Anthrax in Tide urban legend resurfaces

An urban legend about the existence of samples of Tide laundry detergent containing anthrax has resurfaced again in internet queries and online forums.

Despite there being no reported instances of Tide or any other household cleaning products being tainted with anthrax, the legend has resurfaced via email, text message and social media websites, according to

The first instances of the rumor are believed to have occurred shortly after the 2001 anthrax attacks. The legend faded, only to resurface again nearly a decade later.

“A variant of this scare which began circulating in mid-2010 cautioned about mailed samples of Tide brand detergent supposedly containing anthrax,”, a website dedicated to debunking urban legends, reports. “In January 2011, that scare was spread by text messages sent to cell phones, some of them asserting ‘It was on CNN today!’”

Tide officials, concerned by the potential negative impact of the rumors, released a statement in order to reassure customers that their product was entirely safe.

“As many of you have noticed, the Tide Anthrax Hoax message has started to circulate again,” a Tide public relations official said, reports. “I would like to confirm that this is definitely a hoax, any Tide samples coming through the mail are completely safe.”