Instagram pictures of tidy laundry rooms and kitchen pantries may get lots of love online, but they aren't safe to emulate.
The problem is home decor influencers are taking laundry pods and cleaning products out of their child-resistant containers and putting them in decorative clear jars and containers. For obvious reasons — at least I hope they're obvious — that's not safe.
The Washington-based American Cleaning Institute released a study last week showing that unsafe storage of liquid laundry packets was portrayed nearly 800,000 times over a four-year period on social media platforms — mostly on Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest.
In nearly all those posts, there's no mention of the child safety danger.
"What parents and caretakers may not realize is that while the trend of decanting cleaning products may be aesthetically pleasing, it increases the risk of an accident in the home," ACI spokesman Brian Sansoni said.
ACI says the trend is getting worse. According to its most recent survey, 41 percent of Americans have seen a social post showing cleaning products or laundry packets in clear jars or glass containers. That's up more than 10 percentage points from a 2022 survey.
Child-resistant packaging — almost always made of plastic — was created for a reason.
Oh, and there's one more plastics angle here: Some readers may remember that Melissa Hockstad, the current president and CEO at ACI, was once a vice president at the Plastics Industry Association.