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All vs. Tide: Which Detergent Performs Better?

If you’re thinking about switching to a new laundry detergent, but you can’t decide between All and Tide, you’ve come to the right place.

Tide, although one of the most expensive brands, dominates the market as the top-selling liquid detergent in the nation, with annual revenue exceeding $1 billion.

All may not be the best-selling detergent, but it earns the designation of being the top-recommended brand by dermatologists, allergists, and pediatricians for its sensitive skin product line, Free Clear. 

In this in-depth comparison of All vs. Tide, you’ll learn how they stack up in terms of performance, scent, product options, and price.

Ready? Let’s jump in!

Click the links below to navigate this article:

All vs. Tide: Quick Summary

Don’t have much time? Here are the key facts you need to know before deciding between All and Tide.

Company Overviews: All was created in 1946 and is a product of Henkel Corporation, a chemical and consumer goods company based in Düsseldorf, Germany. Tide debuted that same year and is owned by Procter & Gamble (P&G), a top-tier, global provider of consumer products headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Performance: Based on several independent tests, Tide outshines All with its superior cleaning performance and ability to more effectively remove stains and odor.

Test All ResultsTide Results
Reviewed.comLast PlaceEditor’s Choice, Best Value
Good HousekeepingNot RankedBest Single-Dose Laundry Detergent, Best Powder, and Best Bleach Alternative
Consumer ReportsNot RankedBest Laundry Detergent
The WirecutterNot RankedNot Ranked
CNETLess Effective Liquid Detergent, Less Effective Laundry PodBest Liquid Detergent, Best Laundry Pod

Scent: All has six fragrance options compared to Tide’s 17. Both brands also carry unscented, dye-free products for sensitive skin. Customers enjoy the scents of All and Tide, although some complain that the Tide Original scent has been altered over the years.

Product Options: Tide has 48 product offerings between its liquid, powder, and laundry pac formulations. All offers 22 product options. Tide has a more extensive range of specialized cleaning formulas targeted for different needs, such as combating odors, removing tough stains, protecting delicates and colors, and more. Both brands have sensitive skin products.

Price: In general, Tide detergent is more expensive than All. All is considered a mid-range brand and a good option for those on a budget.

All and Tide are available in most supermarkets, grocery stores, and discount stores such as Walmart. You can also purchase All or Tide online at Amazon.

Overview of All

The brand was developed in 1946 by Monsanto. After passing through several hands, including those of the Lever Brothers (eventually Unilever), it was eventually a product of Sun Products Corporation, which was acquired by Henkel Corporation (Henkel AG & Company, KGaA) in 2016.

Headquartered in Germany, Henkel is the second-largest laundry products supplier in North America, selling enough detergent to clean 25 billion loads per year.

Initially founded in 1876 as Henkel & Cie, Fritz Henkel, and his two partners, Otto Dicker and Otto Scheffen, launched an innovative laundry detergent packet as its first product offering. The detergent was named Universal-Waschmittel, which means universal detergent in German.

Laundry & Home Care is a third of the company’s business, distributing popular brands such as All, Persil (missed our comparison of Tide vs. Persil? Check it out), Purex, and Dial soap.

All laundry detergent comes in liquid, powder, and concentrated packets that dissolve during the wash cycle. Laundry boosters, dryer sheets, and fabric softeners are also available. 

All product lines include Stainlifters, Powercore Pacs, Mighty Pacs, and Free Clear — the number one brand recommended by dermatologists, allergists and pediatricians for people with sensitive skin. Free Clear bears the Seal of Acceptance by the National Eczema Association.

Overview of Tide

When it comes to laundry detergent, Tide is the number one brand.  

Even though it’s one of the most expensive laundry detergents available, it consistently outsells its peers, claiming a one-fifth share of total liquid laundry detergent sales in the United States.

Tide is a flagship brand of Procter & Gamble (P&G), a leading consumer goods corporation founded by William Procter and James Gamble in 1837.

