Thread Number: 88867  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
Versions of Tide Powder Detergents
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Post# 1134319   11/23/2021 at 14:37 (186 days old) by Hippo (Oregon)        

I'm looking to improve my detergent for whites, particularly towels. At the moment I use Miele's Ultra White 60C cycle for full loads of mixed bath and kitchen towels with about 40ml of Persil ProClean Stain Fighter and small scoop (line 1) of OxiClean Free in soft water. This combination rinses well and removes odors effectively. However, the stain removal is not perfect.

After reading Launderess's very informative posts about activated versus non-activated oxygen bleaching systems I've decided that I would like to try an activated powder detergent. It seems as though the only options for sale in the US market are Tide's powders, all of which show sodium carbonate peroxide (percarbonate) and TAED activator in the ingredients. I know that European Persil powder also contains such a system but unless somebody can convince me otherwise it seems to make more sense to use a cheaper domestically available option when it is almost exclusively for towels.

Can anybody help me understand the difference between Tide Plus Bleach Powder and Tide Ultra OXI Powder? They contain very similar ingredients and the same compliment of enzymes. However, sodium carbonate peroxide (the bleaching agent) is in a higher position on the ingredient list for Ultra OXI, which should indicate a great concentration.

Yet when I chatted with P&G customer service they told me that Ultra OXI is best for odor elimination and Tide Plus Bleach is best for whitening. I suppose that there could be other differences in the ratios of ingredients that account for the difference, but it seems strange.

Does anybody have more insights into the differences between the two and which would be best for maximal oxygen bleaching of white towels? Thanks very much for the help!

Post# 1134357 , Reply# 1   11/23/2021 at 21:12 (185 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

eurekastar's profile picture

That's a very good question...I hope someone can answer!

Post# 1134358 , Reply# 2   11/23/2021 at 21:20 (185 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Have found Miele UltraWhite powder works well enough on its own. Persil liquid doesn't add much to the mix IMHO. One uses either one or the other.

OxiClean Free like all versions of their powdered products is largely washing soda with sodium percarbonate. You don't need any more washing soda since Miele Ultra White contains sufficient for normal cleaning purposes.

Miele Ultrawhite contains far more sodium percarbonate (about 85%) than Oxiclean, with lower amounts of washing soda.

Sodium percarbonate (min.85%)
Sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate
Sodium sulfate
Alcohols C10 – C18 ethoxylated
Sodium carbonate
Sodium C12-C18 alkyl sulfate
Enzymes granules (Protease, Amylase, Lipase, Cellulase, Mannanase, Pectinase)
Polyether/polyester copolymer
Tetrasodium Etidronate
Sodium silicate
Optical brigtener DMS-X

Here's the thing; when using activated oxygen products if more bleaching action is wanted (heavily soiled/marked laundry), then you need to increase dosage. Adding extra sodium percarbonate, sodium perborate or other substances doesn't really work.

Ratio between whatever hydrogen peroxide source and bleach activator is fixed. When combined you get various versions of peracetic acid which is what actually does the work of bleaching, stain/odor removal, hygiene, etc..

Adding extra hydrogen peroxide regardless of source does nothing because after a certain point that fixed ratio between activator and oxygen bleach means excess of latter just hangs about with nothing to attach itself to. Whatever oxygen bleach used in excess likely has some benefits, but only within parameters of its natural state. This can defeat purpose of using activated oxygen bleach in first place.

Since sodium percarbonate (or perborate for that matter) are quite active already at temps of 140F or above, you can just stop using Miele Ultrawhite and use either Persil ProClean and add separate oxygen bleach.

Whole idea of activate bleaching systems is to obtain hot to boil wash results at lower temperatures.

Post# 1134364 , Reply# 3   11/23/2021 at 22:46 (185 days old) by Hippo (Oregon)        


Thank you very much for the detailed response! Unfortunately I think I caused some confusion by misstating exactly how I’m washing whites. I’m not currently using Miele’s Ultra White powder detergent, rather I’m using Persil liquid and OxiClean in my Miele machine’s “Extra White” cycle which is a 60C cotton program with an extended thermostop. So I’m not currently using any activated product.

However your answer has me thinking that Miele’s Ultra White powder might indeed be the best option for my needs due to the very high sodium percarbonate content and activation. I definitely won’t add any additional liquid detergent or OxiClean to it, thank you for the notes on that. My only concern is that they might sell a different formula in the US as they treat US consumers rather poorly and don’t make ingredients available online for this market, nor do they seem to fully list ingredients on their Ultra Phase packaging. Not sure if the latter will also be true of Ultra White powder.

