*I’m participating in the American Cleaning Institute’s Packets Up! campaign and this is a sponsored post. As always, opinions and insights are my own. My mission is to always have your best interests at heart.

When I was asked to participate in the American Cleaning Institute’s Packets Up! campaign to help caregivers understand the risks of leaving laundry products in sight and in reach, I thought surely that even adults with dementia would know how to practice safe laundry habits but then I remembered two very scary incidents with my father.

The first happened when we were driving down the highway at about 65 miles per hour. Suddenly, my father opened the door and appeared to be trying to step out of the car. I slammed on the breaks and grabbed his arm (thankfully he was also in his seat belt) and yelled: “What are you doing?!”  “I’m just going to throw this bag in the trash!”  He clearly didn’t recall that he was in a moving vehicle.

Another incident, also involving the car, happened when we had an engine issue and I pulled into a mechanic’s garage for a quick check. Before I knew it, the mechanic had jacked up the car on one of those hoists and the next thing I knew my father was opening the door, trying to get out to use the restroom. Again, I yelled to my dad to close the door while the mechanic quickly lowered the car.

And we won’t discuss here the time my father called 911 because he thought the astronauts were going to crash.

You never know what a person with Alzheimer’s Disease or any type of dementia is thinking and therefore it’s super important to take every precaution available in all aspects of care. This includes safe laundry habits. Adults suffering from dementia and other cognitive disabilities can get confused and accidents can happen quickly.

How to Prevent Accidental Exposure to Laundry Products:

  • Completely close and seal laundry packet containers after use.
  • Store laundry packets up high and out of sight and reach
  • Always store laundry packets in their original containers
  • Keep bleach and other laundry detergents up and out of sight

Caregiver Tips:

  • If you’re caring for an individual with dementia or cognitive impairment, all cleaning products, including laundry detergents should be stored in a locked cabinet or closet.
  • If you don’t have a cabinet or closet available, place laundry packets (in the original packaging) into a larger bin with other laundry and household products and put the bin up high where there is less risk to see it (or perhaps place it in the garage).
  • While clear or glass jars can be a pretty way to display household items (one of my favorite ways), storing laundry packets visibly in these jars could be confusing for adults with memory impairments. Keep them tightly secured in their original packaging, stored up and out of sight.
  • When purchasing laundry packets and other household cleaners from the store, have them bagged separately and put them away in their designated safe storage area as soon as you get home and unpack your groceries.
  • Call Poison Help Line (1-800-222-1222) immediately if a laundry packet is ingested. Text “Poison” to 797979 to save the Poison Control contact information in your smartphone.
  • Be sure that liquid laundry product spills are wiped up quickly to prevent falls.
  • Conduct routine safety checks in your home or your loved one’s home to prevent accidents.

Caregiver Resources:

The Packets Up! campaign is an educational effort by The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) to help parents and caregivers understand the importance of practicing laundry safety, including properly using, storing and handling liquid laundry packets. With this campaign, they hope to reduce the number of accidental liquid laundry packet exposures in children and adults showing signs of cognitive impairment. They have a strong commitment to inform and educate on the importance of proper use and storage of laundry packets and other cleaning products.

I Put My #PacketsUp because…. being safe is what’s best for my family. Why do you put your PacketsUp?

Join the conversation. Follow #PacketsUp on social media for the latest laundry room safety tips and information.


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