remember from the gool ol’ Billy Mays (RIP) infomercials that made the pitchman famous.
The Tide Oxi video features somewhat-celebrity Jonathan Scott from HGTV’s Property Brothers standing in a garage full of stuff, lamenting about how consumers can clean just about everything in their homes with the new product.
Our colleagues at Consumer Reports gave us the lowdown on just how the new product works, what products it compares to and whether or not we could just use our tried-and-true laundry detergent to clean everything we own.
Although Pat Slaven, a textiles expert at CR, didn’t test Tide Oxi, she did break down what might make the product so potent to filth.
Tide Oxi’s complete ingredient list wasn’t yet available on the website, but Slaven deduced that the product appears to be in the same family as Tide Boost with Oxi.
“Sodium Percarbonate, which is the active ingredient in Oxi Clean and similar powered products, is a mild oxygen bleaching agent and it does work on many surfaces beyond normal laundry,” she says.
Since the same compound is found in Oxi Clean, it’s feasible that one could try to use that product in the same manner as Tide Oxi. But can we use Tide Oxi on products we might not be able to use Oxi Clean on? That’s pretty unclear from the Tide commercial.
The video isn’t actually specific on just what Tide Oxi can clean. It suggests viewers go to TideThat.com where they can supposedly learn about the alleged “225+ uses” for the product, but that just redirects you a boring page with basic product information and no mind-blowing list of household cleaning chores for which you could use Tide Oxi.
Throughout the video Scott declares that consumers can “Tide that” while pointing out a number of items, including dressers, plush toys, couches, lawn chairs and of course, clothes.
To actually clean the items, Scott uses a mixture of Tide Oxi and water on what looks to be a foot rest of some sort. After a few quick swipes with a bristled brush, the fabric is gleaming once again.
But if watering down detergent is all it takes to clean every item in our homes, then we could just buy bargain brand, right? Not so much, apparently.
As far as using your regular household detergent and water to clean? It’s probably not going to make your items as spotless as Scott’s seem to appear in the commercial.
“Dissolving normal detergent will not give the same results,” Slaven explains. “However a number of the items shown in the video could most likely be cleaned with other common cleaning agents and do not specifically require a mild bleach.”
We couldn’t just take Scott’s word for it, so we set out to clean a few items.
First up, the sadly neglected bathtub in my apartment. I generally clean it with bleach but thought we’d give this new product a shot.
I probably should clean the tub more often. The Tide Oxi mixture did little to actually take all the grime and dirt off of the sides of the shower, even with excessive scrubbing with the brush.
Next, I took Tide Oxi to a few discolored spots on the tile. That produced a more favorable result, with the spots easily disappearing.
Then we head into the kitchen and find a filthy toaster. I’m really not sure why it’s so dirty, we don’t used it often – maybe that’s why.
Either way, the mixture seemed to do the trick, with the scrubbing-brush taking off the spots and dirt quite easily.
So what’s the verdict? Eh, we could have probably used other household cleaners and ended with the same or at least similar results.
Whether or not you want to take Scott’s endorsement, and our limited testing, of the product to mean you should use it, too, is up to you. But above all Slaven says there’s one thing consumers should always do when using a detergent to clean.
“The real recommendation here is test first in an inconspicuous area and make sure whatever product you are using doesn’t damage the surface,” she says.
Oh, and it appears the company is using the hashtag #tidethat to help amp up publicity for the product. Although, that doesn’t appear to be working out all that well.