When Cascade released their Pumpkin Spice Scented Dishwasher Detergent last fall to great fanfare, the public quickly learned the downside to such gimmicks. The hint of pumpkin spice flavor that remained after a cleaning cycle was reported to affect the taste of everything from orange juice to re-heated Runzas.
The negative press and customer service demands that Cascade and its retailers had to endure quickly led to the product being removed from shelves. If you ever wondered if there was a limit to America’s love affair with pumpkin spice, look no further than Cascade.
One would think that marketers had learned a quick, expensive, and hard lesson. One would be wrong. While shopping at our local Hy-Vee, we came across Tide’s latest attempt to capture consumer attention (and it did capture our attention); Tide’s Laundry Pod Peeps.
Since we at Nebraska Home Appliance care about the performance of your home appliances, we decided to offer our expert take on whether these gimmicky pods were worth your shopping dollar.
One quick reminder before we continue:
All laundry pods are poisonous when ingested and a choking hazard.
Seriously, why anyone would make them Peep shaped… or Peep colored.. or Peep scented is beyond us.
The main feature of the Peeps laundry pods is – well, the Peeps scent. It’s a cute gimmick and the persistent waft of sugary vanilla you get the moment you throw on your favorite shirt will soon become the only endorphin release your brain will respond to. That same smell comes with a downside.
On a recent afternoon neighborhood walk with my family I noticed that we were being followed by hummingbirds, wasps, and cats. Our walk turned into a jog as the neighborhood wildlife became increasingly attracted to our scent. This soon escalated to an all-out sprint back home. “GET YOUR HOUSE KEYS READY!” I yelled to my wife as I hoofed our child’s stroller across the sidewalk at a dangerous speed. My wife was shaking in panic, fumbling through her pockets for the keys. Though some bugs made their way in, we were able to close the door before any birds, squirrels, cats, and raccoons did.
Our 1 year old is now afraid of squirrels and hummingbirds. No child should have to live with that fear.
Do you hate white undershirts? Would you rather they were a tie-dyed swirl of pink, yellow and orange? Then wash away with Tide’s Laundry Pod Peeps.
If not, stick to your old detergent.
While it’s most apparent on white clothing – all clothing will be subject to this dying. Clearly, the dyes used to give Peeps their vibrant, trademark hues (Yellow #5, Red #3) are not water-based. Unfortunately, after repeated washing with more robust laundry detergents, the dyes show no signs of retreat.
Despite the downsides I’ve mentioned, that Peeps scent is clearly addictive. After a few days, I couldn’t imagine a morning starting without that sugar scent covering my sheets, towels and clothing. Given this shallow fondness for these laundry pods, and because I’m always thorough in my testing, I continued to use the detergent.
Within about 7 cycles I noticed water pooling at the bottom of my washing machine drum. The sweet, marshmallowy scent is still there, but now it is mixed with a moldy aroma. Using too much laundry detergent, as most people do, already creates enough problems with your washer—clogging filters and drains, trapping scum in the cylinder, and wearing your clothes down. Tide seems to have only made the problem worse with their new, less water-soluble pods.
We were hoping to have the lab results back from the University of Nebraska Omaha by the time of this writing, but as of yet, we haven’t yet received them. We strongly suspect that these results will tell us what we already know – that Tide’s Peep scented laundry pods are nothing more than a marshmallow Peep shrink wrapped in a dissolvable laundry pod. Reacting to the failure of Cascade’s Spice Pumpkin Latter fiasco, Tide seems to be hedging its bets by making this the most inexpensive marketing gimmick possible—if it doesn’t catch on, it won’t cost them much.
Still, once you try a couple of loads, the sugar scent really draws you in. I mean, REALLY draws you in. It becomes the only thing you want from a laundry detergent and you can’t imagine washing clothes without it.
Now, I get the appeal, but the truth is that, in short order, use of these pods will destroy your clothing, your mood, not to mention quite literally your washing machine (and if that does happen, remember that your Hometown Hero at Nebraska Home Appliance is ready and able to offer repair services.) If you haven’t started using these pods, don’t start.
If you are currently using Tide’s Peeps scented laundry pods, we urge you to stop. Rely on your friends and family for support through this and use it as an opportunity to grow these relationships.
OUR RATING: 2 out of 5 stars
April Fools! This article originally appeared on the site April 1st, 2017, and is intended only as humor/parody.