This Is What Will Happen To You If You Actually Eat A Tide Pod

19 January 2018, 13:09 | Updated: 19 January 2018, 13:17

Eating Tide Pods, Health Warning, What Happens When You Eat A Tide Pod?
Picture: Tide/Instagram

By Katie Louise Smith

Can you believe we live in a world were it's necessary to tell people NOT to eat laundry detergents?

You may have heard about the hilarious yet slightly sinister Tide Pod meme that went viral at the start of 2018. It was all a bit of fun at the start of year but the meme has now turned into 2018's first "viral video challenge" where people are actually eating Tide Pods and sharing their reactions to social media.

As hilarious the memes are, we should remind you that you absolutely should NOT eat the Tide Pods. In the same way your mother taught you to never eat that Silica gel that comes free with every new bag or purse you buy... don't EVER eat the Tide Pods.


Unfortunately, not many people seem to be taking that advice and they're eating them for the lols anyway without caring about the consequences. But what exactly are the dangers of eating them, what is in them and why are they so bad?

Teen Vogue took one for the team and asked an actual emergency medicine doctor (Ivan Miller, MD, director of the Emergency Departments at Westchester Medical Center) what would happen to your body if you actually ate and digested one of the damn laundry detergent pods. And well, it's not good.

If you eat, digest or even just pop the Tide Pod with your teeth and spit it out, this is what will happen to your body:

If the liquid squirts out of the pod into your mouth, you're in trouble. Aside from the immediate choking, potential vomiting and all round repulsive taste, it will burn. If you swallow the liquid chemicals in a Tide Pod (or whatever your preferred brand of laundry detergent), it will travel down your oesophagus and burn the lining of your stomach.

Think about it: when mixed with water, laundry detergents break down dirt, fats and greases. Our mouths and stomachs contain water... and fats and greases. The pod will essentially strip your stomach of any lining and cause severe discomfort. And that's not great at all.

Whatever you do, do not get it in your eye.

A "really severe burn to the eye due to the acids and alkalis in laundry detergent" can occur and can even cause blindness. So don't do it. Don't put chemicals in your god damn eye.


Can you die from eating a Tide Pod?

Yes. You can. There have been many reports of young children and elderly people with dementia dying after digesting chemicals in laundry detergents. Dr Miller told Teen Vogue that a teenager is also at risk of death depending on how much of the chemical is consumed. "If they get a severe burn of their esophagus, stomach, or damage to their lungs," he told Teen Vogue.


Here's what you should do if you HAVE eaten a Tide Pod:

It is advised that you seek medical advise. If your symptoms (shortness of breath, vomiting, stomach cramps, burning sensation) then you should call 999 or 911 or go to the hospital immediately.

Tide's official Twitter account have urged people to drink water or milk to neutralise the chemicals. If it gets in your eye, irrigate your eye with water ASAP and continue to do so several times.

PSA: Poisoning yourself with what is effectively bleach isn't worth the RTs or the Twitter "fame". It's fucking stupid. So don't do it.