Is Tide Laundry Detergent Toxic? (Review)

Tide’s the big name when it comes to laundry detergent in the U.S. People love how well it cleans and that fresh smell it’s got. But hold on, some people have been throwing some shade at Tide, saying there might be some sketchy chemicals in it.

So, in this article, we’re gonna dig into what’s actually in Tide and talk about whether there’s any real danger hiding in those ingredients. And of course, we’ll look at what the evidence says about Tide being toxic or not.

What’s In Tide Laundry Detergent?

Here is a list of ingredients in tide detergent and what scientific research thinks about them. 

IngredientEffects on Human HealthEffects on Environment
Propylene GlycolSafeSafe
Sodium Lauryl SulfateSome concern for skin irritationSafe
C12-16 ParethSafe, low concernPossible concern
Sodium CitrateSafeSafe
Sodium Salts Of C12-18 Fatty AcidsSafePossible concern
Polyethyleneimines AlkoxylatedSome concerns for skin irritationSome concern
C10-16 Alkyldimethylamine OxideSome skin sensitivity concernHigh concern
Sodium BorateSome concernToxic to aquatic organisms
Amylase EnzymeSafeSafe
Mannanase EnzymeSafeSafe
FragrancesSome concernSome concern

Looking at the table up there, it’s clear that Tide laundry detergent’s got some ingredients that might not be too friendly for us or the planet.

And hey, if you’re on the hunt for a detergent that’s totally “clean” and without any chemicals that might give you trouble down the road, then Tide probably isn’t what you’re looking for.

What Complains Have People Had About Tide?

Most people who’ve used Tide detergent don’t have a bad word to say about it when it comes to their skin. 

They’re all good, no problems there. But then there’s this other group of people, right? A smaller bunch, but they’ve had some allergic reactions after using Tide products.

So what’s the deal? Well, it really seems to come down to how individual folks react to it. Some people might be more sensitive or just have a greater chance of reacting to something in the Tide formula. It’s not like it’s a big, widespread issue, but for the people it does affect, it’s definitely a real concern. So if you’re thinking about using Tide, it might just be something to keep in mind. You know your skin better than anyone else!

So What’s The Verdict?

Identifying a toxin in a detergent does not necessarily paint the entire picture.

This is why we need to ask more questions, such as: What is the concentration of the toxin in the detergent? What happens when it enters the body at that concentration? How likely is it to enter the body?

For most detergents, the concentration of these ingredients is within the range that is acceptable (which is how they ended up on the shelves in the first place, at least in developed countries). This means they should not pose any threat when they eventually enter the body. Moreover, some of these ingredients are diluted with different components to form secondary compounds that might even be nontoxic.

When considering how likely some of these toxins are to enter the body, take into account that we’re talking about a detergent, not a skin soap.

Detergents aren’t intended for direct application to the body. Most of the time, you won’t have any contact with them as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions, except in rare cases of accidents.

Even if detergent does come into contact with your body, it typically doesn’t remain there for long before you rinse it off with water.

Many studies that demonstrate the toxicity of ingredients through dermal contact often repeat the exposure multiple times, allowing the ingredient to remain on the skin for extended periods. Such conditions aren’t realistic for most people in everyday scenarios.

Also, consider the frequency of usage, typically between 1 to 2 times a week. This means that the toxic component has an even lower chance of entering the body due to less frequent use.

When washing clothes with a detergent containing these toxins, only a minimal amount remains on your clothes, provided you rinse and dry them properly.

If these residues do come into contact with your skin, many have a low dermal absorption rate. For those that do get absorbed, nine times out of ten, they are at such a low concentration that they shouldn’t cause alarm. Interestingly, some are even broken down and excreted.

So, we find that even though many detergents contain toxins, in the broader context, they’re not usually harmful due to various mitigating factors.

The real danger might arise from individual sensitivity and susceptibility. Everyone is different, with varying lifestyles. There’s also the potential for carelessness on the part of manufacturers and the bodies governing them.

Ideally, most people should tolerate these ingredients. However, that’s not always the case. Some individuals might react negatively to these toxins upon skin contact or ingestion. Due to their lifestyles and overall health status, they might be more vulnerable to certain illnesses from even minimal exposure to these ingredients.

It’s also expected that manufacturers adhere to good practices by using appropriate ingredients and maintaining acceptable concentration levels. Governing bodies should ensure manufacturers maintain these standards. If either party fails to uphold their responsibilities, products with the potential to harm our health could still reach our homes.

So the bottom line is that Tide detergent is safe to use as long as you adhere to the manufacturer’s usage instructions and follow best practices for cleaning clothes.