Tide To Go is going farther than ever before. Tide To Go pens, wipes and Tide Rescue Spray are taking off with SpaceX CRS-25 this summer to the International Space Station (ISS).
This cargo resupply mission follows Tide Infinity’s send off last December and is part of the brand’s ongoing efforts (“Mission PGTIDE”) to develop low-resource cleaning solutions. While the Tide Infinity experiment focused on fully degradable detergent and water recovery, the Tide To Go experiments investigate stain removal at the surface level.
On the ISS, astronauts will treat pre-stained fabrics from Earth and fabrics they stain in flight with our Tide To Go products. The series of stains tested are some that astronauts commonly encounter, such as Sriracha, coffee, fruit punch and oil. The main objective of the experiments is to understand how microgravity affects product stability and stain removal efficacy, according to Tide Research Fellow Mark Sivik.
“Because there’s no gravity, there’s nothing to collapse the surfactant, and we might get more efficacy out of the surfactant,” Sivik said. “[Without gravity] we’re only fighting the surface tension of the stain to the fabric. Depending on the results, we’ll see what we need to modify for a particular staining group.”
The unlikely partnership between NASA and Tide was first announced in 2021 under a Space Act Agreement and a smelly reality: there is no way for astronauts who live, work, sleep and exercise aboard the ISS to clean their clothing. Without an existing laundry solution, astronauts on the ISS wear their clothes past the point of sanitation. While fresh clothing is launched during resupply missions, it is by no means a consistent ordeal, and shipping 160 pounds of clothing per person each year is unsustainable for deep space missions. In developing Tide Infinity and testing our Tide To Go products, we aim to reduce the direct and indirect resources allocated towards supplying fresh clothing, according to Sundar Raman, Chief Executive Officer, Fabric & Home Care at Procter & Gamble.
“The partnership with NASA will help us innovate by testing our products in space to clean clothes with little to no water and in low energy and unstable environments,” Raman told the Financial Times. “But we expect to apply our learnings from this partnership on Earth as well, to develop low-resource-use laundry solutions for everyday use.”
By working with NASA to develop resource-efficient technologies, Tide can aid space exploration while progressing on its 2030 sustainability mission to decarbonize laundry. As we improve our low-resource technology, we’re hopeful that the lessons learned in space will help innovate laundry at home. Read more about Tide Infinity.
Climate change is upon us and requires bold action now more than ever. As we wait for space testing to deliver results, we remain committed to taking action on Earth — whether that be building a water positive future or decreasing greenhouse gas emissions in our supply chain and operations.
Check out how P&G and our brands are using space-age discoveries to benefit our consumers here on Planet Earth.