How Detergent Ingredients Work

It may seem as simple as just adding laundry detergent and taking away clean, stain-free garments, but detergents are actually quite complex. So what do they actually do, and how? Find out how Tide laundry detergent is made and how washing detergent actually works.

Tide - How detergent ingredients work

To start, an effective laundry detergent recipe is made up of several parts. The main ingredients you can find in a Tide laundry detergent are surfactants, enzymes, bleach, builders and polymers. The Tide Laundry Detergent recipe includes a diverse ingredient set, as well, and all these ingredients work together to offer tough stain removal, cleaning and whitening.


These are the core stain removers of the detergent recipe. They remove anything greasy from fabrics and work great on stains and food residues. Laundry detergents like Tide Powder have several different surfactants to remove different stains.


Enzymes are naturally occurring proteins that break down stains into smaller pieces to make them easier to remove. There are several different types of enzymes present in your laundry detergent, each of which works to break down and remove a specific type of stain, from grass to blood.


Bleach brightens your whites and removes coloured stains. Tide Plus Bleach Liquid detergent is colour safe, so you can use it effectively on more than just your white laundry loads.


These workers deal with hard-water molecules during the washing process, which lets the surfactants get on with their job of removing stains. So, the harder the water, the more builders you need.


A liquid laundry detergent like Tide Liquid has a few different polymers. They each perform a specific function, such as keeping stains from depositing themselves onto garments after they’ve been removed by the surfactants.

Detergents also contain other ingredients, such as perfumes to help your clothes smell great; brighteners to help them shine bright; buffers to maintain the acidity balance in the water; and suds suppressors to prevent excess suds from spoiling the wash.

So, a high-quality detergent like Tide Liquid laundry detergent contains a whole host of ingredients that work together to bring you better tough stain removal in one wash. Now you know how your garments get so bright and clean.