Do Tide Pods Have Bleach?

If you’re concerned about the use of bleach in laundry, then it’s only right for you to question whether or not your favorite laundry pods have the controversial ingredient secretly stuffed into them.

Tide is a popular brand of laundry detergent with very impressive cleaning action, but is the backbone of this cleaning action bleach? Does Tide contain bleach in it?

In this article, we’ll explore the ingredients in Tide Pods and find out whether or not bleach is an active ingredient. We’ll also look at the ingredients in liquid and powderedTide detergents too, and find out exactly where Tide detergent gets its cleaning magic from. 

In the end, you’ll also learn about the many different alternatives to bleach in laundry in case you’re concerned about its use in your laundry routine.

Do Tide Pods have bleach in them?

There is no line of Tide Pods detergent that contains bleach in it. Instead, they all rely on cleaning aids and agents such as enzymes and surfactants i.e MEA-LAS, and C10-16 Pareth among others, to achieve effective cleaning of laundry. 

What are the ingredients in Tide Pods?


Surfactants are one of the ways in which Tide Pods achieve cleaning and stain removal in laundry. Their effectiveness at banishing stains however, depends on the type and concentration of surfactant used as well as the makeup of the stain in question. 

Surfactants work by lowering the surface tension of water and emulsifying oils which allows them to break down the molecules of stain, suspend them on water so they are easily rinsed away. 

If you didn’t understand that, here’s another way to look at things: 

Surfactants are those ingredients that are able to bridge the gap between water and stains therefore allowing for cleaning to take place. 

The surfactant molecules have affinity to both grease and water at both ends. While one attracts oil, the other attracts water. With the application of little agitation from the washer, surfactants are able to pull out stains from clothes and form into small pods of dirt suspended on the wash water. With the introduction of rinse water, these pods are washed away and what is left is a cloth that is free from dirt!

Surfactants appear in 4 different forms depending on the charge they bear in their heads. Anionic surfactants (bearing negative charge are usually more effective at removing particulate soils and are not so great at emulsifying oil based stains, while cationic surfactants (bearing positive charge in their heads) are more effective as antistatic and disinfecting agents. 

Nonionic surfactants (which bear no charge on them at all) are generally better at removing oil based stains as well as organic stains, and are frequently mixed with anionic surfactants to create really powerful cleaning detergents. 

Cleaning aids

Cleaning aids are there to assist the cleaning agents in cleaning. They include ingredients that help remove the hardness of water, metallic ions in water, and other compounds that typically inhibit cleaning. These have been given the jargon name of “Scavengers” “Chelants” and also “Builders”.

A popular example of cleaning aids include Polyethyleneimine Alkoxylated which help to boost cleaning by suspending dirt and preventing them from incorporating back into the clothes.


Some tide pods contain fragrance added to them to improve how they smell.  


The constituents of pods are also added with colors such as violet, cayan, yellow and green to make them more pleasing to look at. 

Bittering agent

Bittering agents such as Denatonium Benzoate are added in order to deter children from swallowing pods due to how attractive they looks.


The casing of Tide pods are made of Polyvinyl Alcohol Polymer which holds the contents firmly in place but dissolves easily upon contact with water, heat or moisture.


Pods get their powerful cleaning abilities from enzymes also. Depending on the product line different types of enzymes can be added to help with common household stains such as blood, grease, oil, wine etc. 

Examples of enzymes added to tide pods include Amylase, Mannanase and Subtilisin.


Stabilizers are added to prevent separation or breakdown of the active ingredients in Tide detergents such as enzymes and surfactants.

Without stabilizers, active ingredients would easily destabilize under heat and light exposure, or during long term storage. 

Aesthetics compounds

Aesthetics compounds are added to improve the looks of the detergent.


Preservatives are added to prevent the growth of microorganisms in the product during transit and storage. They also help to keep other ingredients at optimal conditions. 


Solvent serves as the medium through which ingredients mix. Popular solvents include water and Propylene Glycol. 

Whiteners and Brighteners:

There are also whiteners and brighteners for whitening and brightening cloths respectively, and also perfume and odor removers for adding scent and removing odors from clothes respectively.

Color protector

Color protector is an additive that helps to preserve the colors of fabrics.

Other ingredients in Tide Pods Include: sud suppressors which reduce the amount of suds produced when washing, particularly beneficial for HE machines, builders and chelates for removing wash inhibiting substances in water, and odor neutralizers for removing odor from fabrics.