Perhaps I have misunderstood, but I thought that while non-activated oxygen bleaches do become decently effective at or above 140F/60C that an activated system will still be even more effective due to the formation of peracetic acid, a more powerful bleaching agent.

Thanks again for your great insights!

Post# 1134370 , Reply# 4   11/24/2021 at 00:41 (185 days old) by powerfin64 (Yakima, Washington)        

powerfin64's profile picture
I agree with Laundress. I use all 3 of Mieles Powdered detergents, and a complete
believer in them.
I don't own a Miele, but a new LG 4200 set, and have found Miele detergent is enough on its own, as Laundress said. Has proven outstanding cleaning ability time and time again with me, with low to no suds most of the time.
Persil just isn't a "go to" product for me for stains. It cleans, but I wanted better
and without the heavy scent it has.
Oxiclean has its place, and I have a good supply of it, if and when needed, but don't use it a lot.
Give Miele Ultra White a good go, see what it can and will do, with the proper cycle. I bet you'll be surprised with the results.

Post# 1134372 , Reply# 5   11/24/2021 at 02:05 (185 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

launderess's profile picture
Difference between two dominate bleach activators, TAED and NBOS largely stems from markets each were developed initially to serve.

Unilever launched activated oxygen bleach powered Skip to allow European households and other laundries to get "boil wash" results at lower temps of 40C-60C. Newer formulas today can even deliver oxygen bleaching at temps of 30C.

OTOH P&G developed NBOS to cope with dilute laundry conditions of North American laundry done in top loading washing machines. Since these washers do not self heat water, hot is whatever comes out of taps. NBOS will give better results at 20C or 30C then often TAED. NBOS is much more soluble in water than TAED which is a good thing when you're washing in high dilution conditions such as with top loading machines.

Again all this is to get around washing at 90C or 95C

There are other bits as well such as pH, time, etc... Far too much for one to wrap up in a little nugget and present in this post.

To be sure companies that produce oxygen bleach activators and their end customers, makers of detergents, bleaches, etc... All know what they're doing. Huge sums in money and amounts of time have gone into research and testing.

Thus to get optimal use out of such product follow directions on packet. If adding a separate activated bleach product (not much sold in USA, but very common in Europe), can vary dosage as per directions to suit needs. OTOH an all in one product such as powdered detergent can only be scaled up or down in terms of dosage to suit conditions.

Post# 1134373 , Reply# 6   11/24/2021 at 02:21 (185 days old) by lakewebsterkid (Dayton, Ohio)        
Oxygenated bleach

You could always try OxiClean Laundry & Home Sanitizer! It has Sodium Percarbonate and TAED! I have used it for a little while in loads that I use liquids with. It is a decent addition.

Post# 1134379 , Reply# 7   11/24/2021 at 04:49 (185 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

launderess's profile picture
As with nearly everything else OxiClean powder wise you're still paying a lot for mostly sodium carbonate.

That "sanitizer/stain remover" is only

Sodium Percarbonate…………………18.50%


Other ingredients…………………….…77.06%

For a total of 100%

Ingredient list here:

Things are listed from highest concentration to lowest by regulation.

Being as all this may standard industry preference is for 10%-20% by weight of total composition of sodium percarbonate. Bleach activators very between about 2% to 3% of total composition, with TAED around low of 1.5% to about 2% In both instances if too high amount of oxygen bleach and activator are used there is greater risk of fading and other color loss to textiles.

This Oxiclean product uses only washing soda as water softener. Many TOL detergents and other products with activated oxygen bleaching systems use Zeolites, phosphonate, and or some other substances to deal with hard water minerals without solely relying on sodium carbonate.

Post# 1134466 , Reply# 8   11/24/2021 at 22:25 (184 days old) by lakewebsterkid (Dayton, Ohio)        

For sure! Just as an additive to use with liquids, it is one of the few that carries both Sodium Percarb and an activator, as far as I am aware.

Post# 1134510 , Reply# 9   11/25/2021 at 09:50 (184 days old) by Logixx (Germany)        

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P&G don't even sell any booster products in Germany. They used to for a short time years ago. Vanish seems to be the biggest brand here.

Detergents in the US are so complicated. 😁

Post# 1134512 , Reply# 10   11/25/2021 at 10:09 (184 days old) by henene4 (Emden (Germany))        

The most complicated detergent here is probably Persil.

You got it as powder and pearls.
As Colours or universal.
Then the universal in different scents and as a sensitive version.

