Best forFamilies with sensitive skin who need an effective stain-fighting detergent
Top BenefitsPowerful stain fighting, free of dyes and fragrances, good value
ConsiderationsFormulated for HE washers, ingredients are not listed on bottle
Bottom lineTide Free & Gentle HE Laundry Detergent washes away stains while staying gentle on skin
With the stain-fighting power you expect from Tide, but free of any dyes or perfumes, Tide Free & Gentle HE Laundry Detergent is up to the task of keeping your clothes fresh and clean. Its formulation is super gentle on your baby’s sensitive skin but is still strong enough to remove even the most stubborn stains.
To test the stain-fighting power of Tide Free & Gentle, we stained pre-washed, white, 100-percent cotton jersey swatches with some of life’s most notorious mess-makers, including spaghetti sauce, mud and grass. We were impressed by this detergent’s ability to remove both fresh and overnight stains. With a quick pretreatment before washing (we did this by gently rubbing a quarter teaspoon of detergent directly onto the stain), Tide Free & Gentle was able to completely remove formula, marker, grass and sweet potato puree from the white cotton. While no detergent completely removed coffee, spaghetti sauce or mud, Tide Free & Gentle was able to greatly reduce the appearance of these stains to a wearable degree.
All of our parent testers strongly agreed that Tide Free & Gentle did a good job of cleaning their baby’s clothes. The majority found that this detergent was able to remove everything from spit-up and vomit to urine and poop, with one tester noting that this detergent did a good job of cleaning her reusable diapers. (Tide Free & Gentle is safe to use on cloth diapers.)
As an unscented detergent, Tide Free & Gentle does not leave clothes fragrant, but it does leave them smelling fresh. All of our parent testers agreed that their whites stayed white and their brights stayed bright, and most felt their clothes smelled fresh even after days in a drawer. Two of our testers mentioned this was the first detergent that didn’t cause flare-ups of their children's eczema, making it a good option for families with members who have sensitive skin. One tester particularly liked how the detergent was gentle enough for her baby's clothes while also being strong enough for her whole family's laundry, which meant she could throw everything in the wash together.
While the instructions on the back of the bottle are printed in quite a small font (making them a bit challenging for older eyes to read), they are clear. All of our parent testers found it easy to understand how much detergent was needed for the size of load they were washing, and all but one tester found the measure lines inside the cap made it easy to dispense the right amount of detergent. The lip on the lid helps to prevent spills, which ensures your bottle stays nice and tidy.
Our parent testers unanimously agree that Tide Free & Gentle is a high-quality, easy-to-use detergent that is gentle enough for a baby's skin and powerful enough for the whole family. In fact, each one of our parent testers felt this detergent performed better than the detergent they normally use at home. Of all the baby detergents we tested, this one was given the highest value rating by our testers, and every single one of them said that not only would they purchase this detergent for themselves, but they would also recommend it to other parents. We feel that when you combine its stain-fighting power, good value and lack of dyes and fragrances, Tide Free & Gentle is an effective option for families when life gets messy.