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Am I Allergic to My Laundry Detergent?

Let’s learn how to deal with washing powder and fabric softener allergies.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

Sensitive to laundry detergent

Do you think you have a washing powder allergy? Certain ingredients will be the usual suspects – find out more and get tips on using hypoallergenic detergents.

Key points for sensitive laundry:

Use the correct dosage – Most modern laundry detergents are made up of concentrated formulas so you don’t need to use a lot. Always follow the dosing instructions on the product’s label. Excess laundry detergent could leave residue on your clothes, which may cause skin irritation or a severe reaction.

Select an extra rinse cycle – Modern washing machines usually have the option to add an extra rinse cycle to your wash; this will ensure as much laundry detergent as possible is removed from clothing to reduce the risk of skin irritation. So just to be sure, isahan pa natin.

Use a suitable detergent – For example, a laundry liquid or powder that’s free from irritants that are usually found in perfume and color dyes.

An allergy to washing powder or fabric softener can be a common problem nowadays, but did you know you can’t actually be allergic to detergents or fabric softeners themselves? It is usually only a specific ingredient, or combination of ingredients in them, that causes the allergic reaction. If you think you may be irritated by your washing powder or liquid, don’t worry. There are a lot of hypoallergenic laundry detergents available on the market today that are designed to be gentler. They pose less of a risk to those with sensitive maselan skin and allergies.

Here we discuss what the symptoms of irritation to washing powder can look like, and give you a few simple tips on caring for your skin and your laundry at the same time. If you have sensitive skin and previously thought you had a washing powder allergy, then read on to find out more about dealing with any irritation.

Skin that’s easily irritated by color dye in fabric softeners and washing detergents needs to be treated with special care. Easy lang, choose gentle laundry detergents and fabric softeners to ensure your laundry products are kind to your delicate skin.

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Allergic reaction to washing powder? What to look for: As mentioned above, you can’t actually have an allergy to washing powder, detergents, or fabric softeners – only to certain ingredients they contain. When your skin becomes irritated by these ingredients, you’ll notice a few tell-tale symptoms. The most obvious is a red, itchy rash just like a higad attack that usually occurs almost immediately after contact with a freshly washed item. You may discover that this rash disappears quickly once the irritant is removed or you stop wearing the affected piece of clothing.

Sensitivity to the ingredients in washing powders can also cause allergic contact dermatitis which again appears as a red, itchy rash but not usually after immediate contact. It typically develops around 12 to 72 hours after exposure to the irritant. Sometimes the immune system takes a while to identify allergens, so you may have been exposed to a substance multiple times before you have a reaction, so konting monitoring lang. In certain cases though, you could also have a reaction after just one exposure to the irritant.

Additional symptoms you may encounter include a runny nose or sipon, sneezing, and/or itchy eyes. This is particularly common if the cause of your allergic reaction to washing powder is actually the fragrances used in the product. Kung may sobrang pabango at pampakulay, it could be a problem.

If you or a family member experience any of the above symptoms after contact with clothes that have been washed with laundry detergent, then you may want to consider switching your detergent to a hypoallergenic variant.

Hypoallergenic detergents are specially designed to reduce the likelihood of skin reactions. They aim to keep fibers smooth to help prevent skin irritation and are usually dermatologically tested. They also generally do not contain irritants like fragrance or dyes that could cause skin irritation and painful breakouts. These are key elements to look out for on a product’s label when choosing a suitable detergent for allergic skin. By selecting a laundry product that does not contain ingredients likely to cause irritation you can help to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction.

Enzymes are also a known type of allergen, so another kind of detergent you could try if you have sensitive or allergic skin is a non-biological detergent that doesn’t contain enzymes.

So which detergent can I switch to? An option like Breeze Liquid Detergent Gentle and Free is a good choice as it contains no dyes, no parabens and no bleach. It is designed to remove tough stains with a gentle formulation that is safe for sensitive skin and babies’ skin.

If you think you may be suffering from perceived fabric softener allergies as well as washing powder allergies, a gentler fabric conditioner can be a good choice.

When it comes to allergic reactions and laundry detergents, everyone’s different. It’s all about experimentation dapat: if one hypoallergenic detergent doesn’t work for you, then try another.

The ultimate goal is to eliminate the irritant that’s causing your skin to react and this usually involves some trial and error. Minsan tanchahan lang. But if you have no luck after trying multiple laundry detergents, it’s best to consult your doctor as he or she can identify if something else is triggering your allergic reaction.

Once you find the right detergent for you and your family’s skin, stick to this and wash all clothes and fabrics in your home with it. Anyone who is sensitive to the ingredients used in products such as detergent will obviously come into contact with a variety of fabrics in your home. Sama-sama kasi ang laba. Kaya, it’s best to eradicate the original irritant altogether by washing everything in hypoallergenic washing powder. Allergy relief can also be obtained by speaking to your doctor or pharmacist but the most obvious piece of advice is to avoid using the known source of the irritant as quickly as possible.

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Frequently asked questions on laundry-related allergies

Can you be allergic to clothes?

It is possible to be allergic to clothes – but your allergy could be caused by a number of different things. The main source of a fabric allergy is textile dermatitis caused by sweating inside non-breathable synthetic fibers such as polyester or nylon. However, allergic reactions could also be caused by dyes, glues and other chemicals used to tan, color and hold your clothing together.

Can fabric softener cause acne?

Yes, you may find that your fabric conditioner is causing an allergic reaction. The mixes of fragrances used in fabric conditioner can irritate the skin and cause conditions such as dermatitis to appear. Not all fabric conditioners are created using the same fragrances and ingredients, however, so all you need to do is give a different one a go to see if this is the root of the problem.

What is the ph of laundry detergent?

Laundry detergent has a pH of about 10, making it a base according to the pH scale.

How do I get detergent out of clothes because of this allergy?

Knowing how to get detergent out of clothes, for allergy prevention is key. The best course of action is a vinegar soak. Create a solution of 1 cup of vinegar mixed with 1 quart of water and place your clothing into the mix. Soak for a minimum of 1 hour. Follow this step by washing your clothing in the machine with 1 cup of baking soda, in place of detergent. This should remove all traces of the detergent from your clothing.

Originally published