Thursday, March 5, 2009

What Have They Done To Tilex Soap Scum Remover?

Left - old Tilex, Right - new Tilex


Every now and then, something completely unimportant annoys the living daylights out of me. Today it is Tilex Soap Scum Remover. Yes, I know with the economic crisis going on, this is a silly thing to be upset about. But, like my blog post in last December when I wrote about stealth price increases when companies reduce the quantity of a product , there is another problem out there of which consumers should be aware. It’s when a company changes the formula of a product and it’s nothing like what it used to be.

Case in point –Tilex Soap Scum Remover. I have used this product for years, it works well, it foams up nicely, and it leaves a nice CLEAN fragrance. I am very sensitive to fragrances, so when I find something that leaves a clean scent that is not too perfumed, I am very happy.

This past week, while shopping in Wal-Mart, I had to get another bottle of Tilex. I scan the shelf, and find the familiar bottle…but wait! It looks the same, but it isn’t. The words “soap scum remover” have been replaced with the words “bathroom cleaner.” The label also said “dissolves soap scum on contact,” so I assumed they just changed the label to market it as a general bathroom cleaner. My mistake.

When I went to use it, it was clear that some major change was made to this product. The ‘thick foam” that the old label touted was gone, instead I got a thin misty spray – despite the fact that I had the nozzle on the foam setting. And the clean fragrance? Gone, replaced with a heavily perfumed scent, nothing like the original. The new bottle still has the words “lemon scent” on it, but the text is much smaller. I can tell you that it smells nothing like lemon. I don’t think the product works as well, either.

I don’t recall noticing a change in the price of Tilex, but it doesn’t really matter at this point because I won’t be buying it any more. Somehow, I feel as if I have been betrayed – I paid for one product and got something completely unlike what it was before. There should have been something on the label that said “new formula” or something. I may have still purchased it, but not felt as duped into buying it.

So my messages to consumer is to BE WARY. Any packaging change or label change may mean that the product you once knew and loved has been changed, and/or you’re paying the same price for something that probably cost the company less to make. By the way, Tilex is a Clorox Company, so now other Clorox products may be off my list as well.

Check out my blog home page for the latest information,The Frequent Critic, here.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. This is so disappointing, because it worked so well. I still buy it because I keep thinking they will eventually go back. But it's been a couple of years and nothing has changed. Just bought some yesterday and I am just as disappointed as I was when I first noticed the change...

Anonymous said...

Yup Yup me too. I'm not sensitive to scents like the author, but the strength of the product went straight down the tubes (hah literally). Tilex used to be very good an strong, but last year tried a bottle, then this Summer (2010) just tried again. The strength is HORRIBLE now. Judging by the fact that old Tilex used to give off such strong fumes that it required good ventilation, my guess is they simply watered down the active ingredient.
I'm looking for a good substitue... as of right now, Tilex is garbage.

Anonymous said...

Yep. June 2010 bought a bottle myself to see if it's improved. It's still garbage now.
They obviously reduced the active ingredient.

It doesn't work worth a damn now; it's a waste of money.

Anonymous said...

I agree. I went to Walmart looking for my old faithful Tilex Soap Scum remover that I have been using for over ten years. I purchased this new junk they have out for the same price and it is GARBAGE. I will not be using this product ever again!

Anonymous said...

I thought the stores had just stopped carrying it because they seem to be touting their own store brands more......Nothing works as well as the old Tilex Soap Scum Remover! Not even a little. I will not buy anymore of their products either. By the way, I bought "Scrubbing Bubbles Commercial Line" by Johnson and the it smells like WD-40......it doesn't work very well either. Clorox, you suck for messing with this great formula.

Anonymous said...

I think an explanation is in order when a company replaces a very effective product with an inferior one. There has to be a reason besides cost, I hope. What are they thinking? I hope some other company gets smart and makes a really effective product like Tilex Soapscum. Tilex will now be off of my shopping list. This decision will hurt them in the end unless they bring back the original formulation.

Anonymous said...

Glad to find these comments - I thought I was just crazy. Tilex Soap Scum remover was a great product, operative word - WAS. It wasn't broke, so I don't know why Clorox thought they had to fix it. The new version is terrible. (At first I thought, oh, no, they discovered the active ingredient is a carcinigen, they I thought, Nah, it's gotta be some penny-saver issue -- reaming (and LOSING) loyal customers.

Anonymous said...

I guess it times for someone to make a million and come up with a new product with similar formula. All the Ex-Tilex users like myself would greatly jump on board. Jeesh, guess I got to go back to scrubbing things the hard way.

