'Don't eat laundry detergent': Tide Pod meme prompts police warning

The meme has gained a higher profile in recent days as the joke has gotten divorced from its origins and reinterpreted. from NY magazine's viral tech vertical Select All captured the trend at its "fever pitch" in December, but show that it's only grown in popularity from there.

A new and unsafe trend on social media is raising the concerns of doctors.

When people bite down on packets, they burst and shoot a toxic mix into the throat.

If it wasn't clear enough in the first place that putting laundry detergent in your mouth isn't a wise decision, hopefully it is now.

Experts say these pods are very concentrated and if you eat them, you could have a serious reaction.

"I don't know why I'm doing it", Pagan said in the video.

A compilation video on YouTube shows a number of teenagers putting the pods in frying pans, pretending to cook them, before serving them up in a bowl.

Photos and video clips tagged with "Tide Pod Challenge" show teens chewing the packets and then spitting the liquid detergent out of their mouths.

At least 10 deaths have been linked to eating the pods: two were toddlers and eight were seniors suffering from dementia.

The rising popularity of Tide pods brought more online stupidity, with the bursting texture of the pods an apparent focus of attention for daredevils.

Tide detergent pods are small packages of highly concentrated laundry detergent replace traditional bottled laundry detergent.

"So you'll get burns to the skin, burns to the eye, a lot of problems that are more severe burns to the respiratory tract, burns to the esophagus", Krug added.

If a product is swallowed, drink a glass of water or milk and contact the Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) or doctor immediately. Tide has been proactive in keeping their products safe, childproof, and keeping the public informed.

A spokesperson from Tide says they are "deeply concerned about conversations related to intentional and improper use of liquid laundry pacs".

'They should not be played with, whatever the circumstance is, even if it is meant as a joke'.

Vanessa Coleman