Including Tide, the Cincinnati-based company is known for creating iconic, ground-breaking products such as Crest, VapoRub, Febreze, Pampers, and Swiffer.

Tide was created by David “Dick” Byerly, a P&G scientist. Originally called Product X, Byerly worked on the formula for 14 years, determined to bring a product to the marketplace that outperformed all other detergents.

The result? Tide was officially launched in 1946 and has been the top-selling brand since 1949.

Tide original detergent from 1946
Tide original detergent from 1946

Some notable moments in Tide’s history include:

  • 1950s – Boxes of Tide are packed into top load washers to promote the brand.
  • 1968 – Tide XK is the first enzyme-infused, stain-fighting detergent launched in the U.S.
  • 1988 – Tide with Bleach debuts as the first color-safe bleach-detergent product.
  • 2005 – P&G release Tide Cold Water, designed to clean clothes at a lower temperature.
  • 2012 – Tide PODS launches. Tide becomes the official laundry detergent of the National Football League (NFL).

One of their most notable inventions as of late is Tide PODS.

These tiny, sealed packs of measured liquid eliminate the need for measuring detergent, reducing waste, and saving time.

This trailblazing innovation by P&G prompted other companies (including All) to develop similar offerings.

Besides Tide PODS, Tide laundry detergent comes in liquid and powder. Tide also has laundry boosters, stain removers, washing machine cleaner, and antibacterial fabric spray. 

The laundry detergent product lines feature options such as Tide Original, Tide High Efficiency (HE) Turbo Clean, Tide Free & Gentle, Tide Simply, Tide Plus Downy, Tide Sport Odor Defense, Tide Studio, Tide purclean, Tide Plus Febreze, and Tide Ultra OXI.

All vs. Tide: Performance

Let’s talk about the most important factor in choosing between All and Tide—performance.

How does All and Tide measure up?

Which detergent cleans better?

Which product ranks higher in terms of eliminating odor, removing stains, and producing all-around fresh clothes?

Based on several independent studies and consumer reviews, the clear winner in terms of cleaning performance is Tide. 

In many reviews, All lagged or did not rank. However, All Free Clear liquid got honorable mentions and got high reviews from consumers on sites like Amazon, Walmart, and Target.

The independent tests referenced below used testing variables such as cloth test strips or fabric swatches stained with various colored fluids, oils, and odors. Stain intensity was determined using devices that measure color saturation levels.

Here are complete results from recent independent tests:

Test All ResultsTide Results
Reviewed.comLast PlaceEditor’s Choice, Best Value
Good HousekeepingNot RankedBest Single-Dose Laundry Detergent, Best Powder, and Best Bleach Alternative
Consumer ReportsNot RankedBest Laundry Detergent
The WirecutterNot RankedNot Ranked
CNETLess Effective Liquid Detergent, Less Effective Laundry PodBest Liquid Detergent, Best Laundry Pod

Reviewed.com Results

Reviewed.com, part of the USA Today Network, tested seven detergents, evaluating them in three areas: cleaning power, scent, and overall cost. 

They tested mechanically-dyed fabric swatches to ensure consistency of blood, wine, sweat, oil, and cocoa stains. They even went outside donned in white t-shirts and allowed colleagues to pull them across the muddy ground.

Once all stains were set and washed, the garments were examined with a photospectrometer to detect color changes in the stains.

Tide HE Original liquid detergent earned the title of Best Value for all three evaluations and came in second place to Persil ProClean. 

Reviewed.com Tide Original Best Value
Reviewed.com Tide Original: Best Value

When pitted against other lower cost detergents such as Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean and Gain HE Original liquid detergents, Tide’s cleaning power outshined them by as much as 14%.

Even though All Free Clear liquid ranked seventh in the test, it was noted that among perfume-free detergents, it’s a solid choice and economical.

Good Housekeeping Results

The Good Housekeeping (GH) Cleaning Lab released the results of its Top-Tested Cleaning Awards for 2019. GH tested more than 1,000 household cleaning products, and Tide got first-place as the Best Single-Dose Laundry Detergent.  

