For people with sensitive skin, doing laundry can be a challenge. All you’re trying to do is get your clothes clean, but something so seemingly simple can be much harder than it looks.
The first (and often only) laundry advice given to people with easily irritated skin is to switch detergents. If that solves the problem, that’s great. But some people have cycled through countless detergents — including those free of dyes and fragrances, and marketed specifically as being “gentle on skin” — with no luck.
Fortunately, there are other laundry tips and methods that might be more helpful for those with sensitive skin. Here are a few to consider.
Laundry tips for sensitive skin
If you’ve tried detergents specifically formulated for sensitive skin, and still experience irritation from your laundry, here are a few other things you can try:
Giving your clothes a second rinse
Even after the rinse cycle, some detergent residue remains on laundry, but doing a second rinse can take care of that. Though a cold rinse will work, a hot rinse is even better (as long as it won’t damage your clothes).
Using less detergent
As we explained previously in this post, using more detergent than the directions recommend won’t get your clothes any cleaner, but will cause a number of other problems — including irritating sensitive skin. So regardless of the type of detergent you’re using, be sure you’re not adding more than you need.
Cleaning your washing machine regularly
Yes, your washing machine gets dirty (and sometimes moldy) over time, and you should be cleaning it on a regular basis. The general rule is doing it monthly, but people with sensitive skin would be better off doing it on a weekly basis.
To do this, add a cup or two of baking soda to an empty washing machine, and run a full cycle using hot water. When it’s finished, be sure to leave the lid open to let the machine air dry.
Skipping the fabric softener and dryer sheets
When it comes to sensitive skin and laundry, the focus is often squarely on the detergent, but fabric softeners (in any form) and dryer sheets can be the culprits, too. The good news is that neither are necessary, and there are several skin-friendlier alternatives, like aluminium foil balls, wool dryer balls, baking soda, and vinegar.
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