Laundry detergent for allergies - cross post

Jstell2008December 11, 2013

Ok, so my old front loader is not spinning well. I ordered a new washer and dryer yesterday. I washed my sheets yesterday in my old washer using Tide pods and fabric softener. I don't think my old washer spun out all the detergent because I woke up this morning with red, watery eyes, a stuffed and runny nose etc. I am thinking all the detergent was not rinsed out of the sheets and today I am suffering. Never thought my allergies were somewhat related to my laundry soap. Anyone know of a good detergent for allergy sufferers that cleans well?

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Elraes Miller

Tide has been a major problem with 4 of my family members. Oddly, the males. Hadn't paid attention to "cold" symptoms. But the rashes and hives were constant, nothing relieved them. They were miserable until I considered the soap with all getting rashes at various times.

I have never gone back to Tide and know there are others which have posted issues here. Some have no reactions. We haven't had a problem since.

I don't think it is your rinse. An allergy can show up at the oddest times or age of individual. I have gone to Arm and Hammer without problems. Actually, I buy good sales on various brands if they have been a good, clean experience. I do not like the soap with perfumes. But who knows if this too could pose an issue at some point.

There are some here who make their own soap from a mixture of off the shelf ingredients. Maybe they will chime in on this.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 10:09AM
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writersblock

I haven't been able to use Tide for many years now--they keep making it more and more vilely full of over-concentrated fragrances and allergens of all sorts.

Don't use pods. Get a "free and clear" liquid detergent and don't use more than you need--remember that most of them are much more concentrated today. It doesn't take very much.

I never use fabric softener, so can't comment on that.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 10:17AM
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ILoveRed

I use All free in the white bottle. Very little soap, diluted before it goes in. Those pods are huge.

No fabric softener. I avoid anything with perfume in my house.

Lots of hives, asthma, rhinitis, etc in our family.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 10:26AM
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tea4all

I also use All Free (of perfumes) & Clear (of dyes). Years ago my son developed a rash and it ended up that the laundry detergent was the culprit. That is when I switched to All in the white bottle. It sure helped my sensitivity to fragrances too. We do not use fabric softeners except for an occasional overnight inside my son's exceedingly smelly sport shoes.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 10:48AM
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Jstell2008

Thanks for the suggestions. I also have been having itchy skin the past few weeks, during the time I have been having trouble with my washer spinning. I just thought the itchiness was due to dry winter air. I will try ALL next. My new washer also has an allergy cycle on it. I have been tested for allergies, but they always came out to be seasonal. But, I suffer all year. So maybe it is the Tide. Do more of you have problems with Tide? I always heard it cleaned best, but it is probably doing more harm to some of us than the dirt in our clothes.........

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 11:25AM
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ILoveRed

It may take several washes to get all of the old detergents out of the clothes. One wash in the new detergent won't do it. Don't be afraid to use "extra rinse".

Again, I would not use the pods and easy on the amount of detergent. Don't use the recommended amount.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 12:03PM
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Jstell2008

Thanks red. I am going to begin washing all my clothing, etc after my new washer is installed tomorrow and I will use the extra rinse. I logically know things won't immediately improve, but I will begin. Would adding baking soda or vinegar to the wash help to speed up the process of removing the Tide? I also will stop using fabric softener. Good thing my new washer is nice and big.........

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 12:35PM
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cat_mom

I also have never been a fan of Tide (my hands used to break out with itchy red bumps when I used it to hand-wash stuff while in college).

