What Happens To Your Body When You Eat A Tide Pod?

Luckily, the 2017-2018 fad of eating Tide Pods is on its way out, and only a select few have actually accepted the challenge. The health effects of eating Tide Pods have been proven to be uniformly harmful, and doing so can have a long-term impact. Even so, there exist some pretty weird questions about the trend. What happens when you eat a Tide Pod? Will they harm you? Why on earth would someone do this? 

You probably don't want to imagine how your body reacts to Tide Pods, as the results are anything but pretty. You're basically ingesting a time-sealed conglomeration of toxins, and they are the kind that coat things in corrosive foam. If the contents get to your lungs, you may find yourself literally coughing up suds. Even though you'll probably survive the experience, in a few rare cases, the colorful detergent packets have proven fatal. They may look tasty, and eating them may seem funny, but the results are no laughing matter. 


  • Tide Pods Can Bore Holes In Your Stomach
    Photo: Derneuemann / Pixabay / Pixabay License

    Tide Pods Can Bore Holes In Your Stomach

    Tide Pods contain a concentrated mixture of soap and chemicals that can actually melt holes in your stomach via liquefactive necrosis. Some challengers have been left with sizable holes in their stomachs, and might suffer from ulcers in the stomach for some time after.

    This can all happen mere seconds after the gel hits the tissue of the stomach or intestines.

  • Tide Pods Can Get Into Your Lungs
    Photo: Kalhh / Pixabay / Pixabay License

    Tide Pods Can Get Into Your Lungs

    One of the biggest risks that comes with eating a Tide Pod is the detergent can get into your lungs. Biting a Tide Pod and then breathing can pull the gel into your respiratory system, and the burns usually suffered by your throat and mouth are felt in your lungs instead.

    If your lungs get too compromised, it can become difficult to get enough oxygen to function.


  • Tide Pods Are More Toxic Than Liquid Detergent
    Photo: yourbestdigs / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    Tide Pods Are More Toxic Than Liquid Detergent

    Given the relatively small size of Tide Pods, it might seem as though they are less harmful than liquid laundry detergent. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. Liquid detergents are diluted with water, which makes them thinner and less corrosive. 

    Tide Pods, on the other hand, are coated in gel that starts to dissolve when it comes into contact with your saliva or stomach acid. When the packet bursts in your tummy, you get a concentrated dose of undiluted soap and chemicals all at once.

    While you definitely shouldn't drink liquid detergent either, it is admittedly better for you than eating a Tide Pod. 

  • Your Body Will Try Desperately Not To Swallow
    Photo: Soulbust / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 4.0

    Your Body Will Try Desperately Not To Swallow

    Tide Pods are not meant to be eaten; your body knows this, even if your brain doesn't. Tide coats the pods with a special substance called Bitrex, which is used to dissuade children from eating them. The substance features the most bitter taste known to man, so you'll instantly want to get it out of your mouth. 

    Even if you do manage to keep it in your mouth, the coating has more to it than just taste. Trying to swallow the pod will cause a sudden wave of nausea. Your stomach will start churning up extra acid, with the intent of making you vomit, even if the pod has not yet left your mouth. 

  • Tide Pods Are A Choking Risk
    Photo: Austin Kirk / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

    Tide Pods Are A Choking Risk

    Trying to force an intact or even partially intact Tide Pod down your throat is a recipe for disaster. The sudden bitter taste of Bitrex may cause you to breathe in sharply, so the pod could get wedged in your esophagus. Once there, your throat will tighten around the mass, making it difficult to get the thing out again.

    Luckily, saliva will dissolve the pod and restore a clear airway, but as the pod dissolves, it will coat your throat with various soaps and chemicals. This can cause burning intense enough to put a hole in the lining of your throat. Your airway can get so narrow that it's nearly impossible to breathe. 

    Even if it doesn't initially get stuck in your throat, vomiting later also presents a risk. 

  • Tide Pods Takes Out Your Cells
    Photo: Mike Mozart / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

    Tide Pods Takes Out Your Cells

    As it turns out, Tide Pods dissolve human beings' cells the same way they tear up gunk and grime on our clothes. When the gel inside the pod is released, it hits the lining of your mouth, throat, and stomach, coating the cells there. The pH from the detergent then takes out the cells by ripping them apart on a microscopic level. It does this to any mucous membrane it touches. 

    While humans cannot see this happening, they can certainly feel it. This results in a burning feeling, as if the challenger had eaten something super spicy.