What tide products have bleach in them?

Of all the Tide detergents, only the “Tide Plus bleach powdered laundry detergent” has bleach in it as an active ingredient.

Even so, the bleach is in the form of Sodium Carbonate Peroxide which is an oxygen based bleach and non-chlorine and therefore is safe to use on colored garments. The detergent offers whitening and brightening for whites and colored garments respectively. 

Aside from their peroxide based bleach detergent, Tide also offers other lines of detergents with bleach alternatives in them, for example the Tide Simply Plus Bleach Alternative Liquid Laundry Detergent that rely on other ingredients that aren’t bleach to whiten, brighten and remove stains from clothes for instance, this detergent contains fluorescent Brightener 71 which provides whitening and brightening for garments. 

Tide’s bleach alternatives are typically safe to use on both whites and colored garments. 

How does Tide whiten clothes without bleach?

Tide relies on many other compounds as well as bleach alternatives to remove colored stains on fabrics. 

Such compounds include enzymes which tackle protein based stains and surfactants that are effective at removing organic and oil based stains. Other ingredients called the cleaning aids work hand in hand with these cleaning agents to deliver effective soil removal on laundry. 

Additionally, Tide can also rely on peroxide which is an oxygen based bleach to remove stains from clothes. A popular Tide product that uses peroxide based bleach is the Tide Simply Plus Bleach Alternative Liquid Laundry Detergent. 

What are the alternatives to bleach in laundry?

If you don’t want to use bleach in your laundry, then there are several alternatives that you can’t fall back to.

Lemon juice: 

Lemon juice is a naturally occuring bleach which means it will help brighten and whiten your fabrics. 

Because of its acidic components also, lemon juice we’ll be able to tackle microorganisms on your fabrics thereby acting as a disinfectant. 

To use lemon juice in your laundry, add one cup of it to the rinse cycle.

Hydrogen peroxide: 

Hydrogen peroxide is the naturally occuring closest alternative you can find to chlorine bleach. It is perfect for removing stains in clothes, as well as brightening and whitening garments. It acts as a great disinfectant too.

To use hydrogen peroxide, add ¼ to 1 cup of it to your wash water.

Baking soda: 

Baking soda can serve as a good laundry booster by helping to soften clothes as well as remove stain when used as a spot treatment.

To use baking soda for the purpose mentioned above, make a paste of it with water and appy it directly to the affected spot. Rub using a soft brush and allow to settle for sometime before washing it off with cold water. 

To use it in laundry, add ½ cup of it to the washer drum for lightly soiled garments, or 1 cup of it for more soiled laundry. 

Note that with really powerful detergents like Persil or Woolite, you don’t actually need baking soda, and using it would be a waste of precious resources. 

White Vinegar: 

White vinegar acts as both a disinfectant for laundry as well as a brightening agent. To reap maximum benefits, make sure to pair vinegar with a quality detergent. 

Add about ½ cup of it to the rinse cycle of your laundry and it would help preserve the intensity of your clothes, soften them as well as banish any lingering odor. 

Oxygen bleach: 

Oxygen bleach is marketed as an alternative to chlorine bleach which does damage to color based garments. Oxygen bleach provides nearly the same cleaning action as bleach with reduced disinfection properties, and is additionally safe to use on nearly all garments. Still, it is expected that you do a little patch test in an inconspicuous area before going full force with it. 

What are the ingredients in liquid and powdered Tide detergents?

Powdered and liquid Tide detergents contain nearly the same ingredients as found in pods with the exception of a few here and there to cater for the application of the specific line in question form example Tide odor remover detergents would contain odor neutralizers whereas some pods may not contain them. 

Tide liquid and powdered detergents contain surfactants which help with dirt and soil removal, whiteners and brighteners for improving the aesthetic of clothes, builders for improving washing efficiency of detergents and perfume and odor neutralizer for adding scent and removing odor from clothes respectively.

Tide liquid and powdered detergents too (aside from the one mentioned above) are free from chlorine bleach and rely heavily on enzymes and surfactants to do the cleaning job for them. 

Do Tide pods have fabric softeners?

Not all Tide pods detergents have softeners in them but the specific line called the Tide Pods 4 in 1 Plus Downy does contain it which provides a single solution of cleaning and softening in one pack.