Gain vs Tide Laundry Detergent (Liquid Laundry Detergent)

Gain vs Tide Laundry Detergent
You have seen their commercials, walked by them numerous times at the store, and can probably easily pick them out of a lineup. Tide and Gain are two of the most well-known laundry detergents on the market. While they have many similarities, there are some differences. Find out which came out on top as the go to liquid laundry detergent.

Choosing a laundry detergent may not be your most pressing issue, but it can be a big deal! When you wash your clothes with a detergent and then wear those clothes day in and day out, you realize that picking a great detergent is pretty important.

If you’re looking to switch brands and are considering Tide or Gain, this article is for you! Our in-depth comparison will cover the brand’s history, cleaning power, scents, and consumer options. When we’re finished you’ll have all the nitty-gritty details necessary to make a decision about which product is right for your family.

Preview
Our Pick
Tide Liquid Laundry Detergent Soap, High Efficiency (HE), Original Scent, 64 Loads
Gain Laundry Detergent Liquid Plus Aroma Boost, Original Scent, HE Compatible, 96 Loads Total, 75 Fl Oz (Pack of 2)
Title
Tide Liquid Laundry Detergent
Gain Liquid Laundry Detergent
Prime
-
Price
$11.97
$23.99
Our Pick
Preview
Tide Liquid Laundry Detergent Soap, High Efficiency (HE), Original Scent, 64 Loads
Title
Tide Liquid Laundry Detergent
Prime
Price
$11.97
Details
Preview
Gain Laundry Detergent Liquid Plus Aroma Boost, Original Scent, HE Compatible, 96 Loads Total, 75 Fl Oz (Pack of 2)
Title
Gain Liquid Laundry Detergent
Prime
-
Price
$23.99
Details

Why We Chose Gain and Tide

Gain and Tide are two of the biggest named laundry detergent brands. In fact, they are currently the two leading laundry detergents in the United States. Even if you don’t follow consumer trends, it’s easy to recognize that these two brand names are recognized by nearly everyone and known for their excellent quality.

Overview of Gain

Gain is one of the many products produced by Procter and Gamble. It first began appearing in laundry rooms in 1969 when it was advertised as a stain-fighting detergent. While its effectiveness frequently made it one of the top detergents, Gain was able to execute a clean win over its competitors by introducing a scented version in 1979.

From then on, the makers of Gain have been constantly improving and expanding their product offerings, each with their signature fragrance. The most popular Gain laundry items today include liquid detergent, convenient detergent pouches called “flings”, and scent booster beads. Gain has always been a middle-of-the-road priced detergent with top-of-the-line results. It doesn’t have half as many liquid detergent offerings as Tide but has branched out into other cleaning products like fabric softeners, dryer sheets, and even dish detergent. You can also find your favorite Gain scent in notable products like Febreze, Glad, and Mr.Clean.

When it comes to liquid laundry detergent, for the last three years Gain has found favor with consumers. Their rankings with Good Housekeeping & Consumer Reports generally fall around 4th or 5th position.

Gain Laundry Detergent Liquid Plus Aroma Boost, Original Scent, HE Compatible, 96 Loads Total, 75 Fl Oz (Pack of 2)
  • Liquid laundry detergent with brilliant cleaning performance that leaves behind a refreshing Gain Original scent. Smells great because it cleans great!
  • 6 weeks of freshness from wash until wear. Directions - Start water, add Gain, then add clothes.Keep out of reach of children.Surfaces Not Recommended: Leather
  • Smells great because it cleans great!

Overview of Tide

You may be surprised to learn that Tide also belongs to the Procter and Gamble family! It was launched in 1946, following its predecessor Dreft detergent. Tide was marketed as a heavy-duty laundry detergent. To add a bit more power to their advertising campaign, Tide was outfitted with a vibrant bullseye design and frequently seen in daytime soap operas; which the company sponsored.

Tide’s image hasn’t changed much, but its formula has experienced a few modifications. In the late 1960s they added stain-fighting enzymes, and in the 1970s oxygen bleach was mixed in to whiten and brighten clothes. The brand has regularly partnered with other products like Clorox, Febreeze, and Dawn to improve their effectiveness and fragrance. You can now find Tide on store shelves nearly everywhere as either a liquid detergent, the fan-favorite Tide Pods, or as scent boosting beads.

We love that Tide tends to formulate its products to specific cleaning needs and concerns. For example, Tide Plus Febreze Sport Odor Defense targets sweat odors and stains commonly found on gym clothes and sports uniforms. Tide Ultra OXI includes pre-treaters that are perfect for removing difficult marks such as grass stains and red wine. They have almost thirty different types of liquid laundry detergent to choose from as well as a handful of other cleaning products.

It’s important to note that for three years in a row, beginning in 2019, Good Housekeeping & Consumer Reports has ranked Tide as the number one laundry detergent brand.

Sale
Tide Liquid Laundry Detergent Soap, High Efficiency (HE), Original Scent, 64 Loads
  • America's #1 detergent* (*Based on sales, Nielsen laundry detergent category)
  • Cleans deep and smells fresh
  • Cleans, freshens, whitens, brightens.Phosphate free

How We Tested

Gain liquid laundry detergent

We rounded up our soiled clothes, complete with ketchup, grease, and dirt stains, and separated them into three types of laundry. Our laundry clothes categories were colors, whites, and delicates. A load from all three categories was washed with each detergent, both Tide and Gain.

