This Pinterest-Favorite Laundry Trend Could Be Dangerous, Warns American Cleaning Institute

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Brittany Purlee)

Move over, Tide Pod challenge, there’s a new laundry-related caution in town—but this time, it has to do with storage. Displaying laundry packets in jars may look pretty, but according to the American Cleaning Institute, decanting the pods can be dangerous with small children or elderly people in the home.

In time for both spring cleaning and National Poison Prevention Week (March 17-24, 2019), the ACI launched its sixth annual Packets Up! campaign, a laundry pod education and safety program that provides safer storage alternatives for homes with at-risk individuals.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

While aesthetically-pleasing storage solutions like clear jars can be a creative way to display household items, storing laundry pods visibly attracts the attention of kids or pets, and could be confusing for adults with memory impairments. In a recent ACI survey, 43 percent of households with children under age 4 reported that their kids could see the liquid laundry packets when they weren’t in use.

How to Store Laundry Pods Safely

Rather than decanting them, the ACI first and foremost recommends keeping the pods in their original packaging—which is designed to be difficult to open—and storing them in an overhead cabinet secured with a child safety lock.

Another safety principle to heed: Have your laundry packets and other household cleaning products bagged separately at the store, then put them in their designated storage spot immediately upon arriving home. If you’re a parent, the ACI also suggests having a frank conversation with your children about laundry pod safety.

While there’s nothing inherently wrong about having a Pinterest-worthy laundry room (in some cases, we support it!) it’s always important to keep the risks in mind. So if you have little ones, animals, or at-risk seniors living with you or frequently visiting your home, practice an extra measure of safety with your cleaning supplies and store them immediately, up high, and out of sight.