Skip to main content

5 Common Household Cleaners That Look Like Candy to Kids

We all lead busy lives and our homes are full of cleaners and detergents. But how often do we pause to think which common household cleaners may look like candy to our kids? Here's a roundup of what to look for and how to stay safe.
Household cleaners that look like candy to kids
Updated: June 13, 2023

Advances in common household cleaners have made our life as adults easier but oh so tempting and colorful for kids! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 300 children ages 0-19 are treated every day at a hospital for poisoning often due to toxic household items that are accidentally ingested.

Below is a roundup of the five household cleaners that look like candy to kids and how to best keep them safely out of reach.

1. Dishwasher Tabs

Household cleaners that look like candy - Dishwasher tabs

These amazing power packs make loading and running the dishwasher a breeze as they are no mess and contained in one tablet. They are one of the most popular common household cleaners however, the bright colors are so tempting to children! Most of us keep our dishwasher tablets under the kitchen sink which is easily accessible to children. If you choose to use these, use a child lock or keep these in an upper cabinet safely out of reach.

2. Spray Cleaners

Colorful spray cleaners

With their colorful and pretty scents, many spray household cleaners are a magnet to kids as they look like a yummy and appealing drink. As with any household cleanser, do not leave within reach of kids and maybe opt for vinegar and water which cleans just as effectively but has an unattractive scent and is colorless.

3. Laundry Detergent Pods

Laundry detergent pods

These are some of the most attractive yet poisonous items around as they look exactly like brightly colored candies. Laundry detergent pods are sometimes mixed with stain remover or even bleach, in a pod that dissolves in water. They come in many colors from green, pink, red to certain brands that combine detergents so they are swirled with multiple colors which to kids, look exactly like a delectable and edible treat. Keep all laundry pods sealed in their original container in a locked cabinet or very high on a shelf that no child can reach.

4. Gel Room Air Fresheners

Household cleaners that look like candy - Gel air fresheners

These sweet-smelling room fresheners clean the air but look so appealing with their bright colors and tiny gel filled beads. Some people keep them in a bowl on the counter and some are in a plastic container with holes in the top. Either way, they are toxic to kids but look just like temping jelly candies. Keep them out of reach.

5. Laundry Scent Boosters
Household cleaners that look like candy - laundry scent boosters

These laundry scent boosters add to the freshness and clean smell of laundry. They come in attractive packaging and are tiny like those old-fashioned candy dots attached to paper found in many penny candy stores. These are toxic to ingest and it's best to keep all items of this sort on a very high shelf or better yet, locked away from tiny eyes.

Trying to reduce toxic common household cleaners and products in your home? Check out this article about making your own green, non-toxic cleaning supplies!

Laura Richards headshot Laura is a writer and editor from the Boston area. A mom of four boys  including a set of twins. She’s written for The Washington Post, U.S. News  & World Report, The Boston Globe Magazine, Reader's Digest, Martha  Stewart Living, Woman's Day, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, House  Beautiful, Scary Mommy, Bellus Magazine, Boston Parents Paper and  more. Her full portfolio of work is at

Please follow her at Twitter @ModMothering


Laura Richards

About Laura

Laura is a writer, journalist, communications, brand, and PR specialist with 20+ years of… Read more

Subscribe to Family Education

Your partner in parenting from baby name inspiration to college planning.