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Friday, April 6, 2012

Post# 250 - Tide Free and My Smelly Shirt

I sent this on 5/24/2011:

Dear Tide,

Somewhere once, a detergent engineer performed a study that proved, conclusively, that the scent in detergent, while more costly, has a purpose.  For years, even dating back to Fels Naptha, soap has included scent.  Men even started wearing just the scent, in products like aftershave and cologne.  They knew that the scent increased their chances of "getting lucky" versus their non-scented counterparts. 

I recently purchased your Tide Free, scent free, coloring free detergent. I went against my better judgement.  Yesterday, I washed a brand new t-shirt, never worn, with my gym socks, and an onion-soup-soaked table cloth.  When I wore the shirt today, it smelled funny.  I could pick up a jazz trio of scents--new shirt smell, onion soup smell, and gym sock smell.  I thought "I just washed this.  What gives?"

Here's what I've figured out: detergent needs fragrance.  If detergents gets something 99 percent clean, fragrance "rounds it up."   I'm wondering, with washes three, four and five, would my shirt pick up additional scents.  Would my shirt become an olfactory scrapbook of smelly laundry loads past?

Scent-free is a bad idea.  Where the scent is missing, some other rogue odor will take it's place, sort of like a weed in a landscape that is lacking ground cover.  Landscape is the shirt, ground cover is the fragance, and the weed is the rogue odor.

I guess what I am saying is, stick with your first instinct.  Fragrance is good.  Let's bring it back!


Tide's Reply, sent 5/26/2011
Hello Jerry,

Thank you for contacting Tide.

I apologize for the experience, what you’re describing is unusual and we would not expect this to be happening.
Our goal is to produce high quality products that consistently delight our consumers and I'm sorry this wasn't your experience.  Please be assured I'm sharing your comments with the rest of our team.
Please be assured all our laundry detergents are designed to provide good overall cleaning.  In addition, they all contain enzymes which help remove protein soils.
Tide 2X ONLY (Base versions, Bleach Alternative, Coldwater & Febreze Freshness) – Contain additional enzymes for improved stain removal.

Since powders and liquids have different performance strengths, I’d like to share some tips with you.  If you have clay or mud type of soil, then try our powders as they work best on this type of stain.  For greasy, oily solids liquid is the best. 

For best results:
Follow care tag instructions, using the hottest water safe for the fabric.
Sort clothes properly grouping similar colors and fabrics.
Don't overload the washer so clothes can circulate freely.
Use the recommended amount of detergent for average water hardness, a little more in very hard water, a little less in very soft water.
Use gentle cycles only when care instructions recommend it.

Tide Free provides your fabrics with great cleaning that's gentle to your skin.
Specially designed for sensitive skin
Made without dyes & perfumes
Rinses clean
Dermatologist tested for sensitive skin
2X concentrated so you can use ½ as much.
One small cap of new Ultra Tide helps remove virtually every type of stain.
2X concentrated – use less.
To add softness to your whole wash without adding dyes or perfumes, try Downy Free & Sensitive fabric softener

There should never be the transfer of odors from one load to the next.

We have found that there are consumers who don't want scent in there laundry products and there are consumers who may have an allergic  reaction to the fragrances or dyes.

Since your satisfaction means a great deal to us, I'm sending compensation by postal mail.  You should receive my letter and coupon within the next 2-3 weeks.
If you go to and you can sign up to receive product promotions and if you register to receive our Tide Newsletter there are additional promotions available.

Thanks again for writing.
Tide Team
A coupon for a "64 use" bottle of Tide was sent to the address on file.  It was sent to my friend Theresa because I had previously written a letter for her daughter.

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