Anonymous said...

Thought it was my imagination, the stores in my city only stock the orange label mildew remover, no soap scum remover, or even that newer weak product you show. Must have had something to do with the fumes, which were rather fierce, but it really worked!

Anonymous said...

When a company changes the formula of a product and the result is that the new formula doesn't work as well it is often because an ingredient in the old formula is now banned for use in a country.

The Frequent Critic said...

That is not always the case. Sometimes comapnies change the product because one of the ingredients has become too costly, or, they simply want to make more money on the product.

Anonymous said...

I sent my husband to buy tilex soap scum remove, he bought something else, went to 2 stores they were out. I knew something was up. I went to Lowes bought some kind of soap scum remover. NOT!! It's just not the same.

Anonymous said...

Amen to ALL the above.

Anonymous said...

I thought i was crazy that i couldnt find this in the store any longer. It was the best soap scum remover and i havent been able to find anything even closly comparable...

Anonymous said...

I agree with all of these previous reviews. It was the best product ever and now it's gone and Clorox replacement is not equal at all. If the other one wasn't environmentally friendly, say so, we're big girls, we can take it. but i still would like to know why did you change a great product?

Anonymous said...

You can still buy the old Soap Scum Remover on e-Bay, but at a premium price. Like the "old" CleanShower, the new formula stinks--both in performance and in smell, and losing Soap Scum Remover too is really a blow. It was the ONLY product that really cleaned glass shower doors. We should all write to Tilex and DEMAND its return.
CleanFreak

Anonymous said...

The new Tilex bathroom cleaner is like cleaning with water - COMPLETELY INEFFECTIVE.

Everyone should send their complaints to Clorox, who apparently owns Tilex.

jaleel said...

I actually saw that tilex soap scum had changed a years ago and actually stopped using the last bottle I had before it ran out. I started using Ajax or comet in the powder form. I mix it with water and coat a scrub my tub or sink and leave it on overnight for tough jobs. This works for me. I never looked back and I actually still have that tilex bottle...

Sweet baby sue said...

Amen to all the above ,oh how I miss that stuff, best cleaner for oily stuff.

Sweet baby sue said...

Bring back Tilex soap scum remover

1wetsart said...

So that is what happened to Tilex SSR. Manufactures should fix the crap that don't work and leave the working stuff alone. Coke, Quick Silver Tire Cleaner and Tilex Soap Scum Remove were all good products. I don't like a mess but at the same time don't like to clean. I rather the clean but doing it with the minimum effort required. QSTC & Tilex SSR were jewels in simplifiying cleaning. There are many commerical, industrial and home use products on the market that are bad and some can kill. Those products have safe use instructions and hazard warnings. No one is changing those formulas or taking them off the market. Knock! Knock! Clorox, the consumers can still read and follow instruction. We want and needs the original, undoctored, non sissy watered Tilex SSR product back.

Son Prieto said...

OMG why do you keep doing this to me.
Where is my original Tilex. I used to just spray it on my Bathoom floor and glass doors and not even too wipe it clean was necessary. Where can I find the good stuff, do I have to go directly to the company too het the original brand. I know you must have dozens of them boxes locked up in a ware house just waiting to bounce back into our lives with a price tag out of this world

Me said...

I felt your pain. Believe me!!!
I looked and looked for it but couldn't find it anywhere. At first, I thought that it was just a manufacturing thing and they couldn't fill the orders. But no, it was gone.
GREAT NEWS though! I was in Canadian Tire and OMG there it was! Not just a straggler bottle left from old stock, but a shelf full!!!
I grabbed it. Just one though, because I wanted to check the ingredients to my old empty bottle (yes I ketp one).
It's the same!!!
It seems it's back!! At least in Canada.

kellschic said...

I buy it by the case online for about $7 a bottle. It's just that good.

Judson Pewther said...

I just had a bad experience similar to most of the commenters here. The product I tried is labeled "Tilex Soap Scum Remover & Disinfectant" and has the part number 35604 shown as the second half of the UPC code on the label. Admittedly, the soap scum on the walls of my plastic shower is a residue that I was unable to remove with ordinary household cleaners, and it has been accumulating for years. Anyway, this new Tilex product seems to have no effect at all on this scum. I also left a bad review at Amazon.com.

Unknown said...

Sorry, I think Shower Power is much better then Tilex Soap Scum Remover. Shower Power has been around long before Tilex. Now the Tilex Mold and Mildew remover WAS the best around. It no longer works either. Any suggestions for a mole and mildew remover.