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List the Ingredients in Tide High Efficiency

By Jenni Wiltz

Tide High Efficiency laundry detergent is specifically for use with high-efficiency front-loading washing machines. These machines use less water and create more suds than traditional top-loading machines. The Tide HE formula adapts to these conditions, producing less suds than regular Tide and keeping dirt from re-bonding to clothes.


This detergent contains amylase, mannanase, pectinase and protease. These enzymes are one of the three stain-fighting components of the formula. Natural and biodegradable, enzymes are proteins that help keep colors bright and fight starch- and protein-based stains like grass, blood and food.


The second stain-fighting component of the formula, surfactants penetrate fabric to remove a variety of stains. Once the stain particles are removed from the fabric, surfactants keep them suspended in liquid so they don’t re-stain other clothes in the load. The low-sudsing surfactant is alcohol ethoxylate; additional surfactants are alcoholethoxy sulfate, laureth-9, linear alkylbenzene sulfonate and sodium fatty acids.


The third stain fighters, polymers, lift dirt and stains out of clothes. Diquaternium ethoxy sulfate works to remove clay soil from your clothes, while polyethyleneimine ethoxylate works on other stains and soils.


Builders work with surfactants to keep dirt and lifted stains from re-depositing on other clothes in the washing machine. They also soften hard water and stabilize the water’s pH. Tide HE’s builders are borax, citric acid and diethylenetriamine pentaacetate, a sodium salt.

pH Adjustment

Sodium hydroxide is a highly alkaline detergent also known as caustic soda. It can reduce the acidity of a cleaning product, but it also converts oil or fat into a soap through its high alkaline content. In Tide’s formula, sodium hydroxide adjusts the formula’s pH.

Optical Brightener

Disodium diaminostilbene disulfonate helps your whites look brighter.

Process Aids

The process aids help other formula components work better. Water, the most plentiful ingredient in the entire formula, helps dissolve the other chemical ingredients. Calcium formate and propylene glycol stabilize the enzymes. Propylene glycol also has a secondary function of ensuring an even distribution of formula ingredients, along with diethylene glycol, ethanolamine and sodium cumene sulfonate. The last of these, sodium cumene sulfonate, also helps improve the formula’s dispersion and emulsification. Dimethicone helps prevent an excess of suds that might clog a high-efficiency washing machine. Ethanol helps keep the other ingredients suspended in the solution. The last process aid, sodium formate, helps balance the electrolytes.


Tide HE’s blue coloring comes from an ingredient called Liquitint™ Blue. Its main purpose is aesthetic.


The formula also contains a clean breeze fragrance.

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