What does chemical laundry detergents do to your skin? And what are some natural alternatives for them?
“My mother used Tide, and I broke out with dermatitis, hives, and itching/irritated skin,” says one MedHelp.org contributor.
“My spouse purchased the inexpensive Xtra detergent with scent in the purple container,” another says. “I’ve experienced a skin response to it twice.”
Is it possible for laundry products to irritate and harm the skin? The answer is emphatically Yes, and the major reason is that the substances in them can leave a residue on the skin that can cause allergic reactions, irritations, hives, eczema, itching, dryness, acne, and other problems.
Let’s take a look at the primary components in detergents, bleach, and fabric softeners that might cause skin irritation and why.
Laundry Cleaning Detergents
Cleaning agents (surfactants): These compounds are used by manufacturers to increase the wetting and oil solubilizing properties of their products, allowing them to clean more effectively.
Unfortunately, these substances are also known to cause skin irritation by causing damage to the skin’s outer layer—the barrier—and altering the skin’s proteins. As a result, the skin is less able to retain moisture, causing it to dry out, which can lead to itching, cracking, and other issues.
Buffering agents are substances that change the pH balance of a solution so that it remains as acidic or non-acidic as the producer desires. In other words, it helps to keep the solution stable and completely artificial.
For example, if a detergent gets overly acidic or alkaline, it might cause fabric damage. A buffering agent helps to balance the water by counteracting the alkalinity of soap. These can be found in laundry detergents and fabric softeners.
Stabilizers are chemicals that are added to detergents in order to prevent it from separating during storage. The majority are polyalkylene oxide or ethylene oxide-synthetic compounds. Polyalkylene oxide can induce respiratory tract and ocular irritations, whereas ethylene oxide can cause skin irritation and dermatitis with extended contact.
Brightening agent: These synthetic compounds are dyes that absorb UV light in the violet area and re-emit light in the blue region, making garments look more white and less yellow.
Naphthotriazolystilbenes, benzoxazolyl, and diaminostilbene disulfonate are a few examples, but there are many more. These chemicals are likely to come into touch with the skin since they are meant to linger on the garments to alter their look.
Fragrances: Because manufacturers want you to think your clothes smell and look clean that it must be safe – however most cleaning products do contain some form of chemical fragrances that gives your tops and bottoms a certain perfume effect after laundry.
The majority of these perfumes are synthetic compounds produced from petroleum, and they may irritate the skin.
Bleach: If you’ve ever come into touch with bleach, you know how much it may burn and irritate your skin. The majority of it gets washed away in the washing machine, but if your skin is sensitive, you may still be irritated by bleach.
Be extremely careful when washing your clothes and always check the labeling for more information and what exactly it is that you are using on your clothes and skin!
Safer Laundry Detergents:)
If you want to quit using laundry bleach because of the odour or the negative effects that it has on your health or the environment, this list will show you how to produce a bleach substitute in six simple, inexpensive, and ecologically friendly methods!
Keep in mind that employing these bleach alternatives will keep your white garments brighter and crisper. They should not be used as disinfectant substitutes to kill bacteria since pine oil and other phenolic disinfectants are better suited to replace bleach in this situation.
1. Bicarbonate of Soda
Baking soda is a harmless bleach substitute that is readily available at home. As a cleaning enhancer, use baking soda with your laundry detergent. Before placing the filthy clothing in the washer, add the baking soda directly to the load. It is vital to remember that baking soda does not entirely dissolve in the automated dispenser.
2. White Vinegar, Distilled
You may use distilled white vinegar as a bleach alternative with ease. When using distilled white vinegar, soak white garments fully in a mix of one part distilled white vinegar and six parts warm water. Make careful to soak all of your clothing in the solution overnight before washing them. Don’t be concerned about the vinegar odor. It will be washed away by the detergent.
3. Peroxide of Hydrogen
Hydrogen peroxide is a bleach alternative that has modest bleaching characteristics and may be used to remove stains and enhance white clothing. Because it is biodegradable and oxygen-based, it has a lower environmental effect than chlorine bleach. As an alternative, hydrogen peroxide may be found in pharmacies or first aid kits.
To use it properly, add one cup of hydrogen peroxide to each load of washing. You may put it in the bleach dispenser or immediately into the washing machine when it fills up with water. It may be used on both white and coloured laundry. Avoid placing hydrogen peroxide directly on your clothes, as it might cause fading and spotting.
Because of its acidic and natural qualities, lemons are a suitable and harmless bleach substitute. It naturally bleaches in the same way as vinegar does. It is simple to use lemons as bleach. To brighten up filthy white clothing, add one cup of lemon juice to the washing machine.
5. Bleach Based on Oxygen
An oxygen-based bleach is a bleach replacement that is ecologically benign, kind on your clothes, and effective in making your garments brighter. It is safe to use oxygen-based bleach on both white and coloured clothing. It successfully eliminates stains and restores the vibrancy of your fabric colours.
Oxygen bleach comes in two forms: powdered and liquid. When compared to the liquid kind, the powdered form is more stable and produces superior results in cleaning and whitening textiles.
There are several limits as well: Remember that oxygen bleach cannot be used on silk, wool, or leather fibres. Soak your filthy clothing in a water-oxygen bleach solution for at least two hours before washing for best results. Also, follow the instructions on the packaging.
6. Solar Energy
Because the sun’s UV rays can naturally whiten your garments, solar power is the greatest natural bleach. It works well since UV rays disinfect materials while also brightening and removing stains from white clothing.
However, keep in mind that the sun’s rays can also erase or fade the colour from your colourful clothing. Using the sun’s UV rays may help you save money, reduce your carbon footprint, and benefit the environment overall. Just don’t go overboard!
These six DIY laundry bleach substitutes are simple to manufacture or use as stated above. They are also beneficial to both yourself, your family and the environment.
Are you thrilled to test out the superior natural and green alternatives to laundry bleach now that you know about them? If you can’t get rid of persistent stains and debris using these natural bleach replacements, bring them to Kelly’s Dry Cleaners!