Controlling Allergic Reactions to Laundry Detergent

by Charlotte Wood
(last updated February 20, 2009)

Sometimes it happens—you sneeze and you itch and it's all because you wear your clothes. Well, it's not really because you wear your clothes, but rather how you wash those clothes. Some skin types are more sensitive and have negative reactions to the type of detergent you may use. Here are a few tips to avoid that negative reaction and make it so you can have clean clothes and wear clothes without being totally miserable!

Most detergents are pretty general in nature and their manufacturers don't give a second thought to the condition of the clothes' wearer's skin. If you are irritated by laundry detergent, you'll have to do some homework of your own when finding one that's right. Look for specialized laundry detergents that are gentler and that use more natural items than traditional detergents. Another thing to remember with detergents is that you probably won't be allergic to all of them. For instance, if you find your skin reacts negatively with Tide, try Cheer instead. Many times it all has to do with the brand and that can easily be changed.

If your skin really doesn't react well with any mainstream laundry detergent, you have one last option: baking soda. It's a natural cleaner and because it's purely a natural substance without any other cleaning agents in it, it should have minimal effect on your skin.

If your skin is having serious problems though to any real detergent, you should probably consult a dermatologist and see what their opinion is. They may suggest a prescribed detergent or give you other prescriptions for your skin. Also remember that once you find a detergent that's conducive to your skin type, wash all your clothes and towels and linens with the detergent to avoid any further reactions.

Just because you may be allergic to mainstream detergents doesn't mean that you're doomed. You can still have clean clothes and not suffer from allergic reactions. If you do some homework and seek out specialized detergents and go through some trial and error you should have no problem finding a detergent that works for you!

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