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How to Spot and Avoid an Allergic Reaction to Laundry Detergent

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Before kids, the laundry detergent that I bought was pretty much whatever was on sale that week. I have never been partial to any particular brand and just wanted something that worked. When my first child was born, at a few months old he started breaking out in rashes and eczema, so I made sure that I purchased something for sensitive skin and fragrance free. But that was the extent of it.

It wasn't until my daughter was born 10 years later that I really started researching about the ingredients in conventional laundry detergent. The more I researched the uglier things became.

Did you know that  some most conventional laundry detergents contain cancer-causing chemicals?

Some of the worst ingredients you will find in laundry detergent are:



Not only can these ingredients cause common skin irritation but they can also cause respiratory problems, eye irritation problems, cancer and can disrupt your endocrine system.

Dr. Mercola States:

The average family washes approximately 80 pounds of laundry per week—or 35 billion loads of laundry per year! This means that 17.5 billion cups of laundry detergent are being used every year in the U.S. alone. Not only can you come in contact with caustic chemicals via your clothing, from having been laundered in them, but you can breathe them into your lungs once they become airborne in the process of doing your laundry. The detergent you're using may contain a cocktail of potent cancer-causing chemicals, some of which the manufacturer doesn't even have to list on the label. This loophole reduces the odds that you'll ever discover what's in there.

These Detergents are some of the worst and should definitely be avoided:

There are too many to list…

How to Spot and Avoid an Allergic Reaction to Laundry Detergent |

Are You Having an Allergic Reaction to Laundry Detergent?

Not only can detergents be poisonous but they can also trigger allergies and asthma. The perfumes and chemicals used can cause your body to react negatively resulting in a variety of symptoms. If you experience any sort of rash or discomfort such as itching or blisters, this could be a reaction to your detergent.

Avoid Allergic Reactions with Safer Detergent Options:

There are more natural, safer laundry detergent options available, but be sure to do your research when purchasing laundry detergent. Companies are not required by law to list all of their ingredients, which can make it especially difficult to know whether or not you are purchasing something safe.

The Environmental Working Group has a great resource to help you find a safe detergent. You can check it out here. I would recommend finding one with an “A” rating for the safest option.

Homemade Laundry Detergent:

Although there are safer laundry detergent options out there, they can be expensive. I got tired of spending the money and just recently switched to homemade laundry detergent. I can't believe how easy and so much cheaper it is. I don't think I could ever go back. This is the recipe I use and it's my very favorite so far:

Non-Toxic Laundry Soap from Delicious Obsessions


Photo Ownership: Delicious Obsessions

The only way to really prevent an allergic reaction to laundry detergent is to know exactly what is in your detergent. The recipe above only uses a few ingredients so I know exactly what I am putting on our clothes and essentially in our bodies.

Do you make your own detergent? I would love to hear about it!


Mindy Benkert

P.S. Here are a few other posts that may pique your interest:

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