Tide PODS 3 in 1 beat out all other laundry detergent packs, earning top scores for attacking stains from chocolate, gravy, mud, grass, and more on cotton and polyester clothing tested on war, and cold cycles.

Good Housekeeping Tide PODS 3 in 1
Good Housekeeping Tide PODS 3 in 1

All laundry detergent was not a featured winner in the laundry category.

Consumer Reports Results

Experts at Consumer Reports lab tested the cleaning power of 41 laundry detergents on fabric swatches saturated with blood, chocolate, red wine, dirt, grass, tea, and body oil. 

These swatches were washed in cool water with detergent and without detergent and allowed to air dry.

Testers used a colorimeter to evaluate the color intensity of the stains after washing. Tide was one of five detergents with an excellent rating.

Tide Plus Ultra Stain Release was a top contender for stain removal, especially for grass stains. It removed more of the grass stain than All and any other detergent in the test.

Consumer Reports Tide Plus Ultra Stain Release
Consumer Reports Tide Plus Ultra Stain Release

The Wirecutter Results

The Wirecutter, a New York Times Company, independently tested 42 laundry detergents over 85 hours against stains, odors, and grease.

Tide Ultra Stain Release Free liquid detergent powered through stains and odors to best 41 other detergents and secure The Wirecutter’s pick for best laundry detergent.

Wirecutter Tide Ultra Stain Release Free
Wirecutter Tide Ultra Stain Release Free

Tide Plus Bleach Alternative HE liquid detergent was the runner up. It handled coffee, wine, and lipstick stains well, but could not combat tough odors like the top pick.

All Free Clear did well on removing grass and coffee stains but did not perform well enough to make it to the final rounds. All Mighty Pacs Free Clear also did well on coffee stains, but not much else.

CNET.com Results

Cnet.com, of CBS Interactive, ran a 100-hour lab test to discover the best laundry detergents of 2019. The comparison examined liquid detergent and laundry packs or pods and their effectiveness on stains such as wine and cocoa.

After careful examination with an industrial colorimeter to measure stain intensity after washing, the top winner was Tide HE Turbo Clean liquid detergent.

CNET Tide HE Turbo Clean
CNET Tide HE Turbo Clean

Second place went to Tide HE 3 in 1 Turbo Clean PODS, which beat out all other laundry packets tested, including All Mighty Pacs Free Clear.

When it came to liquid laundry detergent, All Free Clear liquid was the least effective with cocoa stains, leaving 79.6% of the stain intact after washing while Tide HE Turbo Clean left 40.2% of the same stain.

Bottom line—Tide does a better job at cleaning tough stains and eliminating odors than All. But, All Free Clear is an excellent choice for those with sensitive skin who don’t usually require tough stain removal.

All vs. Tide: Scent

Which detergent smells better? That’s certainly up to the nose of the beholder. 

Whether you prefer a clean, crisp scent, one with floral notes, or a punch of spice, Tide offers an array of options.

All can’t match Tide’s variety but still offers several fragrance options.

All brings six scents to the table, including:

  • Original
  • Exhilarating Lavender
  • Fresh Rain
  • Fresh Scent
  • Fresh Tropical Mist
  • Odor Lifter

Tide has 17 different scents across its formulations, such as:

  • Original
  • April Fresh
  • Active Fresh
  • Clean Breeze
  • Clean & Fresh
  • Coldwater Clean
  • Cool Cotton
  • Daybreak Fresh
  • Febreze Botanical Rain
  • Febreze Original
  • Febreze Spring and Renewal
  • Fresh Coral Blast
  • Fresh Linen
  • Honey Lavender
  • Refreshing Breeze
  • Sport Odor Defense
  • Spring Meadow

Both All and Tide have fragrance and dye-free options for people with sensitive skin:

  • All Free Clear
  • Tide Free & Gentle
  • Tide purclean unscented
  • Tide Simply Free & Sensitive

Amazon reviewers describe All scents as being subtle and not overwhelming. One of the customer favorites appears to be Exhilarating Lavender.

