Tide Pods Allergies & Itchy Reactions: Stories From Readers
Below I've gathered quite a few stories from readers about Tide Pods allergies and itchy reactions.
Everyone's stories about allergic reactions are somewhat unique, because everyone is allergic to slightly different things, and their bodies react in slightly different ways.
On the other hand, when you read about these allergic reactions you'll also see some common themes.
For instance, some people have allergic reactions to the Tide Pods version of the detergent, but not to the liquid or powder version.
One possible reason for this is that these pods, like any laundry detergent pacs, are even more concentrated than their liquid of powder versions, and if not properly rinsed out that high concentration of detergent staying in your clothes can cause skin reactions you might not experience with less residue.
In addition, while many people are allergic to one particular scent of pods, versus another (which isn't unusual, because scent is one of the most common reasons for laundry allergies) some people are also allergic to even the unscented version of these pods.
Before you begin to read the various reader experiences, or perhaps share your own in a submission or comment below, make sure to check out some of the resources here on the site which can help you learn more about this issue.
I'll add several article links throughout the page, but first check out
For the past several days I have been itching all over. The only thing I could think of that I've done different is purchasing the Tide Pods.
Up until now I have been making my own laundry detergent for several years, but not always happy with the results, especially on my husband's dirty work clothes.
For a change of pace I saw those Tide Pods which looked so convenient and decided to purchase them, a bigger container of 72 pods unfortunately. :(
I have been itching ever since, and I'm sure it must be the pods since nothing else has changed.
It's getting increasingly worse each day. I'm in the process of rewashing (actually with no detergent at all) to see if that will clear up the itch. It is miserable.
I've used regular Tide in the past with no issues, and was always happy with the results. I started making my own detergent to save money, which it did, but it just doesn't clean as well. Now I don't know what to do with all those Pods. It was an $18.00 purchase. :(
I Thought It Was Bed Bugs . . . No It Was Spring Meadows Scent
by SR101 Reader
I have been using Tide Pods for over a year and my mother used Tide powder since I was a baby. Two weeks ago I switched scents and three days later developed what looked like bug bites all over my left shoulder. Day by day, more bumps would appear.
I immediately thought we had bed bugs. I took my bed apart and called Orkin- after inspection, NO SIGN OF BED BUGS! I still was not convinced. So I washed all my sheets with my new Tide Spring Meadow scented pods only to wake up with welts/hives over the entire right side of my abdomen and behind my right knee. It still didn't occur to me that it was the detergent.
I slept at my friend's house for 3 nights but the bumps kept coming. The rash/hives got worse. I had the doctor at the hospital I worked at check them out; she said it was contact dermatitis. I still didn't buy it.
The next day (after steroid treatment and creams, etc.) I undressed to shower and noticed that along my underwear line there were more red bumps (which looked like bug bites). It suddenly occurred to me that I had switched scents on my Tide Pods. I immediately consulted my friend, Google. Sure enough, story after story, picture after picture, there it was.
I went out and bought Tide Free and Gentle liquid detergent and re-washed my sheets. I have not noticed anymore bumps/hives/rashes.
I'm still apprehensive about Tide but at least I know what I'm allergic to and more importantly that it's not bed bugs!
I have used Tide - both regular and Free - for years and had no problems, either with the powder or the liquid form.
When Tide introduced their new Tide Pods I was delighted as it meant no more messy (and inaccurate) measuring and it was sure to save money.
A few months after switching to the Pods, both regular and Free (which I use for delicates), I stated noticing patches of red, itchy bumps on areas where my clothing rubbed my skin, such as lower bad, upper arms, neck, knees.
I thought maybe it was the regular Tide Pods and started using only the Tide Free Pods. No relief (other than taking antihistamines daily to try to settle the hives).
It appears that whatever new additives are contained in the Pods - or maybe it's even the gel coating housing the Pods themselves - are causing the allergic reaction and I can no longer use the detergent I have relied on for years.
Even the version touted as free of dyes and scents causes a problem.
And I am not the only one who has experienced this reaction from the new Tide products.
I am now experimenting with other brands and hope to find something that is truly free of dyes/perfumes/additives so that I do not have to experience such an adverse reaction again.
In the past month I purchased the Tide Pods at my local Jewel Osco as it was on sale. I was actually excited to used it thinking it would be a great product to clean my clothes and keep them fresh.
I proceeded to wash my clothes and bedding as usual. Not long after I broke out all over my wrists; it's the most sensitive skin area! I had not one clue it was the Pods and blamed it on a new shirt I had purchased also.
However, when my boyfriend moved in with me we washed all our clothes again including the bedding once more. This time he broke out and the affected areas spread to our feet, wrists, hands, arms, legs, and even genital areas! I can describe them as little red water filled spots that were extremely itchy.
It was such a horrible experience for the both of us, especially since he just moved in with me! We assumed the worst -- maybe we had bed bugs (no we checked), maybe it was scabies (no we got looked at).
We were in such distress we thought it was due to stress maybe, or our body chemistry didn't react well together.
The both of us didn't think it could be our CLEANING product that's supposed to keep our clothes CLEAN.
I started to think of what it was different I had been doing and linked it back to the Tide Pods, since it was the first time using this product.
My boyfriend left for a weekend to see his little girl and he mentioned after washing his clothes elsewhere the itching subsided.
Upon his return we washed our clothes in new detergent and Bam! To both our surprise no more itching. This whole time it was a reaction to the Tide Pods!
All our stress and sleepless nights due to non-stop itching was cause by something supposed to keep us clean.
I HIGHLY ADVISE ANYONE AGAINST BUYING THIS PRODUCT. IT'S NOT WORTH THE STRESS!
***Update: Tide must have finally listened, since they just released a free and gentle version of these pods! Yay! ***End Update
Please note it isn't just this new packaging that seems to be causing problems however. Obviously the company has lots of happy customers as well, but there are many who also an allergy to Tide in other versions as well.
Has anyone else had problems with skin rashes or allergic reactions caused by this laundry product? If so, I'd love to hear from you. You can share your experience here.
***Update: I got another submission from a reader, Mary, who also complained about this detergent. She sent in pictures of her rash (non-graphic) so I added it to a different page with detergent allergy pictures. You can check out her story here. ***End Update
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