Tide Helps Save Daytona 500

Safety Workers Use Detergent To Clean Track After Wreck, Fire
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 4:21 pm EST


Chocolate stains, check. Cranberry juice, no problem. Grease. Of course, Tide’s got you covered. Jet fuel … wait, jet fuel

As race fans settled in for the final 40 laps of the Daytona 500, the first race of the season for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), the unthinkable happened: The #42 car lost control under caution and slammed into the back of a jet dryer. Nearly 200 gallons of jet fuel from the dryer poured onto the surface of Daytona International Speedway, igniting an intense fire and leaving race fans wondering whether the race could be resumed. The heat from the burning fuel severely damaged the asphalt surface.

Safety workers moved quickly. They put out the flames then turned their attention to cleaning the track and determining whether the race could be resumed. Track personnel carted out large boxes of Tide detergent on the back of a truck bed. Safety workers began opening the boxes and dumping the detergent all over the track, using brooms to scrub it into the surface.

“Tide has been the  brand of detergent consumers trust for more than 60 years, and we are known for our cleaning power,” said Sundar Raman, Marketing Director, North American Fabric Care. “People have always known that Tide provides a great cleaning and stain removal performance through its special blend of ingredients that are  used to fight things like dirt, grease and oil on fabric.”

But clearly, this was no ordinary laundry stain.

Workers kept at it. The cameras panned to show boxes of Tide in the back of the truck and along the track, as announcers filled the airtime with talk of Tide. After more than two hours, the race resumed.

NASCAR fans took to the Twittersphere to express their thanks:

  • @Tide, congrats on getting the daytona track cleaned up. ThankQ. 
  • TIDE to the rescue! What can it NOT do?! @proctergamble #NASCAR
  • It's true. You can use Tide to clean anything. Including jet fuel on a racetrack. cc: @proctergamble
  • @ProcterGamble and #Tide hopefully saving the night @ #Daytona500
  • @tide saved the #Nascar're alright in my book Tide


“We were excited to see that Tide helped save the race last night,” Raman said.

You might wonder just what ingredients make Tide so effective. Tide contains surfactants, and surfactant molecules have two parts. One is "water loving" and the other is "water hating." The water-loving (hydrophilic) part breaks the surface tension of water. The water-hating (hydrophobic) part is attracted to oil and grease in soils, loosening and removing them from fabrics. Detergents usually contain more than one type of surfactant to address the needs of removing certain types of soils and cleaning different types of fabrics.

“It is exciting to see  how when people know they want a great cleaning, they look to Tide,” Raman said.



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