Interestingly enough, the fragrance-free, All Free Clear appears to be one of the most popular, well-liked formulations. 

Some consumers with sensitive skin didn’t have good experiences with Tide purclean sensitive skin formulation, so maybe do a test on one piece of clothing and see how your skin handles it before washing an entire load.

Loyal Tide users have voiced their displeasure with changes in the Tide Original scent over the years on review sites and forums.

But, overall, customers seem to enjoy the Tide scents, especially (links to reviews on Amazon) Tide purclean Honey Lavender, Tide Simply Clean & Sensitive Cool Cotton, and Refreshing Breeze, and Tide Plus Febreze formulas.

Some reviewers note that it’s harder to find Tide Simply Clean & Sensitive Cool Cotton in retail stores, but it’s available on Amazon.

Bottom line—smell preferences differ, and Tide has more scent options than All. Between the two, you are sure to find something that your nose will appreciate.

All vs. Tide: Product Options

Besides varying scents, both All and Tide have a range of formulas to meet specific needs and goals.

First, let’s take a look at All.

All’s product line consists of liquid laundry detergent, powder detergent, detergent packs, laundry boosters, dryer sheets, and fabric softeners.

All product lines come in various forms, including Stainlifters liquid detergent, Powercore Pacs, Mighty Pacs, and Free Clear liquid and powder detergent.

All detergent product offerings
All detergent product offerings. Photo credit: all-laundry.com.

In total, All offers the following: 

  • Liquid laundry detergent (12)
  • Laundry Packs/Pods (9)
  • Powder detergent (1)

Note: You can all of All’s detergents on Amazon.

According to All’s website, the following products are compatible with high-efficiency washing machines:

  • All Mighty Pacs
  • All Powercore Pacs

For best results, All recommends that the pacs be put directly in the washing machine drum before adding clothes and not in any special compartment.

Stainlifters Liquid Detergent

All has proprietary stain-lifting ingredients in each product, but the formulations vary. For example, the OXI additive adds another layer of power to combat stains and brighten clothes.

The Stainlifter liquid detergent collection includes:

(click the links to read reviews and check the prices on Amazon): 

Powercore Pacs

Powercore Pacs combine liquid and powder in a laundry pack that dissolves during the wash cycle. All claims that these multi-chambered packets may keep clothes whiter and brighter with continued use due to their hybrid, powder-liquid design. The Powercore Pacs come in three varieties:

Mighty Pacs

Mighty Pacs feature concentrated, pre-measured liquid detergent in single doses. While convenient, users often complain that it often takes more than one packet to handle large wash loads, making it less economical. The Mighty Pacs collection includes:

Free Clear/Sensitive

All Free Clear products are free of dyes and perfumes and earned the National Eczema Association (NEA) Seal of Acceptance.

These hypoallergenic products are the number one recommended detergent for people with sensitive skin.

They are formulated to remove 99% of top allergens such as pet dander, dust mite matter, and various pollens. All also offers a liquid detergent specifically for washing baby clothes.

All Free Clear/Sensitive offerings include:

What does Tide have to offer?

Like All, Tide offers liquid laundry detergent, powder detergent, detergent packs, and laundry boosters.

Tide Product Selection
Tide section at the market

It does not offer dryer sheets, but it does have additional laundry care products such as a stain-removing pen, washing machine cleaner, and antibacterial fabric spray.

Tide to Go Pen
Tide to Go Pen

In short, it offers many products to meet your laundry care needs.

In total, Tide offers the following: 

  • Liquid laundry detergent (30)
  • Laundry Packs/Pods (13)
  • Powder detergent (5)

Note: You can see Tide’s products on Amazon.

More than 20 of Tide’s products are suitable for high-efficiency washers, including liquids, powders, and laundry packs. They are marked with a high-efficiency label on the product.

Tide Liquid Detergent

Tide liquid comes in different formulations to address specific needs.

Those with sensitive skin may benefit from the Free & Gentle, Simply Free & Sensitive, and unscented purclean, a plant-based detergent. 

