The Tide Pod Challenge Could Be the Last Social Media Trend You Ever Try

The ‘Tide Pod Challenge” is the latest social media trend you wish you never heard of. The challenge involves eating Tide laundry pods, either raw or cooked in strange and elaborate ways. Doctors warn that this challenge is dumb and extremely dangerous.

According to AJC, the idea of eating Tide pods can be traced back to a 2015 article in The Onion, but the recent challenge has its origins on Tumblr where users began to post “hypothetical” Tide pod recipes, AZ Family reportedFor example, one recipe includes mixing the Tide pods with gelatin and leaving the mixture in a cooking pan overnight to harden. Other online images show the Tide pods being used as a pizza topping or in other other gelatin-based “dishes.”

At the moment, the Tide pod challenge appears to be a joke and it does not seem that anyone has actually eaten the pods yet. Still, doctors and parents fear some enthusiastic Internet users may take the fake recipes a little too far and not only reenact them but also consume their strange concoctions. 

Laundry products are toxic and should never be ingested, Poison Control warns. Tide pods in particular have especially high concentrations of the chemicals found in traditional laundry products and are therefore even more toxic.

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Possible side effects of eating these pods include choking, trouble breathing and coma, Poison Control reported. Death by Tide pod is also a possibility.  

01_11_tide Tide laundry detergent in liquid form. The pod form of the product is focus of a new social media challenge. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Dr. Alfred Aleguas Jr., managing director of the Florida Poison Information, told USA Today that even small amounts of the pods can quickly induce diarrhea and vomiting. "Ending up in the emergency room is no joke," said Aleguas, USA Today reported.

In a statement reported by ABC 10 Local News, a spokesperson from Tide explained that despite the recent increase in social media attention on eating Tide pods, there does not seem to be an increase in individuals being treated for the consequences of this action. To date, there have not been reports of anyone being taken to the hospital or receiving medical attention due to eating Tide pods as a result of the challenge.Still, the company urged their consumers and their families to use these products for laundry purposes only.

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“Our laundry pacs are highly concentrated detergent meant to clean clothes, and they’re safely used in millions of households everyday,” the statement read. “They should only be used to clean clothes and kept up, closed, and away from children.”

Although the pods may have tempting colors and the urge to “join in” can be enticing for young daredevils, doctors and poison experts agree that this particular challenge is completely not worth your 15 minutes of online fame.