It’s deeply frustrating. You go through all the trouble to pick out high-quality towels. Then, you or a family member starts getting a rash every time you use them.
You might think it’s a problem with the towels right at first. Maybe there’s a chemical lingering on it from the packaging or the factory.
You wash them all again. The same thing happens.
It’s not all in your head or a problem with the towels themselves. The problem lies with the laundry detergent.
If you’re like most people, you picked out a laundry detergent because it works well and smells good. It turns out that most detergents use very harsh chemicals, potent dyes, and intense fragrances.
All of those things can trigger episodes of contact dermatitis. Mild cases of contact dermatitis show up as a red rash that can prove very itchy.
It can also appear as blisters or cracked skin in more severe cases. Scratching can contribute to infection. So, solving the problem quickly is in everyone’s interest.
If you changed detergents recently, there’s a good chance that switching back will solve the problem. Still using the same detergent? Allergies can develop over time through multiple exposures.
If you think that your detergent is the culprit, it’s time that you give one of the hypoallergenic detergents a try.
In general, hypoallergenic detergents use no fragrances or dyes in their formula. That limits the odds that your skin will react to the detergent.
Some detergents take it a step further and use only natural ingredients. The driving idea is that fewer chemicals create fewer opportunities for allergic reactions.
Not sure the problem stems from your detergent? Prefer a less all or nothing option?
Washing machines do a pretty good job of rinsing out the dirt and detergent. It’s by no means a perfect rinse.
You can expect a fair residue of detergent to ride your towels into the dryer. Then, it gets deposited on your skin.
You can try putting your towels through an extra rinse cycle. The second cycle should wash away more of the detergent chemicals. Reduce the total exposure and it may resolve the allergic reaction.
People washed clothes long before modern laundry detergents came along. Most DIY recipes call for a combo of borax, washing soda, and bar soap. The bar soap typically gets shaved down, then melted into a mixture.
If all else fails, you can try the DIY approach. It will cut down on the total chemical exposure.
One word of caution. High-efficiency washers may not deal well with DIY detergents.
Parting Thoughts on Laundry Detergents
Laundry detergents contain a lot of chemicals. Those chemicals can trigger allergic reactions in some people.
If your detergent causes contact dermatitis, you can take one of a few choices.
You can use a hypoallergenic detergent. You can add an extra rinse cycle. You can try a DIY detergent on your towels.
If these solutions don’t work or the rash grows worse, make an appointment with your doctor.
Enchante Home specializes in high-quality home textiles ranging from towels to robes and pillows. For more information about our products, please contact us today.