If eliminating odors is your priority, try the Febreze line or Tide Simply Odor Rescue.

Tide Heavy Duty is excellent for tough odors and dirt such as smoke, grease, oil, and blood, which is especially ideal if you’re a first responder, mechanic, or any other professional with soiled and sweaty clothes due to the nature of your work.

Need stain-fighting power? Check out the Ultra Stain Release and OXI formulations.

The Tide Studio collection is designed for intense fabric care for darks, colors, and delicates.

Here are some of the most popular liquid detergent offerings from Tide:

(click the links to see each detergent no Amazon)


Tide PODS are designed to dissolve in all temperatures and come in many of the same scents and formulations as the liquid.

Tide PODS. Photo credit: Tide.com.

The 3 in 1 laundry pacs include concentrated detergent, odor fighters, and stain removers. 

The 4 in 1 pacs are made up of concentrated detergent, stain fighters, odor fighters, and Febreze odor technology.

The Tide Ultra OXI formula had the addition of known stain fighter, OXI, to provide an additional layer of stain removal.

The Free & Gentle PODS are formulated to clean, fight stains and brighten fabrics, all while being dye and perfume free. It bears seals of acceptance from the National Psoriasis Foundation (NOF) and the National Eczema Foundation (NEA).

The Simply Clean laundry pacs have three times the power of baking soda and liquid detergent to fight odors and stains.

Below are some of the most popular Tide PODS options:

Tide Powder Detergent

The only bleach offering in the Tide offerings comes in powder form, which may be suitable for washing white linens and towels.

The powder detergent options are not as plenteous as the liquid or laundry pacs, but still has an excellent range to address specific laundry needs, including these popular options:

Bottom line—If you crave variety, Tide has more options than All. While quantity doesn’t always equal quality, Tide has a long track record of satisfied customers, so it gets high marks for its cleaning ability and product offerings.

All doesn’t offer the breadth of products that Tide does, but they provide enough variety to meet the needs of most customers.

All vs. Tide: Price

It’s no secret that Tide is more expensive than All.

When you compare the original formulas of All and Tide liquid detergent, you’ll find that the cost per fluid ounce of Tide is often significantly higher than All. 

To offer customers a lower price point, Tide released its Tide Simply line (see on Amazon) in 2014. However, according to The Spruce, it doesn’t contain the enzymes and stain fighters that the higher-priced Tide formulas do.

One way to manage costs is to purchase larger containers to drive down the per-unit price or try the bulk-sized concentrated laundry pack containers.

Additionally, All and Tide both have formulations that work well in cold water to save money on hot water usage and energy costs.

To compare current prices of All and Tide detergents, check them out on Amazon at these links:

Bottom Line: Which Laundry Detergent is Better, All or Tide?

When it comes to the variety of scent choices, vast product options, and cleaning performance (according to independent test), Tide reigns supreme.

The one downside of Tide is that it’s more expensive compared to All. But, since it performs so well, you may need to use less of it.

If you’re looking for a product for sensitive skin, you’ll be safe with either All or Tide since both offer sensitive skin lines (All Free Clear and Tide Free & Gentle) that carry the seal of acceptance from the National Eczema Association (NEA).

Although, All is the number one recommended detergent by dermatologists, allergists, and pediatricians for sensitive skin.

If you’re leaning towards All, I’d suggest trying it out on your clothes first to see if you are satisfied with the result.

But, if you’re not on a budget and you’re looking for superior cleaning performance and unmatched variety, go with Tide.

All and Tide are available at almost every grocery store, big-box store, discount store, and pharmacy. But if you’re busy like me, nothing beats walking to your door when Amazon comes a-calling. Check out both products on Amazon using the links below:

If you found this article helpful, you should also check out:

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He began his career in marketing, managing campaigns for dozens of Fortune 500 brands. In 2018, Andrew founded Prudent Reviews and has since reviewed 600+ products. When he’s not testing the latest cookware, kitchen knives, and appliances, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew via emailLinkedIn, or the Prudent Reviews YouTube channel.

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