If you do a lot of laundry, chances are you love ‘pods,’ little pellets of soft plastic filled with just the right amount of liquid detergent for a load. They eliminate the need for measuring, cut down on machine residue, make the laundry area less messy and help your detergent purchases last longer. But who would have thought your little ones would get so excited about this home-ec packaging breakthrough?
Turns out, the first half of this year alone, the American Association of Poison Control Centers received more than 7,000 calls from panicked parents whose children had consumed the gooey soap inside laundry pods. Although no catastrophic effects have been reported, ingesting the contents of pods has caused vomiting and trouble breathing in children.
The Consumer Products Safety Commission has issued steps manufacturers can take to make these soap nuggets less alluring to children: add a ‘repulsive’ coating, make them harder to bite open and change their color from transparent to a less-appealing opaque.
But you don’t need to stick to pods. You can make homemade, totally non-toxic laundry detergent by mixing one cup washing soda, one cup borax and a bar of soap. Bonus: your kids probably won’t want to eat it.