Laundry Allergies

Laundry Allergies: Myths, Facts, and How to Protect Your Skin

A laundry detergent allergy can emanate from using a product containing ingredients you are allergic to. When you wear clothes washed with harsh detergents, you can develop contact dermatitis, a red and itchy rash. Here are some myths and facts about laundry allergies and ways to protect your skin:

All Laundry Detergents Cause Allergies

A common misconception about laundry detergents is that they all cause allergies. The truth is that detergents that contain harsh chemicals, parabens, and emulsifiers contribute to allergies.

Some products contain common allergens like phosphates that can cause a laundry detergent allergy, while others are safe for use. Other traditional laundry products use chemicals such as polyethylene glycol as thickeners which can lead to skin irritation.

Protect your skin by looking for eco-friendly laundry detergents with plant-based or organic ingredients. Read the product’s label to determine if the detergent is fully organic to prevent allergies.

Avoid detergents with preservatives like linalool and limonene, as they contribute to allergic reactions on your skin. Choose products that have mild thickeners, like sodium chloride, to safeguard your skin.

Changing Detergents Solves All Allergy Issues

Switching to a different laundry detergent can’t solve all allergy issues. The product could still contain similar ingredients that were causing the laundry allergies.

Some detergents contain synthetic surfactants that are responsible for removing stains and dirt from clothes. Synthetic surfactants contain sulfates which can strip the skin of its natural oil and cause redness and itching. 

When changing laundry detergents, check for sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate, the main ingredients in synthetic surfactants.

You can protect your skin by looking for detergents with plant-based surfactants. These surfactants are made from plant-based oils and components that are kinder to your skin.

Rinsing Out Fabrics Eliminates Laundry Allergies

Another typical misconception about laundry detergents is that they come off easily after rinsing them.

The truth is that during the washing process, synthetic fabric softeners and fragrance compounds can linger on the clothes. Heavily fragranced laundry detergents can cause irritation on the skin.

You can shield your skin by buying products with pure essential oils that give your fabric a mild scent, free from harsh fragrances. Look for detergents with scents like lavender, lemon, or eucalyptus.

You can also buy laundry products with natural fabric softeners like magnesium oxide, zinc oxide, and aluminum oxide. These fabric softeners are derived from earth minerals that are non-toxic and naturally occurring.

Using Regular Detergent Can Prevent Allergies

Using a small amount of conventional detergent to prevent allergies is a common myth. Some synthetic laundry products contain chlorine, a bleaching agent. Reducing the amount of bleach might not prevent laundry allergies since the harsh ingredient is already on your fabric.

Look for products that contain oxygen bleach, which is a safer brightening and whitening agent. Some eco-friendly detergents also feature citric acid, a natural, plant-based ingredient for brightening light or white fabrics.

Citric acid can also eliminate mold, mildew, and bacteria in your clothes. The components can be safer on your skin and kinder to the environment.

Artificial Dyes in Detergents Don’t Cause Allergies

Azo dyes are a group of artificial dyes that are used in the production of laundry detergents. Certain azo dyes derived from aromatic amines have been associated with allergic reactions and sensitivity in some individuals.

Some artificial dyes could contain heavy metals such as lead, mercury, or chromium, which can potentially cause allergic reactions or skin sensitivities.

If you must use colorants in your fabric, opt for plant-based colorants that derive color pigments from fruits, leaves, and roots. These dye-free or colorant-free detergents provide a gentler option for individuals who are sensitive to dyes or have laundry allergies.

By choosing eco-friendly laundry detergents that incorporate plant-based dyes, you can enjoy the benefits of visually appealing laundry while minimizing environmental impact.

Find Clean Products for a Laundry Detergent Allergy

Invest in clean, eco-friendly products that can help you manage laundry allergies. You can look for laundry detergents labeled hypoallergenic to protect your skin from itchiness and redness.

Before using a new laundry product extensively, test it on a small patch of your skin to check for any adverse reactions. Choose detergents with sustainable components and avoid those with harsh synthetic ingredients.