I have tried everything to determine what is causing itching and would like to eliminate the detergent. I currently use Tide. Do you have any suggestions?
Which "free and clear" types of detergents have you already tried?
Also...try looking for an "enzyme free" version along with perfume free and dye free.
You can Google those key words or try Amazon.com
free and clear detergent, skip softener and use vinegar instead http://www.vinegartips.com/Scripts/pageViewSec.asp?id=8
Another culprit might be optical brighteners. These chemical residues are intentionally left behind on fabric even after multiple rinses. (Note that "free and clear" refers to absence of dye and fragrance only, and the formulation can still contain optical brighteners.)
Some detergents without optical brighteners are Woolite, Dreft, All free & clear, Bi-O-Kleen, Ecos, Ecover, Seventh Generation, Country Save, Cheer powder. There are more, but I can't remember them all.
I use All Free and Clear...
Ulra Purex has a Free and Clear and another product that I use, Natural Elements. NE only uses natural ingredients and is hypo allergenic. I've not tried the Free and Clear, but the Natural Elements is reasonably priced. You can check both out at the link below. Just click on products to the left to find the info on Free and Clear.
Here is a link that might be useful: Ultra Purex Natural Elements
Vaska might be an alternative as well. It is enzyme free and very gentle, but can suds up a lot in a FL with a heater so be careful how much you use.
We also itch with many detergents but do well with Tide Free & Clear.
I never use fabric softeners or any added scented items to the laundry, if you're using those I'd stop and see if that makes the difference.
One other thing though--is it only recently since the grass/tree pollens have started? If you have bad allergies, it is not advisable to air dry your laundry as pollens are attracted to fabrics. Just a thought...
"Some detergents without optical brighteners are Woolite, Dreft, All free & clear,"
The regular All F&C might not have brighteners, but my bottle of All F&C - Small & Might 3X lists brighteners on the label. One has to read all the labels. Having so many different versions of a similar detergent doesn't make it easy for us consumers, either.
Tide is very difficult to rinse out. The he seems worse than the regular. I would try an unscented, optical brightner free detergent with extra rinses and see if that helps. Green works has an unscented version that works well but can be sudsy if used at full dosage. Enzymes can cause irritation as well for some people. Extra rinsing and no fabric softner alone may do it.
I had many skin issues (rash, hives, itch, swelling, redness) that turned out to be caused by detergents and softeners ( I used Tide and All for many years with downy fabric softener). Now I only use Bi-o-kleen as my detergent and use vinegar in both the wash and rinse cycles, and an extra rinse at the end of washing also helps. You could skip the vinegar all together and just do the extra rinse since biokleen does rinse quite clear. I do not suffer from any skin irritation with my new method.
Charlie's Soap Laundry Detergent is another option. DH had huge problems with the Tide and itching. For a long time I used Dreft for his clothes--I can only imagine what his work buddies thought of his uniform smelling like baby clothes! Dreft worked fine, but it was very expensive. Heard about Charlie's on GW and gave it a try. I can get 80 loads worth of detergent for $9.99-$13.99 depending on the store and it works great, rinses clean & no fabric softener or vinegar needed.
NJAnnRose: "I have tried everything to determine what is causing itching and would like to eliminate the detergent. I currently use Tide. Do you have any suggestions?
We did not contribute to the link that follows, but our experience supports it completely.
Here is a link that might be useful: True, dat
I have the same problem with a lot of detergents. I started using Purex Baby Detergent which is cheap. It cleans very well and is hypoallergenic too. Love the smell which is not overpowering. No more itching!
@dualref - Oh gah! Yet another detergent I'll have to buy and try. LOL
Maybe the scent in this one won't make me itch, give me a headache, or DH a rash. ;-)