Laundry Detergent Allergy | Health Hazards Associated With Exposure


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Laundry detergent allergy is a common problem for both men and women who enjoy cleaning in the home. Cleaning does not only consist of sweeping, cleaning, polishing the areas of the home. Nor does it only cover personal hygiene. Maintaining the gardens, floors, windows, walls, and objects are also part of cleaning. However, there is another aspect that many forget to do. They all demand it, but they do not take care to enforce it. This aspect is washing clothes.

Learn More: How To Wash Clothes Without Laundry Detergent

Allergy to Laundry Detergent

Laundry Detergent Allergy

Washing Task

Washing clothes is usually a job done by women. Yet some independent men do. And it is an activity that also requires common sense and prevention. We must do this activity according to different situations.

These situations to which we refer are, for example, the type of fabric, size, colour, texture. Every time we wash our clothes, a little bit of ourselves goes down the drain.

But there is another very important aspect of washing clothes. Every time we wash our garments, they are made clean but also lose some of their original characters – this means that when you or your children put on fresh-smelling clothing with new colours, it’s not just because you’re getting rid of dirt; it may be giving up something about yourself.

This aspect is the detergent to use. There are plenty of very various detergents. Its variety depends on the cost, fragrance, duration, components, effectiveness, among other elements.

The perfection would be if, before washing clothes, people are clear about the type of detergent they need.

Here the choice of detergent should not go according to the needs but to the type of skin of the people.


This is the largest organ in the human body, and its function is to protect the body.

It must protect it from factors external to it, for example, bacteria, temperature, and chemical substances.

Skin diseases

Many skin diseases include eczema, cancer, impetigo, psoriasis, rash, infections, and itching. In this article, we will talk about the allergy to laundry detergent that sensitive skin experiences.

Detergents and Skin

Laundry Detergent Allergy

There is a skin disease that is caused by laundry detergents. The skin experiences adverse reactions to certain detergent residues that are harmful. This condition is called Contact Dermatitis.

It can occur throughout the body or in specific parts such as the groin and armpits.

The skin experiences red rashes accompanied by severe itching.

Dermatitis develops on the first contact with detergent or after repeated contacts.

Despite the wonderful fragrance that our detergent has, it also has some chemical ingredients that are dangerous for the skin. It is very common to see how some people suffer this type of adverse skin reaction to the components of the detergent used.

And not only the adult is exposed to these allergic reactions, children too.

There are preservative dyes, perfumes, and other chemicals used in clothing that can cause skin rashes in people.


If you want to prevent contact dermatitis is by using detergents free of perfumes or dyes. The most effective one for contact dermatitis


There are irritating compounds found in laundry detergents.

These compounds are surfactants or surface-acting agents that work by softening the dirt on clothes. They also loosen soil particles, and whatever they release is expelled in the washing process.

There are stronger surfactants than others and people with more sensitive skin than after these components.

Other chemicals that cause irritations and rashes on sensitive skin are artificial fragrances.

Detergent users find it very difficult to know the composition of these products. This is because companies use proprietary fragrance blends.

Laundry detergents contain other common allergens such as fabric softeners, humectants, parabens, preservative enzymes, emulsifiers, also in colours and dyes, thickeners, and solvents.

As this type of allergy develops to mild allergens, you will need small amounts of the offending substance for the reaction to occur.

Learn More: Is Fabric Conditioner The Same As Laundry Detergent

Contact Dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis can be in two different forms: one irritant and the other allergic.

This skin condition occurs thanks to contact with soaps, metals, or plants.

When irritant contact dermatitis occurs, a rash is experienced. This happens even though the person is not allergic to any component of the detergent.

This dermatitis is a common type of non-allergic skin inflammation and occurs when the upper layer of the skin is damaged. It produces an itchy rash.

But when an allergic reaction to a substance is experienced, we are in the presence of allergic contact dermatitis. When this occurs, the human body responds immunologically.


As previously stated, contact dermatitis, whether it is irritant or allergic, can occur on the first contact or after several hours.

These conditions include swelling, red rash, sensitive skin, mild or severe itching, dry skin, bumps. It can also include scaly skin, blisters that could sew up or crust over, burning or cracked skin.

Contact dermatitis usually occurs in certain areas that come into contact with strong irritants. An example of this can be the skin under a jewel. But if the symptoms appear generally, you should consider that the possible culprit is laundry detergent.

When they appear in general form, the whole body comes into contact with washed clothes and bedding. And you have to remember that there are areas where the clothes get wet with sweat, so the symptoms are worse.

People have a sensitive foot on the face. So if we use a freshly washed pillowcase, our skin will become irritated.

The same will happen with children’s or baby clothes. They commonly experience these allergic reactions under the diaper.

Atopic dermatitis

It is a reaction of our skin that causes continuous swelling, itching, and redness.

This skin condition is usually experienced by people devoid of certain proteins that retain the protective barrier against water.

How to Avoid an Allergic Reaction to Laundry Detergent

YouTube video

All sensitivities or allergies that you can experience on people’s skin can be prevented.

The best way to do this is by avoiding detergents with fragrances and colourants since they have irritating compounds for the skin.

3 Best Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin

The three best detergents that we recommend for your sensitive skin are:

  • Persil ProClean Sensitive Skin.
  • Charlie’s liquid laundry soap.
  • All Free Clear.

