Poison Control: Detergent Pods

Detergent pods.

Whether it’s for your laundry or dishwasher, detergent pods come in an array of bright colors. They’re ‘squishy’ and ‘fun sized’ and quite appealing to children, and very dangerous.
While poison centers receive many calls each year about children getting into all kinds of laundry detergents, experts recognize that highly concentrated single-load liquid laundry detergent can cause serious harm to young children. The membrane incasing the soap is designed to dissolve when in contact with moisture, creating a risk of exposure when placed in the mouth or handled by wet hands.
Some children who have eaten the product have had excessive vomiting, wheezing, and gasping. Other children get very sleepy or develop breathing problems serious enough to need a ventilator. There have also been reports of corneal abrasions (scratches to the eyes) when the detergent gets into a child’s eyes. There are also reports of severe outcomes related to exposures in older adults.
As of February 28, 2023, poison centers have managed 1,471 cases related to laundry detergent packet exposure in children 5 and younger. (Since the start of the new year)


Always keep detergent containers closed, sealed and stored up high, out of sight and reach of children. (locked is better, if possible)
If a child wants to help with the laundry or dishes, never allow them to handle a single-load laundry/dish packet.
Follow the instructions on the product label.
Do not handle the products with wet hands.
Call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 immediately if you suspect a child has come in contact with this detergent.
To save the number in your mobile phone, text POISON to 301-597-7137. Email [email protected] or call 703-894-1863 for more information, questions, or to submit request data.