​Is Your Laundry Routine Hurting Your Eczema?

​Is Your Laundry Routine Hurting Your Eczema?

Elizabeth Scott

Soft and clean clothes are a must for eczema prone skin. But is your normal laundry routine causing your eczema to flare? Just because you have eczema doesn't mean you don't have clothes requiring extra stain or odor removal. There are some ways to boost your laundry routine without harsh chemicals. 

Laundry detergents can contain enzymes, bleach, perfumes, surfactants that help loosen stains, lipase to remove oils, amylase for some soils, and cellulose to keep cotton in good shape. But some of these, especially frangrance can be a trigger for sensitive skin and eczema. I have two boys - one with eczema and allergies so we usually use a detergent that's fragrance free and made for sensitive skin.  But once baseball season starts and both boys are bringing home dirty and stinky uniforms, I'm guilty of switching to a more traditional stain removing and good smelling detergent.  I know it’s not the best for our son who has eczema and allergies, but how else to get rid of the stink and stains? After doing more research I came across some tips I may try this spring season. In addition I'm going to start washing the right way, such as using only the recommended amount and doing an extra rinse each wash. Your clothes will have less residue and it lowers the chance of irritants touching your skin. 

Tips for a healthy wash day:

  • When switching between detergents first do a short cycle rinse with vinegar to wash out any leftover residue from the old detergent.
  • Wash all new clothing, sheets, blankets and towels per directions before using. This holds true for your AD RescueWear clothing too, wash before using.
  • Use a gentle wash bag for delicate clothing – especially for delicate items like your child’s Rescue Suit or other eczema clothing.
  • Choose a detergent that is hypoallergenic, free of dyes and synthetic fragrances.
  • Try a liquid detergent over powder. Liquid detergent usually leave less residue than powder versions.
  • Use only the recommended amount of detergent, using too much can make it harder to rinse out.
  • Use your machine’s second or extra rinse cycle.
  • Check out the Environmental Working Group website for a list of the healthiest detergents.
  • To eliminate odors, try adding a ¼ cup of vinegar or squeezing half a lemon into the wash. We may try this on our kids baseball uniforms!
  • Try a DIY dryer sheet - mix 1 cup of vinegar to 25 drops of an essential oil, moisten small pieces of cut up clean cloths and store in a jar.  Use one for each dryer load. 
  • Check all ingredients for possible allergens. One customer of AD RescueWear was using wool dryer balls and then realized they had lanolin which she was allergic to.
  • If your baby has eczema, consider washing your baby clothing separately from other very soiled clothing.
  • Check out the National Eczema Association’s website for products that have the NEA Seal of Acceptance.
  • Keep all laundry detergents high up and out of reach of children.

We hope these tips make for a happy laundry experience for you and your family!