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How do I Choose the Best Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent?

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  • Written By: M.C. Huguelet
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2016
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For those with skin sensitivities as well as the environmentally conscious, traditional laundry detergents may not be a suitable choice. Free from artificial chemicals, dyes, and fragrances, hypoallergenic laundry detergent is often a better option for those with sensitive skin and those who wish to minimize their environmental impact. To choose the best hypoallergenic laundry detergent for you, consider whether you prefer a liquid or powder formula and whether you would like a product containing a natural fragrance. If eco-friendliness is your primary concern, consider the packaging of your potential hypoallergenic laundry detergent choice as well as analyzing its labeling to ensure that it is “green.”

Hypoallergenic laundry detergent is produced by specialty companies as well as some mainstream detergent manufacturers, and is available in a wide variety of formulations. To decide which is best for you, narrow down your choices by considering whether you would prefer a liquid or powder formula. Some argue that liquid formulas lift stains better than their powder counterparts. Powder detergents tend to have a longer shelf life than liquid ones, however, and their production requires less water waste. Many environmental advocates suggest that if you wish to use liquid detergent, you should choose a concentrated product because it creates less packaging and water waste than non-concentrated formulas.

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Once you have decided whether you would like a powder or liquid hypoallergenic laundry detergent, consider whether you would like a product containing a natural fragrance. Many hypoallergenic detergents contain plant or flower oils or essences, such as citrus or chamomile, which infuse laundry with a pleasant scent. Even though such fragrances are naturally derived, however, they may irritate the skin of very young children as well as those with plant allergies. Should you or one of your dependents have plant allergies or extremely sensitive skin, you may wish to choose a detergent that is totally free of fragrances.

If eco-friendliness is your primary concern, consider the packaging of your potential hypoallergenic laundry detergent choice. In addition to utilizing minimal packaging, an eco-friendly product’s bottle or box should be made from recycled materials, and should also be easily recyclable. You should also study a product’s back panel to ensure that it lives up to the “green” claims which appear on its label. For instance, you should attempt to verify that the product has not been tested on animals. Further, you should avoid detergents which list ingredients with unspecific names, such as “color brightener,” as it is difficult to determine whether such ingredients are genuinely “green.”

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anon972913
Post 3

There's this new detergent I use for cloth diapers called puretergent. They have three formulas which are all hypoallergenic. The "fresh" formula is for whites and dirty stuff. It actually takes all the nasty stains away and the clothes come out smelling clean. I can't believe it does that without any harsh chemicals, and it's grey water safe too! You can find them online.

jennythelib
Post 2

@ElizaBennett - I would never have thought of looking up cloth diapers to find natural laundry detergent! A friend of mine is always after me to make my own from borax, washing soda, and bar soap, but I'm just not quite that domestic. (More power to those who do, of course - that way you are *really* in control of what goes into it.)

I'm also wondering if you would get soap scum buildup on your clothes from using bar soap; it seems like it would turn them yellow over time. (Isn't that what they used to use bluing for?) But I have been looking for a more eco-friendly laundry detergent brand, so I'll see what I can find that's marketed for cloth diapers. Thanks for the tip!

ElizaBennett
Post 1

If you're looking for natural laundry detergent, you might try checking out cloth diapering websites! These will often not only sell natural detergents, but will also rate detergents according to what ingredients they have. Most cloth diaper manufacturers recommend using detergent with no fragrance, optical brighteners, etc. My favorite brand is Rockin' Green, which comes both scented and unscented and has varieties for hard, soft, and regular water.

Another advantage is that some cloth diaper websites have free shipping with no minimum, so you can order natural laundry products cheaply and easily! Amazon has some options as well if you have Prime or reach the minimum order.

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