3 Best Laundry Detergents for Seasonal Allergies

If you experience seasonal allergies, here we suggest the three best detergents:

  • Free 7th Generation Clear Natural Liquid Detergent at Walmart.
  • Green Stoneworks laundry detergent capsules.
  • Persil ProClean Power-Liquid detergent for sensitive skin.

3 Best Detergents for Allergies & Sensitive Skin

Having sensitive skin does not mean that we will not remove a stain from our clothes or bleach them. For this, there are special detergents that protect our skin.

The best detergents for allergies and sensitive skin are:

  • Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Lavender Laundry Detergent on Amazon – Contains enzymes that prevent skin irritation and fight stains.
  • Greenstone Capsules at Amazon: They come in five natural fragrance presentations. Its composition is of vegetable origin.
  • Persil ProClean Sensitive Skin at Amazon – This laundry detergent is super effective for washing clothes. On the other hand, it is gentle on the skin. Eliminates stains and strong odors.

Laundry Detergent Allergy Reactions

Laundry Detergent Allergy Reactions

Allergic reactions experienced include burning skin, swelling, red rash, burning skin, oozing, or crusting blisters, also bumps, dry, cracked, or flaky skin, swelling, and sensitive skin.

Allergy-Friendly Laundry Detergents  

There is a diversity of detergents suitable for allergy sufferers, among which are: free and mild tide, up & up Free Clear. There are also: Dropps, Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin, Free & Gentle, and Charlie’s Liquid Laundry Soap.

On the other hand, we suggest: Persil ProClean Sensitive Skin, Seventh Generation Free and Clear and All clear free.

Everything to Know About a Laundry Detergent Allergy

To know if we are allergic to laundry detergent, we will experience some symptoms as a reaction to its compounds.

Of all the symptoms, the most common and determining factors of allergy are inflammation or red skin rash and a mild or strong rash.

How to Identify Laundry Detergent Rash

Detergent Rash

You will identify the laundry detergent rash by reacting according to the fragrances, dyes, preservatives, and other harsh chemicals in it.

All the symptoms that have been mentioned appear from having an allergy to laundry detergent.

What Causes Laundry Detergent Rashes?

The eruptions on your skin are not always an indication of a rash. The blemishes you experience can be caused by dermatitis and allergies to detergents. 

A common misconception is that redness or irritation in one part of your body will make its way across every inch until it eventually gets better all at once; this is untrue! People with sensitive skin need to read labels carefully because certain ingredients such as sodium laurel sulfate (SLS) may lead to irritability faster than others like coconut oil which has moisturizing properties.

As already said, contact dermatitis will produce various symptoms in both children and adults. Likewise, these symptoms can occur in a specific area of ​​the skin or throughout the body.

  • The most common sites for adverse skin reactions are the groin and armpits. This is because the sweat from the skin moistens the clothes and helps the reaction to be stronger.
  • The way a laundry detergent rash develops indicates that the person has skin sensitivity to detergent components. Therefore the first step is to suspend said detergent and combat the rash with creams or lotions.
  • You can relieve the rush for now by rinsing the area with cold water.
  • As you can see, when washing clothes, we must worry about identifying if our skin is sensitive to laundry detergent.
  • If it is sensitive, there are special detergents that we can buy to use in the wash.
  • Please do not wait for symptoms to appear, and we can do simple tests before using the detergent itself.
  • There are so-called patch tests where doctors examine and diagnose types of allergies.
  • Many people do not care about the detergent to use for different reasons.
  • There are those who for economy use the first soap that is at low cost.

Other people focus on the scent of the detergent.

Others in that it has a good bleach in its components and so on according to a preference.

  • What is wanted by reading this article is for people to understand the function of the skin.
  • It deserves our best care and that washing your clothes can harm you due to the poor selection of detergent.
  • You have to prevent the skin from getting sick, and prevention is the best measure.
  • You already have on hand some names of special detergents for sensitive skin.
  • There are many detergents, but we suggest the ones that have been most effective and good for sensitive skin.
  • These detergents also have deep cleaning properties for clothes to whiten, preserve colors, among other properties.
  • You can also already identify the harmful agents contained in detergents.

If we know them, we have to avoid them.

  • Among the skin conditions, those caused by detergents are also of care.
  • If we let the skin get sick, we can invest both money and time to heal it. Furthermore, these are risks that people cannot afford to take.
  • An irritant, allergic or atopic dermatitis (eczema), if they spread, will not be so easy to control.
  • We can enjoy washing our clothes and bedding using specific detergents.
  • Let’s not leave it to chance. This is a task that we must do with will and caution.

If we have the information and tools at our fingertips, letting our skin get sick is not justified.

Last Words

Exposure to laundry detergent can lead to allergic reactions in some people. The symptoms of exposure include skin rash, hives, and itchy eyes, which are common among those who suffer from these allergies. To prevent this type of incident, the best thing you can do is read the labels before purchasing a new product to know what ingredients they contain. If your current product contains any allergens or if you have a family member with an allergy, make sure that everyone washes their hands thoroughly after handling clothing stained by detergents and using gloves when loading clothes into washing machines for added protection against contact with allergens.

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