Using Laundry Pods To Hand-Wash Clothes Is A Big Mistake. Here's Why

Laundry pods are an easy-to-use alternative to liquid detergent, as you simply toss them in your washing machine and let them work their magic. However, they are designed for washing machine use only. If you don't have access to a working washer or need to spot-clean a garment, you may be tempted to open the pod and wash your clothes with the detergent inside, but this is a big mistake that you should avoid. Pods are very concentrated and ill-suited for washing clothes by hand due to their potential to damage your clothing and negatively affect your health.

Though laundry pods may be filled with a solution similar to liquid detergent, they are stronger, so the formula is more potent than you'd find in a bottle. Pods are also not designed to be touched for long periods of time, as the chemical compounds within are not skin-safe. And, they pose a risk if ingested, which has become a problem for parents and pet owners. Rather than popping open a pod, consider an alternative way to hand-wash your laundry and stop using laundry pods altogether.

The problem with using laundry pods for hand-washing garments

Since they arrived on the market, laundry pods have created safety concerns. The highly-concentrated solution is not meant to touch your skin or be ingested at all. If either of these things happen, you may experience several symptoms that range in severity. Ingesting the liquid, which could accidentally happen when you puncture the pod open to hand-clean clothes, could result in nausea, vomiting, seizures, and epiglottic swelling. Even if the liquid does not get into your mouth, you can still be affected. The fumes can cause respiratory problems when inhaled and could irritate your eyes. Further, should any liquid accidentally get in your eyes, it is likely to cause pain, redness, and possibly even conjunctivitis. Hand-washing with a laundry pod poses the most significant risk for your hands and skin. Concentrated detergent causes multiple dermatological issues, from mild rashes to significant chemical burns.

While safety gear like masks, goggles, and gloves are available, you still should still skip the pods when it comes to spot-cleaning. This is because, not only is it unsafe to use, but it could also damage your fabrics. The concentrated formula is meant to be heavily-diluted by the water in a washing machine, so it could stain your clothing and leave filmy deposits behind that may be difficult to remove. 

Alternative products to use when hand-washing fabrics

Laundry pods are not meant to be used for spot-cleaning or hand-washing. If you need to hand-wash anything, use another detergent or cleaning method. First, you'll need to know the material of the fabric you want to clean so that you can find the best way to clean your clothes by hand. You can use regular liquid or powder laundry detergent to wash cotton, polyester, or other garments without special instructions. Further, you should only use enough detergent to create slightly-sudsy water, as using too much could damage the fabrics or harm your skin. Like the pods, liquid detergent is still concentrated, though it's not as strong as the pod varieties. 

You can also substitute laundry detergent with baking soda and other natural ingredients if you're concerned about your skin. Castile soap is a gentle all-purpose powerhouse that can be used clean your clothes as well as multiple surfaces within your home. Soap nuts are also an effective all-natural detergent substitution. When added to water, soap nuts release saponin, a sudsy cleaning chemical. The chemical is gentle and suitable for those with sensitive skin conditions like eczema. Soap nuts are biodegradable and once spent can be put into a compost, so they are not only a natural solution, they're also waste-free. Any of these options would be a far-better solution to hand-washing your clothes with a laundry detergent pod.