We did not use any additional stain-fighting treatments, boosters, or fabric softeners in order to test solely the liquid detergents.

Let’s get right to it! Here is what we found when we dove into the clean clothes basket for a closer look.

Cleaning Effectiveness

After a cycle in the washing machine and dryer, both detergents produced fresh-smelling and clean clothes. Not only was their stain-fighting and washing effectiveness of excellent quality, but the scents were fabulous too!

Upon closer inspection, we found Tide to be superior at removing stains. The grease stain was nowhere to be found, not even a residue remained. The Gain detergent removed most of the grease but left a slight shadow on the spot that was soiled. Both detergents had no problem tackling the dirt and ketchup stains, effortlessly lifting them away.

All in all, washing with Tide and again resulted in clothes that were soft, fresh, and most importantly clean!

Scent

Gain’s signature scent has withstood the test of time and continues to be widely sold. Tide’s original fragrance is the brand’s most popular as well. However, both detergents offer a variety of alternatives.

Other than Gain Original, you can find uplifting smells such as Moonlight Breeze, Island Fresh, White Tea Lavender, and Orange Blossom Vanilla. We were also pleased to see an unscented option for those with sensitivities.

In addition to Tide original, you can wash your clothes with fragrances such as Botanical Rain, Coral Blast, April Fresh, and other brand mashups like Downy Scented. Again, we love that they offer consumers an unscented option.

As most of us know, it’s not just about how amazing the detergent smells in the bottle but how long it lasts after washing. Our tests found that the Tide fragrance lingered the longest.

Personally, we liked the Tide original scent the best and were happy to find that our clothes still smelled fresh days after washing.

Variety

Both detergents have an unscented detergent, which is excellent news for those with sensitivities or who prefer no fragrance.

If you are hoping for a gentler formula to avoid any reactions or issues, Tide may be your best bet. They have a formula specifically tailored to those who need a hypoallergenic detergent with no additives or irritants. It is called Free and Gentle; and while it may cost you a bit more, it is dermatologist approved for those with skin concerns. Tide Simply Free and Sensitive is similar. It has the same powerful cleaning formula and budget-friendly price as Tide Original but does not have any perfumes or dyes. Either of these choices is great for those who would like a “cleaner” detergent.

Gain released their own pared-down version, called Gain Sensitive. It still has perfumes, most commonly produced in a Cherry Blossom fragrance, but has fewer ingredients. It is designed to be free of dyes and formulated with gentler cleaning power. Gain Botanicals, another scented option, is free from dyes, phosphates, and brighteners. Its scents are nature-inspired.

Both brands’ sensitive detergents promise to provide the same effectiveness and stain-fighting properties as their original formulas.

Is Tide or Gain environmentally friendly? Both brands have made recent earth-friendly improvements. Tide PureClean is said to be one of their most natural detergents and is biodegradable. Gain released an Eco-Box of their liquid detergent. It is made of 60% less plastic and the detergent within the box is made using 100% renewable wind-power electricity.

Tide or Gain likely won’t score high marks with the most eco-conscious consumers, but both detergents have taken steps to reduce waste and become more environmentally friendly.

Gain Botanicals Plant Based Laundry Detergent, White Tea & Lavender, 25 Loads, 40 ounces, 2 count (Packaging May Vary)
  • Gain's first entry into the "natural" laundry detergent category the irresistible scent of Gain Botanicals White Tea and Lavender is made from 65% plant-based ingredients!
  • Gentle on skin.
  • No dyes, phosphates, or brighteners.
Tide Purclean liquid laundry detergent, honey lavender, pack of 2, 46 fl Ounce each, 2 Count
  • 1st plant-based detergent with the cleaning power of Tide (75% plant-based)
  • 4x cleaning power of leading natural detergent
  • Formula made with 100% renewable wind power electricity at a zero manufacturing waste to landfill site (The same facility also uses steam power; electricity represents approximately 50% of total energy used)

Cost

Of course, costs can vary widely based on where you live and where you shop. We did a bit of research and found that on Amazon, a twin pack of 75 fl oz Gain Original bottles sells for $14.82, whereas a 92 fl oz bottle of Tide Original sells for $11.97. If you were to shop these prices the average cost per load comes out to $.15 for Gain and $.19 for Tide.

In general, Tide tends to be slightly more expensive than Gain. However, it depends on where you buy your detergent and what product you purchase.

The Best Laundry Detergent

Tide liquid laundry detergent

Tide was originally produced as Procter and Gamble’s highest quality detergent, a powerful stain-fighter made for tough jobs. Gain has always been marketed as a less expensive detergent, but of similar quality and especially known for its scent.

We were pretty happy with both detergents and found that each one made our clothes cleaner, fresher, and softer. We can only choose one winner though, and after carefully comparing the results of both detergents, Tide came out on top!  Its cleaning power, the softness and freshness it imparted, and its wide selection all for an affordable price made it the overall winner.

Sale
Tide Liquid Laundry Detergent Soap, High Efficiency (HE), Original Scent, 64 Loads
  • America's #1 detergent* (*Based on sales, Nielsen laundry detergent category)
  • Cleans deep and smells fresh
  • Cleans, freshens, whitens, brightens.Phosphate free

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed this in-depth look at two of the most popular detergents. Both of these excellent laundry products will get even your dirty and dingiest clothes bright and clean. There is a formula and scent out there for almost everyone, making it easy to find the best detergent for your household. Happy washing!

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