Everything else is universal or colours as powder.
Then liquid universal, color, then maybe delicates/wool and some odds like sports or darks.

That Ariel stain treatment actually was pretty nice.
Available both as liquid and powders and as whites and color safe.

Some have a tendency to clump in the detergent drawer. That stuff was pretty good in that regard.

Post# 1134518 , Reply# 11   11/25/2021 at 11:28 (184 days old) by Guidelines (Wisconsin )        
I had great success…

Tide with Bleach powder is the best clean and white I’ve found. The scent is there, but nice and clean, not over the top. Still, I’ve switched to Tide Zero (as it’s what we keep in the dispenser of our GE front loader) and then add 1-2 Dropps OxiBooster pacs. The pacs are super convenient and contain an activator, no smell! Still, not as good as Tide with Bleach powder, but good enough to make the convenience worthwhile.

Post# 1134622 , Reply# 12   11/26/2021 at 15:49 (183 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

launderess's profile picture
Laundry detergent market in USA is "complicated" because it is rather fragmented.

Europe in large part moved over to H-axis washers with built in heaters ages ago. Americans are just now catching on but still not everyone is onboard. Thus there still are top loading washers (with or without central beaters), but without ability to self heat water.

Because of above detergents here have to work across a wider range of laundry variables (water temps, dilution levels, wash time...)

You can bung even badly soiled wash into any decent H-axis washing machine, and with proper cycle selection and water temps things will come out nearly perfect. This without addition of extra boosters or whatever for most part. Again makers of Ariel, Persil, and others long have figured that bit out.

Piling onto this is fact just as in Europe Americans have more and more colored or dark things to wash. Even at lower temps activated bleaching systems will fade certain colors or darks. Americans historically never bothered with two, three of more different detergents. Well maybe two, one for regular wash and another for fine things, but now you also really need something that won't harm darks or colors.

Post# 1134836 , Reply# 13   11/29/2021 at 08:43 (180 days old) by Logixx (Germany)        

logixx's profile picture
... from a German point of view, I find.

When I need new detergent, I simply walk in to Lidl, Aldi or almost any drugstore and buy their cheap store brand. Lots of enzymes, (activated) bleach - or - color transfer inhibitors and no optical brighteners. Pretty simple. No Borax, booster pacs, ammonia etc. needed.

Now, I do understand that not everyone uses additives; oxy bleach helps with chlorinated water; enzymes may not work optimally with fairly short wash cycles and so forth. Still, reading on here how people scrutinize formulas does at times sound... complicated. 😁

Post# 1134906 , Reply# 14   11/30/2021 at 19:39 by Hippo (Oregon)        

I greatly appreciate all of the detailed responses!

It sounds like Miele’s Ultra White features an excellent amount of sodium carbonate peroxide as well as TAED activator. I also like that it has a compliment of six enzymes. I’m a little suspicious of Miele’s refusal to provide ingredient lists in the US and that the formula may be different than in Europe but I’ve ordered some to try and will report how it works!

Post# 1134907 , Reply# 15   11/30/2021 at 19:47 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

launderess's profile picture
Miele does not make Ultrawhite powdered detergent, nor any of their branded laundry products. Everything is sourced from third party under a private label agreement. Thus it is highly unlikely one version of a product is produced for Europe, and another for North America. That is unless company in question itself does so (such as the numerous versions of Persil).

EU product labeling laws are more strict and detailed than those for North America. This likely is why you're seeing more information for things sold in Europe versus North America.

Shouldn't get too bothered; Miele Ultrawhite powder hasn't let me down yet. Give it a go....

Post# 1137754 , Reply# 16   12/29/2021 at 12:12 by Hippo (Oregon)        

Many thanks to all those who contributed with suggestions and input!

I’ve received the Miele UltraWhite and tested it with bath and kitchen towels as well as white bedding. Most of this washing is at 60C.

The results have been good. It is capable of bleaching out hot sauce stains from kitchen towels and seems to have an overall good whitening effect. I haven’t had any issues with rinsing although with long wash cycles it does have a bit of a propensity to foam. I’m still working on dosing, however. The recommended doses on the box seem a tad high but more experimentation should sort it out.

While I’m perfectly happy with the results and plan to continue using it, I wouldn’t say it is dramatically better than my previous Persil liquid plus Oxiclean combination. However, this may be because I’m washing whites at 60C where the TAED activator in UltraWhite doesn’t make as much difference as it would at lower temperatures. Perhaps the UltraWhite would pull much further ahead with 40C cycles for instance due its activation of the oxygen bleaching at lower temperatures.

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