The Popular TikTok-Approved Aesthetic Laundry Display May Be Unsafe. Here's Why

Step aside, Pinterest. There's a new social media app in town that's helping to revolutionize the way users think about storage. That's right — TikTok has moved from dancing to decluttering, and its creators have fallen in love with many of Pinterest's old tricks. 


Far from just appealing to teenagers, TikTok has attracted the attention of parents and first-time homeowners by making cleaning content trendy. The tag "cleaning" has garnered over 50 billion views on the platform, with influencers sharing gadgets, hacks, and ASMR-style videos. Even those who aren't normally fans of household chores have founds themselves drawn to the content, with one Twitter user sharing, "Sometimes I find myself on cleantok for hours instead of just cleaning my space." 

On top of tidying up content, the site is also a fan of storage solutions. Hours of #restock content is shared — but some of the trendiest arrangements for laundry room staples may be doing more harm than good.  


TikTok loves restock content

For perhaps the same strange reason that our brains love Tetris, TikTok viewers can't get enough of restocking content. One user shared a video pouring their favorite candies into glass jars, to the tune of over four million likes. In pursuit of the app's coveted "that girl" and minimalistic aesthetics, many creators swap out products' original packaging in favor of simplistic dispensers. 


Lots of TikTok influencers include Amazon affiliate links in their bio, allowing them to create folders of their favorite storage solutions. Followers who hope to emulate their lifestyle can then purchase the containers, with Business Insider reporting that creators earn between a 1% and 10% commission on every purchase with their link. 

While lots of restocking takes place in the kitchen, the laundry room has not escaped TikTok's pursuit of perfection. One user posted a "Midweek laundry restock" video — wherein they poured bleach, fabric softener, and scent beads into glass containers and dispensers. While aesthetically pleasing, the content raises alarm bells for some. 

Experts are flashing back to the Tide Pod challenge

In 2018, the Tide Pod Challenge took over the internet. Teenagers dared each other to consume the laundry detergent soap pods. The Washington Post reported on the adverse effects of doing so, citing cases of children who were hospitalized after vomiting and experiencing losses of consciousness. Tragically, some children have even died. 


As Poison Control explains it, the liquid in laundry pods can cause burns to the eyes and skin. When it's ingested, these burns occur internally, on the esophagus. At this point, breathing becomes different and painful, leading to breathing trouble. It also can cause victims to potentially descend into comas. 

Those who consume Tide Pods are advised to seek medical treatment immediately, with some needing additional treatment in hospitals or intensive care units. As a preventative measure, parents and guardians are advised to store laundry products securely and in their original packaging. 

Safety could be compromised for style with this trend

Now, with Tide Pods being moved from their secure packaging to aesthetic jars, experts are deeply concerned that laundry products will once again be confused for an appetizing snack. If organizers use the same containers they use in the kitchen for their laundry room, colorful liquid detergents and squishy pods could become confused for drinks or snacks. 


This poses a risk for laundry-doers of all ages and statuses, too — not just parents. Caretakers for the elderly or those with cognitive disabilities could cause confusion for their housemates. These easy-to-access and open containers could also pose a risk for pets, as curious dogs are able to easily displace lids (as opposed to pulling open a secure container).

Just as with humans, laundry pods pose a poisonous risk to pets. According to the ASPCA, cases of serious pet illness and death as a result of laundry pods are reported every year. 

Opt for the original packaging

So, how can you safely participate in this latest TikTok craze? The experts have made things abundantly clear: It's best to store your detergents and other laundry products in the original packaging they are sold in. Not only will this keep the products safer, but it ensures that you always have information on hand about the products' uses, ingredients, and what to do in case of ingestion. The packaging may not fit with your personal aesthetic but, fortunately, there are work-arounds for this. 


Instead of putting your laundry products into glass containers and dispensers, consider investing in storage solutions like baskets or bins. This can keep your workspace tidy and obscure unsightly packaging, while keeping the integrity of the product intact. You can also keep these items tucked away inside cabinets. Not only will this keep the packaging's color scheme from throwing off yours, but it will add another barrier between the harmful chemicals and a child or pet. 

When you declutter and organize, you shouldn't have to worry about introducing more harm into your home. Remember, the spotless aesthetic shown off on TikTok is a high standard for busy, working parents and caretakers. Don't sacrifice your safety or sanity in pursuit of this latest trend.