Clothes making you itchy and red? Try one of these dye-free, fragrance-free detergents.
February 23, 2016
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Free and clear laundry detergents
When you have sensitive skin, the simple act of washing your clothes can be a challenge. "Dyes and fragrances in detergent and laundry soaps contain chemical substances that clean, deodorize, and disinfect, and in an overly sensitive person, even the slightest contact can trigger an allergic reaction," says New York City-based dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD, author of Skin Rules ($13; amazon.com). "Your skin will turn red, start to peel, and be dry and itchy, or you can get hives," she says.
The solution is simple: dye-free, perfume-free laundry detergents, which often have the phrase "free and clear" on the label. "These are great for everyone, but especially for those who have skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, or extremely dry skin," says New York City-based dermatologist Doris Day, MD. Try one of the following fragrance-free, dye-free detergents, including a few picks from our experts.
Both Dr. Jaliman and Dr. Day named All Free Clear laundry detergent as their top pick. All has conducted extensive research on its Free Clear products to ensure the hypoallergenic formula will clean clothes thoroughly without irritating sensitive skin. Available in liquid or pac form.
If you want the power of Tide in a version more suitable for sensitive skin, Dr. Day recommends you try this powerhouse. The pods can be used in any type of washer, and contain no dyes or perfumes. Pods are perfect for anybody who does wash at a Laundromat—carry just as many as you need, rather than the entire heavy bottle of liquid detergent. Prefer the standard liquid detergent? Tide has one of those in its Free & Gentle line, too.
An EPA Safer Choice certified product, this formula is made of 96% plant-based ingredients, yet can still eliminate tough stains like tomato sauce and strawberry juice. The concentrated formula means you use less detergent per load, making it more environmentally (and wallet) friendly.
This eco-friendly cleaner conquers dirt by using just 1 to 2 ounces of detergent per load. Besides being great for sensitive skin, it also has a built in soy softener. That means clothes come out feeling soft without the use of an added fabric softener in the dryer.
Ever see your grandma toss a cup of baking soda into the wash? She's onto something. This old-fashioned trick makes whites whiter and colors brighter. No need for the extra step with this Arm & Hammer formula; the detergent harnesses the power of baking soda along with a low-sudsing formula to get your clothes squeaky clean without irritation.
Just a tablespoon of this powdered formula will wipe away any dirt and grime and leave your clothes smelling fresh. You can also use this product to mix up a DIY spot remover that won't leave behind any irritating residue.