Social Media Trends Encourage Unsafe Storage of Cleaning Products

Social influencers promote the use of cleaning products as décor, while disregarding risks.

May 16, 2023

According to research recently released by American Cleaning Institute (ACI), unsafe cleaning practices are running rampant on several social media platforms, citing in particular the improper storing of cleaning products by using them instead as décor.

As part of its ongoing Store Not Décor campaign, ACI, in collaboration with digital research firm Maven Road, conducted the study to better understand the prevalence of the unsafe cleaning product storage trends across a variety of digital and social platforms.

The research found the trend of discussing or displaying liquid laundry packets outside their original containers and placing them in clear jars or containers as home décor was a practice portrayed nearly 800,000 times between 2019 and 2022, mostly on Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest.

Of the storage-related posts, images showing the popular, yet unsafe, storage practice made up more than half of what was shared on social media. In 92% of the storage-related posts, there was no mention of the child safety dangers involved with keeping liquid laundry packets outside of their original containers.

A related survey conducted by Wakefield Research on ACI’s behalf revealed that 41% of Americans have seen popular posts across social media showing cleaning products or liquid laundry packets stored on display in clear jars or glass containers. This is an increase of more than 10 percentage points from a 2022 survey, underscoring the growing popularity of the dangerous trend. While safe storage was ranked as the most important aspect among respondents when it comes to storing cleaning products, 60% of parents reported keeping liquid laundry packets in areas where a child could see or reach them.

“Our research identified the growing social media trend, a critical safety knowledge gap among digital audiences, and a need for increased awareness about safe storage,” said Brian Sansoni, ACI senior vice president, communications, outreach, and membership. “By removing products from their original container, you are eliminating key safety elements such as child-resistant packaging, safety warnings, and instructions for proper use.”

To keep laundry rooms safe, ACI suggests the following steps:

  • Keep liquid laundry packets up high, out of the reach and sight of children
  • Store all laundry packets in their original, labeled containers
  • Post the Poison Help phone number (1-800-222-1222) in a highly visible location, to be used in case of accidental ingestion.

To learn more about safely and properly using all cleaning products, check out Increase Your Knowledge, Improve Your Cleaning.

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