I've had good luck using All Free and Clear (regular, 2X and 3X concentrated versions) He, in our Kenmore front loader.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 1:25PM
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function_first

We switched away from tide to All Free and Clear a few years ago. My daughter was convinced that the cessation of her previous eczema was not related to this and asked me to pick up some Downey because she wanted soft towels-- I did and she was red and itchy all over her body within one day of wearing the clothes (she's in her 20's so it was her choice). We ditched the Downey and she added a 1/2 c. Of vinegar to her loads to get the stuff out. Honestly after all of this time without the fragrances, the strong perfume smell was nauseating to us so were glad to be rid of it. If anyone knows of something that can soften fabric without making an eczema prone person break out -- I'd love to hear what you use.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 1:37PM
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footballmom

I also use the free and clear and never use fabric softener. I have been using white vinegar in my rinse and it removes the extra soap and keeps the front load washer clear. I do not have to use the washer cleaners very often. The white vinegar keeps things soft. Leaves no scent.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 2:07PM
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pricklypearcactus

I use Seventh Generation Free & Clear laundry detergent. I have a relatively new front load HE washer and it works well. Sometimes I'll use Biokleen Bac Out Stain & Odor remover with something very dirty (dog bedding, gym clothes, etc). I really love both products. I know the detergent at least is completely unscented and hypoallergenic. I can't stand washing my clothing in scented detergent anymore.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 2:18PM
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juliekcmo

Agree on the All free and clear.

They do make fragrance free softener, you may have to try and just see if it is OK to use. Would probably start with ý of the dryer sheet of the bounce with no fragrance.

Also, along the same lines, would like to heartily recommend 7th generation free and clear dish soap, and glass and surface cleaner. I can't stand how windex smells now after switching to the 7th generation free and clear. They have these at target now.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 7:05PM
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romy718

My daughter is also allergic to Tide. Her initial allergic reaction was Tide but now she develops a rash with many laundry deteregents and fabric softeners that are not fragrance free. It is not unusual to develop an allergy to something you've used regularly in the past. There is usually a rash associated with a laundry detergent allergy. Any fragrance free detergent & fabric softener should be okay.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 8:17PM
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Imhappy&Iknowit IOWA zone 6b

I switched to this system a few years ago. I'm still on my first set and I wash at least 3 loads a week and usually more. You do not use any laundry detergent with them. I've never used fabric softener but I do use the dryer balls that come in the set. I live on an acreage and have animals but I don't do mechanical work involving grease and oil. I did use some shampoo on a collar last week but that's the first time I've had to do that. They are expensive to buy but considering mine are 3 or 4 years old, pretty cheap in the long run.

Here is a link that might be useful: Complete Laundry System

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 9:55PM
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sumnerstuff

If you are looking for more natural products, i would recommend Charlie's Soap, Biokleen or Molly's Suds. All are considered low chemical load and have worked for me with my chemical allergies. Like kris_ma, I no longer can tolerate the strong smells of so many products. Hope you find something you like!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 9:58PM
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ptbecki

Second vote for Charlie's Soap. You can find it on their website or on Amazon.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 10:11PM
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okpokesfan

My DH has terrible allergies--we use Cheer Free. I don't have allergies but because we are a mainly scent free house, the smell of Gain sometimes almost overpowers me!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 11:10PM
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Elraes Miller

Softener sheets are not rec. for new dryers. I have never used them as it is. Do have those dryer balls, haven't tried them. Do they work for softening? Thought they were for eliminating wrinkles or am confused and softener does the same.

Interesting how many avoid scents. And yet we are surrounded with them. It is tough to deal with when visiting those who love their spray, plug ins, odd scented candles and baskets of over dosed scents. etc. I wonder how many that use this are unaware of the problems these can cause for those allergic. A fresh clean is so much nicer.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 11:47PM
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cawaps

I am sensitive to scents and have found that most of the "free and clear" detergents work fine for me. I usually use All because it is readily available and not too expensive.

I've had to have conversations with a few folks at work about their perfume. Most recently it was a gal who doesn't sit anywhere near me but every time she would come to visit the guy across the hall, I would choke up. I'd be thrilled if perfumes were banned, but that's a fringe opinion.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 1:56AM
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michoumonster

my family has a lot of skin allergies. our dermatologist recommended Arm & Hammer. also, to never use fabric softeners.
i have had good luck with All free and clear as well as Ecos. and i always do an extra rinse cycle. i think you can also use the baby detergent Dreft, but it is pricey and I thin the others work just as well.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 2:18AM
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Elraes Miller

Softener sheets are not rec. for new dryers. I have never used them as it is. Do have those dryer balls, haven't tried them. Do they work for softening? Thought they were for eliminating wrinkles or am confused and softener does the same.

