What are the Effects of Laundry Detergent on Skin?

laundry detergent on skin

What are the Effects of Laundry Detergent on Skin?

Laundry detergent makes the clothes clean and fresh, but you can’t ignore the effects of laundry detergent on the skin. You may think you smell like morning dew or spring rain, but chances are, your laundry detergent is full of toxic chemicals. The ingredients in standard detergents have sometimes caused allergic reactions in people.

Several ingredients are the effect of laundry detergents on skin irritation in children and adults. These include fragrances, preservatives, dyes, and other chemicals. Contact dermatitis, which appears as a red, itchy rash around the armpit and groin, can be triggered by laundry detergents.

The laundry detergent you use may smell as fresh as a summer afternoon. Still, regular leading brands contain harmful chemicals that have adverse health effects, from skin irritation to cancer rate, and cause environmental damage.

Scientists have discovered dryer vents produce more than seven harmful air pollutants. If you own a dryer that does not exhaust outside or is blocked, chances are it causes indoor air pollution.

Whether it’s your first exposure or repeated exposure, laundry detergent can cause allergies or sensitivities. Using fragrance- and dye-free detergents is an excellent way to prevent detergent rashes.

Symptoms of Skin Allergy

An allergy or sensitivity reaction to a detergent may occur immediately after washing your clothes or many hours later. There may be symptoms such as:

  • A rash of redness
  • Various degrees of itching
  • A blister that oozes or crusts over.
  • Bumpy
  • Irritated, cracked, or scaly skin
  • Skin of tenderness
  • Irritation of the skin
  • Inflammation

Dermatitis usually develops on the skin beneath jewelry, which is typically in contact with solid irritants. The presence of widespread symptoms, however, suggests wash detergent might be a possibility.

You can develop symptoms anywhere because washed clothing and linens come into contact with your entire body. Some people have difficulty breathing when their garments become damp. This could be the case in the armpits and groin. Your face may be sensitive to the fresh scent of a freshly washed pillowcase.

Whenever you notice rash-like symptoms in your baby or toddler, consider which areas of their body have not been exposed to freshly washed clothing. Usually, this includes their face or head, along with the area under their diaper.

Various Effects of Laundry Detergent on Skin

Let’s learn a bit more about the effects of laundry detergent on skin.

Contact Dermatitis

It is a skin condition caused by coming into contact with soaps, plants, or metals. The two main types are allergic and irritant contact dermatitis. Despite not being allergic to anything in your laundry detergent, you can get a rash if you have irritant contact dermatitis.

Non Allergic skin rashes can manifest as irritant contact dermatitis. The top layer of your skin becomes damaged by an irritating substance, resulting in an itchy rash. If you are exposed to a detergent for the first time or repeatedly, you may experience a reaction.

In allergic contact dermatitis, your skin reacts to a substance. You produce an immune response when you have an allergic reaction.


In laundry detergents, various ingredients might irritate the skin.

Surfactants, or surface acting agents, are found in detergents as well. Using surfactants, dirt and oil particles are loosened and thus wash away more quickly. Harsh surfactants can aggravate people with sensitive skin.

In addition to chemical fragrances, a variety of additives can cause skin reactions and irritation. Most detergent manufacturers use proprietary fragrance blends, so it is difficult to determine what is contained in each.

The following are also common laundry detergent allergens:

  • Stabilizers
  • Phyto Enzyme
  • Dyes and colors
  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Soaps and detergents
  • Compensators and solvents
  • Emulsifiers

It is common for mild allergies to develop after repeated exposure, such as those caused by laundry detergents. However, allergies can be caused by relatively small amounts of an offending substance.

Prevention of Skin Allergy

Here are some tips to ignore the

Avoid using fragrance- or dye-based detergents

Artificial fragrances and dyes can be irritating to those who are sensitive to them. Seventh Generation Free and Clear is a natural substitute, dye- and fragrance-free, and vegetable-based.

You should Rinse your Load Two Times

If you want detergent residue to stay away from your clothes, a second rinse cycle could be all you need. Ensure that the water is hot enough to kill allergens.

Replace fabric softener and dryer sheets with dryer balls

To decrease your use of chemical products, you can skip fabric softeners and dryer sheets. In addition to softening clothes and reducing static forces, dryer balls offer another benefit of reducing the likelihood of irritants.

Baking Soda and Vinegar are Effective

Cleaning with baking soda and vinegar is an excellent alternative to chemical cleaners. They can use in place of detergent or a second wash cycle. A natural brightening and softening products can be purchased organically.

Using homemade detergent

Borax and washing soda can use to make detergent. Using this solution saves you money and eliminates fragrances and dyes. Castile soap based on olive oil can provide additional cleaning power.

Wash the Washing Machine

You should always wash the machine with the proper detergent after every load if there is a family member with chemical sensitivities. If the machine has soap scum or chemical buildup, using baking soda and vinegar can help remove them.

Natural Remedies for Stain Removal

If stains persist after treatment with water, washing soda, and baking soda, you should use chemical stain removers.

Sum Up – Laundry Detergent on Skin

Cleaning agents, including regular tap water, have an impact on the skin surface. Increasing the skin’s pH will cause irritation to its ‘acid mantle’, change the bacterial composition, and alter the activity of enzymes in the upper epidermis, which has an acid pH optimum.

As a result, the skin’s hydration status may be disrupted, leading to dry, squamous skin. When we use laundry detergent, our skin is damaged for several reasons.

The use of laundry detergent on the skin results in irritation. To keep our clothes clean, we need to make homemade laundry detergent. It may help to avoid skin irritations if we follow all the strategies mentioned earlier.

Read Also: How to make Homemade Laundry Sanitizer?

About the author

Anthony Perfetti
Owner | long island laundry company

Anthony Perfetti is the owner of Long Island Laundry Company and has over 20 years experience professionally processing laundry for many customers throughout Long Island. He often contributes his knowledge to the community about the laundry service industry and laundry best practices. With this blog he will be sharing with you some interesting laundry facts he has learned along the way.

Trust the Experts! Let Long Island Laundry Company do your laundry for you. We are the premiere Wash and Fold service on Long Island.