Costco Finally Stops Selling Yummy-Looking Detergent Pods In Clear Candy Jars

The new, opaque Costco detergent pods container.

The new, opaque Costco detergent pods container.

Several weeks ago, we told you about Costco’s questionable choice of putting its poisonous laundry detergent pods in a clear plastic container that looks an awful lot like the plastic jars it uses for things like animal crackers, nuts, and candies, especially in light of the numerous instances of young children licking, eating, or playing with these toxic toys. Now it looks like the wholesaler has come to its senses.

Consumerist reader Steve was recently shopping at a Costco in New York when he saw that Costco’s store-brand Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean pods were no longer in a clear plastic container but were now in packaging that is an opaque orange, thus making it significantly less tempting to young kids who would have previously seen the shiny, candy-like pods inside.

“The lid is still the simple pull-off lid that you’d see on a thing of Pringles or Tang,” writes Steve. “But I guess maybe kids are less likely to go snooping inside if they can’t see the pods directly.”

Costco’s update follows the lead of Procter & Gamble’s Tide pods, which have been the focus of many consumer concerns and complaints. Initially, Tide switched to a double-latch lid in order to improve safety, but continued using clear plastic for the actual container. The company has since changed to using opaque plastic containers.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has been very wary of these pod products since their release in early 2012, even going so far as to issue a safety alert to consumers. CPSC also requested, but did not mandate, that stores selling these pods put up notices warning customers of the hazards of keeping these products within the reach of children.

In the Costco we looked at with the clear plastic containers, there was a warning posted. According to Steve, there was no CPSC warning posted at the Costco where he purchased the Kirkland pods in the opaque container. He tells Consumerist that he didn’t see any older, clear pod containers at his store.

In spite of efforts to make the products less tempting to children, there continue to be reports of kids coming into contact with the pods, including the recent tragic death of a 7-month-old boy in Florida, who passed away after ingesting a detergent pod.

It’s worth noting that Costco, Procter & Gamble, and every other company in the world can take the strictest safety measures possible, but keeping kids away from these poisonous products ultimately requires that parents and caregivers are aware of the hazards and make an effort to store these pods where children can not come in contact with them.