Yup, you read that article title right and yes, you clicked on the correct link. A few months ago D.C. police raided a drug dealer’s home and not only found a nice amount of cocaine, but also a room stacked from floor to ceiling with Tide detergent bottles. Apparently, Tide detergent has become the new currency for black market deals and trades in the D.C. area.

How it works: drug addicts go to stores and steal Tide bottles instead of dealing with cash. Tide is a distinct and well-known brand of detergent, and has a street value on the black market from anywhere between $5 to $10, compared to the $20 it typically retails for. So instead of breaking into a car to steal a purse, junkies that are hurting for a fix go to the nearest grocery store and jack a bottle of Tide.

This very odd form of drug currency is growing in popularity in several major cities; a man in Minnesota even pleaded guilty to stealing $6,000 worth of Tide detergent. The D.C. area has been seeing it’s fair share of Tide thefts as well when not too long ago Maryland police made two dozen arrests after a local Safeway lost thousands of dollars of Tide inventory over a matter of weeks.The Daily Caller describes this outrageous new trend in street drugs, citing Detective Rick Blake of the Gresham, Ore. Police Department who said that these criminals,

…do it right in front of a cop car — buying heroin or methamphetamine with Tide. We would see people walking down the road with six, seven bottles of Tide. They were so blatant about it.

Tide theft has become so rampant that many grocery stores are now locking up their inventory in plastic cases to ameliorate the thousands they are losing in product.


People are stealing Tide.

To sell in an underground detergent black market.

To pay for drugs.


Guys, I have written articles on many weird things that have happened in D.C., but… I’m honestly at a lost for words. So the next time you see a disheveled addict walking down a street in D.C. holding several bottles of Tide, you can probably assume he’s not going to go pick up his laundry.

[image via cleveland.com]