Could you have an allergy to cleaning products? Find out now

Read on to discover our top tips for dealing with an allergic reaction to cleaning products.

Updated 5 April 2023


AuthorBy Cleanipedia Team

Reading Time5 minutes

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Key steps to preventing an allergic reaction

  • Wear gloves when cleaning.

  • Keep your face covered with a mask.

  • Keep the room well ventilated by opening windows and doors.

  • Swap your cleaning products for natural alternatives such as soap nuts, white vinegar, and baking soda.

  • Consider asking someone else to clean or call in a professional.

You may already have read our article on dealing with washing powder allergies but did you know you can also be allergic to cleaning products? Dealing with an allergy to washing up liquid, oven cleaner, and any other cleaning product will help to keep you, and your skin, irritation-free so that you can get on with your household chores (sorry).

If you’re worried about the products you are using at home, look for natural alternatives including baking soda and white vinegar which will do the job without causing an allergic reaction.

1) How to deal with a washing up liquid allergy

Did you know it's not just the powerful chemicals in cleaning products that can cause problems for allergy sufferers? Some products, like dishwashing detergent, contain ingredients like nuts and dairy which can lead to an allergic reaction to the washing up liquid.

Common washing up liquid allergy symptoms include:

  • Red rash

  • Mild to severe itching or burning

  • Blisters

  • Dry, cracking, scaly, tender skin

  • Swelling in your hands, wrists and forearms

A few ways to prevent an allergic reaction to your washing-up liquid include:

  • Wearing gloves when doing the dishes.

  • Always rinsing your dishes thoroughly before drying them. Don't forget your gloves too!

  • Using a dishwasher (if you have one) instead. Read our article on dishwasher water consumption if you want to make sure you save water too.

  • Switching your products. Try a natural alternative such as bicarbonate of soda or soap nuts, or a mild formula like Neutral 0%.

2) How to deal with an allergic reaction to oven cleaner

Cleaning the oven is obviously important, as you want to ensure it is working and cooking your food thoroughly. The symptoms of an oven cleaner allergy will be largely the same as washing up allergy symptoms and other cleaning allergies but with a few extras.

Signs you have an oven cleaner allergy include:

  • Skin irritations - rashes, blisters, itching, and burning.

  • Breathing difficulties - shortness of breath, dry or sore throat, dry or sore nose and eyes.

Here are a few tips to avoid these allergies.

  • Be aware of whether the allergy is to the product itself or if it is simply triggering an existing condition. For example, fumes from oven cleaners could aggravate your asthma.

  • Where the cleaner exacerbates an existing condition, make sure you keep any medication such as inhalers to hand when cleaning.

  • Consider asking someone else to clean this part of your home for you if possible and safe to do so.

  • Make sure you keep the kitchen well ventilated when cleaning your oven to let the fumes out.

  • Wear protective clothing including gloves to protect your skin and a mask to prevent you from breathing in the fumes.

  • If you are sure it is the oven cleaner you are allergic to, try switching to a different brand or milder formula.

  • Alternatively, try your own natural, homemade cleaner. Read our article on oven cleaning for tips including how to make your own cleaner with white vinegar and other household products.

3) How to deal with allergies to carpet cleaners

Can you be allergic to carpet cleaner? Yes. Are you allergic to carpet cleaner? That's something only you will know. 

Look for these symptoms when using carpet cleaners to identify a potential allergy:

  • Skin irritation - dry skin, cracked or flaking skin, rashes or redness and swelling.

  • Breathing difficulties - tightness in the chest, sore throat, wheezing and coughing.

  • Sickness - vomiting, diarrhoea, and stomach cramps.

  • Cold-like symptoms - watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, blocked nose.

It is worth noting that these symptoms can also be a result of an allergy to your carpet itself, not just the cleaner. The easiest way to tell is by seeing whether you experience symptoms after changing your carpet cleaner.

To help prevent or treat carpet cleaner allergies, follow these steps:

  • Make sure that you open windows and doors when washing the carpet to keep the room well ventilated.

  • Use a steam cleaner as an alternative to a chemical cleaner.

  • Lower the humidity of the room to below 50%.

  • If you need to remove stains or odours, try natural alternatives. Check out the advice in our article on how to clean carpets for more help with this.

  • If you choose to use a commercial cleaner, make sure you wear gloves and a face mask to protect your skin and prevent you from breathing in any fumes.

  • To avoid a reaction from allergens in the carpet fibres rather than the cleaner, vacuum your carpet regularly to remove dust, dirt, and pet dander which are common allergy triggers.

Time to put on your cleaning gloves and facemask and clean your home without pesky allergies causing you trouble.

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