Interesting how many avoid scents. And yet we are surrounded with them. It is tough to deal with when visiting those who love their spray, plug ins, odd scented candles and baskets of over dosed scents. etc. I wonder how many that use this are unaware of the problems these can cause for those allergic. A fresh clean is so much nicer.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 7:25AM
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Jstell2008

Thank you to everyone for your responses and help. Other than Tide, I totally agree with the smells from strong perfumes. I use mostly unscented, natural products in my home. But, for some reason I thought I needed strong Tide to clean my wash. I am going to buy a couple of your recommendations and try them in my new washer, being delivered today...... Thanks again. So much information on this blog. You guys are so smart!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 9:02AM
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Imhappy&Iknowit IOWA zone 6b

If you are using dryer sheets or I suppose even downy, be sure to wash with soap and water your dryer lint screen. The "gunk" that is on the dryer sheet ends up on the lint screen. It plugs the little holes, dryer has to work harder and harder to get air circulation and it takes longer to dry the clothes. Also a fire hazard.

As for the dryer balls softening or removing wrinkles. I have no idea. I've never used dryer sheets or downy type softeners. Every dryer I've ever owned dried permanent press clothes wrinkle free. 100% cotton, not so much. You will have to try the dryer balls in your dryer with your clothes to see if you like it. Since you already have them, what are you waiting for?

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 9:10AM
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deedles

I use Cal Ben 5 Star Soap, both for clothes and dish soap. Great stuff, perfume free.

I add a scoop of baking soda to the soap dispenser.

Put some white vinegar in your softener dispenser, too. Really helps with static and softness.

I can't hardly stand to go down the soap aisle in the store anymore because of all the nasty smells. Big corporate detergent and all that cleaning stuff is just full of unnecessary chemicals and toxins. Definitely contributes to the huge rise in allergies and God knows what all.

Here is a link that might be useful: cal ben soap

This post was edited by deedles on Thu, Dec 12, 13 at 11:27

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 11:26AM
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Elraes Miller

I haven't used the dryer balls because my thinking is they may dent the metal drum. There is a shelf which came with the dryer to put tennis shoes on for drying. This sort of made me cautious. I don't have wrinkled clothes if dried on high heat, but am cheap and bugs me to see double the amount of time for drying. Most are wrinkle free on a half hour program. Probably an odd man out, but enjoy ironing and the detailed results.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 3:41PM
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lolauren

The dryer balls don't damage anything. They are small and light. I always thought the shoe shelf was to protect the shoes from damage and not the other way around..... I could be wrong?? I use the dryer balls, and I only notice they eliminate static on clothes. (If I don't use them, there is static. If I do use them, there isn't.) I don't think of fabric softener as a necessary product as it is just coating the clothes with chemicals, so I am happy with the dryer balls.

I also use All Free & Clear because of price and availability. I have no allergies to it.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 4:18PM
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aidan_m

I find the aroma of most laundry soap to be completely offensive. I prefer the smell of sewer gas to the fragrance of Tide. Here are a couple of suggestions:

Borax powder is an excellent laundry detergent. It is also odorless. Oxyclean is made from an adduction of borax and hydrogen peroxide. I've used Borax powder to lift food and motor grease stains from cotton. It works about the same as oxyclean at a fraction of the cost.

My childred have sensitive skin. There is a scented detergent called "Caldrea" that is for people with allergies and sensitive skin. I'm not sure what fragrance we use, but it is really nice. People have even remarked about the smell coming out of the dryer exhaust.

"What is that smell?" Sniff Sniff. "Is that your fabric softener?" Sniff sniff. "What does your wife use, it smells great!"

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 4:28PM
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