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Laundry Detergent

Medium Risk

Also known as:

All® Arm & Hammer® Gain® Persil® Purex® Tide® Woolite® XTRA™

Someone pouring liquid laundry detergent into washing machine.
Possible Symptoms
  • Unpleasant taste
  • Mouth and throat irritation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Concentrated liquid laundry packets cause wheezing, gasping, and trouble breathing
  • Eye irritation
What to Do
  1. Wipe or rinse out mouth.
  2. Give a serving size of water to drink.
  3. Rinse any exposed skin with lukewarm water.
  4. Call 1-800-222-1222 for additional instructions.
If Exposed to Eyes

If someone gets some laundry detergent in the eye, there can be immediate burning and stinging, which requires prompt first aid to avoid an eye injury.

  1. Start rinsing eye(s) with lukewarm water.
  2. Call the Missouri Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for further recommendations.


Liquid laundry packets are more concentrated than other types of laundry detergent and can cause more serious symptoms. Call the Missouri Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 to discuss first aid.

Additional Information

Quick Facts about laundry detergent

Laundry detergent comes in many different forms, including powder, liquid, and highly concentrated single-load liquid laundry packets. Most liquid laundry packets are brightly colored and come in squishy packaging that appears to be candy-like pods.

What happens if laundry detergent is swallowed or gets in the eyes?

Poison centers receive hundreds of calls each year about children getting into all forms of laundry detergent. Swallowing liquid or powder detergent often causes gagging or mild stomach upset if there are any symptoms at all. However, poison center experts have noted the highly concentrated single-load liquid laundry detergent packets seem to be different and may cause more serious symptoms. 

Some children who have gotten the liquid from the detergent packet into their mouths have had excessive vomiting, wheezing, and gasping. Some get very sleepy. Others have had breathing problems serious enough to need a ventilator to help them breathe. There have also been reports of corneal abrasions (scratches to the eyes) when the detergent gets into a child’s eyes.

What to do if there is an exposure

If someone has come into contact with laundry detergent, do not panic. Call the Missouri Poison Center right away at 1-800-222-1222. The poison center is open all day, every day, for poisoning emergencies and questions too.

**Note: Don’t forget, every case is different. To make sure you are getting the best information for your individual situation, click below to call or chat. It is fast, free, and confidential.

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