Should You Use Tide Capsules If You Have Children?

Jolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist, and New York Times bestselling author of My Boyfriend Is Boiling In My Purse … And Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha About . Her flagship column, Ask a Pure Man, debuted in 2011. Here at Offspring we’ve launched a new iteration dedicated to parenting and all the mess it brings.

As you’ve almost certainly heard, Teens eat tide pods. Why are they doing this? Well, at the end of 2017, a meme was popularized on Twitter and YouTube urging people to consume bags of detergents.

Is this really a thing?

Yes, this is it.

According to the New York Times , “In the first half of January, Poison Control Centers reviewed 39 cases in which teenagers were deliberately exposed to bags of detergent. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, this is the same as for the whole of 2016. Poison control centers handled 53 such cases last year, the group said .

Look, teenagers will become teenagers, and of course you can say – like many, many people – that if they are too stupid to know not to eat detergent, they are too stupid to live. But personally, I find this attitude unrealistic, useless and more than a little cruel. People of all ages do stupid things. Damn it, this weekend alone I did 100 push-ups. I’m in great pain right now! But I don’t deserve to die because of my idiocy.

This attitude becomes more problematic when it is directed at populations that are vulnerable to unintentional misuse of detergent bags: young children, adults with dementia or other disabilities, and pets. The Times reports that “the problem is more serious for young children. Last year, the centers received 10,570 reports of children aged 5 and younger exposed to the bags … “

Manufacturers of packaging detergents are aware of the risks and place increased emphasis on redesigning packaging to meet safety requirements, and usingmessages and advertising campaigns to ensure that people use their products in a way that does not pose a risk to humans or humans. pets.

Safety recommendations for storage and use of bags with detergent

While bags of detergents do pose a risk, especially for families with young children, seniors with dementia, and pets, there are some simple ways to reduce the risk to these populations without ditching the bags of detergents.

  • Don’t eat them;
  • Store them in the packaging in which they arrived, which is designed with safety in mind;
  • Do not pour them into decorative containers such as jars, they may look like candy or toys, and will also make them easier to access;
  • Keep them out of the reach of small children and pets;
  • If anyone in your home has Alzheimer’s or other dementia, store all cleaning supplies, including detergents, in a locked cabinet or closet when not in use;
  • Do not open them as the detergent is very concentrated and even a small amount can cause severe skin irritation and even blindness if it gets into your eyes;
  • Handle them with dry hands, as water can dissolve the membrane, leaving the skin vulnerable to highly concentrated detergents.

If you swallow a detergent package, follow these steps:

  1. Drink a glass of water or milk;
  2. Call a poison control center or doctor immediately;
  3. Does not induce vomiting.

Poisoning number: 1-800-222-1222. Go ahead, put this into your phone – I have it in my contacts, and I often just send the contacts file to friends with young children so that they can easily save it. Hope you never need it! But if you do, he will be there. Plus, the poison control experts are great at helping you figure out what action to take if your family member – including pets! – requires medical attention after swallowing or coming into contact with something that should not be there.

Is it worth bothering with them at all?

Certainly! Detergent bags are a good product, although like most other household cleaning products, there are pros and cons, including safety concerns. Let’s take a look at some of them so you can make the decision that works best for you and your family.


  • They are lightweight and portable, making them convenient for people who do not have on-site laundry facilities and who rely on shared laundries or self-service laundries;
  • Detergent bags offer a pre-measured dose of laundry soap, which reduces the likelihood of overuse of detergents, which can irritate the skin, lead to stubborn odors in clean clothes, and create a tarnished look.
  • Detergent bags are more stable and have a longer shelf life than liquid laundry detergents because they contain virtually no water;
  • Reducing the amount of water and packaging makes them a cleaner choice.


  • Detergent bags present a poisoning hazard;
  • This is the least cost effective option as it is more expensive per load than liquid or powder detergents;
  • Because pacs are pre-measured, they offer the user less control over dosing;
  • They cannot be used for pretreating stains or stains, or for washing hands;

Of course, you can ditch the detergent packaging in favor of the more traditional liquid or powder detergents. This is a smart choice if you feel the risks to your family outweigh the benefits of using bags of detergents.


Leave a Reply