Reminder: Those Laundry Capsules Can Kill Your Kids

Reminder: Those Laundry Capsules Can Kill Your Kids
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Laundry capsules are certainly convenient when it comes time to wash, but they’re not toys. There’s no real way to teach kids this, so keep them well out of the way of the youngsters.

Image: Kim MyoungSung

That’s the focus of an ACCC release that notes that since 2011, more than 280 incidents involving laundry capsules and kids have happened in Australia, with injuries that range from “severe irritation or chemical burns to the skin, eyes or gastro intestinal tract, eye damage, severe distress, coughing and vomiting, internal bleeding, respiratory difficulty, lethargy or drowsiness.”

No parent wants that kind of thing. None. So the wise thing to do, and remember, is to keep them out of the range of any of your kids, because only a small amount of either pressure or moisture can cause laundry capsules to burst, and their concentrated nature makes them remarkably toxic.

The ACCC has prepared a simple safety and emergency list as follows:

Safe storage
• Store these products up high, out of reach and out of sight of children.
• If stored in lower accessible cabinets/cupboards, these should be secured with child resistant locks.
• Keep the capsules/packets in their original container, fully closed between uses.
Safe use
• Carefully read the labels on the packaging.
• Do not use the capsules/packets while children are close by and do not allow or invite children to manipulate them.
• Never pierce or break laundry capsules/packets.
• Do not leave the capsules/packets outside their container.
• Close the container lid properly after every use.
What to do in case of exposure
• If the capsule/packet is put in the mouth, rinse the child’s mouth and face thoroughly.
• Do not induce vomiting.
• If a child has capsule liquid close to eyes or on hands, rinse carefully with plenty of water.
• Call a doctor or a Poison Control Centre or go to the medical emergency department.

ACCC joins international campaign on liquid laundry detergent capsule risks [ACCC]


  • I never even knew these were a thing until today. Are these really any easier or better than just whacking a scoop of powder in?

    • I’d never heard of them either. They seem wasteful. What’s so hard about measuring out the same amount of liquid or powder each time?

    • Of course, its much easier measuring out powder or liquid…also means you can adjust the amount depending on how dirty your clothes are or how full the machine load is. BUT, we are a generation of busy. Too much to do, too little time…or so we keep telling ourselves anyway

    • I’d never heard of them either, but now I know they exist I might consider using them. Not because I’m lazy or busy, but because I have to carry my laundry over a kilometre to the nearest laundromat. A full bottle of detergent adds ~750g to my load, so anything I can do to make it lighter is worth investigating.

        • *gasp*
          You’re not supposed to pour the liquid directly onto your clothes! It says so on the bottle, even though I always feel like that’s where the liquid should be going to do the most work.

          Also, don’t want to risk getting it on the book that also travels in my laundry basket, albeit in a plastic bag.

  • Well they’re easier, and you don’t have to put any softener in afaict. But a notebook calculation at the supermarket puts them as slightly more expensive than powder+softener. Also if you manage to get any water in the container, the outer lining will disolve.

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