Nothing adds a wrinkle to doing laundry like sensitive skin. The wrong detergent or improper washing technique can irritate the skin — or worse — and make a seemingly simple household chore anything but routine. The good news is that with a few convenient, easy-to-implement laundry practices, you can refresh your clothes while keeping your skin happy and healthy. From choosing hypoallergenic laundry sheets to mastering ways to wash, read on for helpful laundry tips and methods all of us with sensitive skin can safely embrace.
Choose hypoallergenic laundry detergent
Ordinary liquid and powder detergents often contain harsh chemicals and fragrances that can leave your skin itchy, red, and aggravated. So, say goodbye to that old way of doing laundry and instead switch to SaltyLama’s hypoallergenic laundry sheets. These innovative, plant-based sheets dissolve in seconds in the wash, providing a gentle cleaning experience. They are less likely to irritate skin and are particularly convenient for individuals with sensitive skin. Each sheet is composed of two strips. For a regular load, rip a strip and place it in the detergent drawer of your washing machine or into the drum itself with your clothes.
Prioritize fragrance-free products
Fragrances can easily trigger skin sensitivity, so go for fragrance-free options when picking up your laundry products, such as fabric softeners and dryer sheets. This will reduce the risk of skin irritation and allergic reactions. Plus, they still provide the benefits of softness and static control without the added scents that can cause discomfort. And if you want your clothes to have a fresh scent after the wash, spray with a natural, sensitive-skin-friendly fabric freshener.
Use gentle washing techniques
Proper washing techniques can make a significant difference in caring for sensitive skin. Here are the best laundry techniques to follow:
- Sort your laundry based on fabric type and color to avoid any damage or color bleeding.
- Use the appropriate water temperature. Cold or lukewarm water is generally best.
- Opt for a gentle cycle to minimize agitation and friction on your clothes.
- Limit the amount of detergent you use. Too much detergent can leave residue on your clothes, leading to skin irritation. Follow the recommended amount or even slightly less for sensitive skin.
- Rinse clothes thoroughly to remove all detergent residues. Many washers have the option for an “extra rinse,” so it might be worth trying.
- Avoid using fabric softeners or dryer sheets, as they can contain irritants. Instead, try natural alternatives like wool dryer balls to soften fabrics without the risk of skin reactions.
Consider natural additives for your laundry
If you’re worried fragrance-free alternatives won’t get the smell out, you can turn to natural ingredients to neutralize odors while being gentle on sensitive skin. Try tossing a bit of baking soda into your washer. Baking soda is known for its ability to absorb odors. Then, if you desire an extra boost of softness, consider adding distilled white vinegar to the rinse cycle. Vinegar acts as a natural fabric softener and can help alleviate skin irritations.
Be mindful of your fabric choices
When purchasing new clothing or linens, be mindful of the fabrics you choose. Avoid synthetic plastic-based materials like acrylic and polyester. Instead, choose natural, breathable materials like cotton, bamboo, or linen. These fabrics irritate sensitive skin less than synthetics. You can also avoid garments with tight elastics, rough textures, or ragged seams that may irritate the skin.
Always wash before you wear new clothes
In the fast-paced world of clothing manufacturing, many brands use chemicals to prevent wrinkles in their garments during shipping. Although intended for convenience, these chemicals can be problematic if you have allergies or sensitive skin, so wash them before you wear them.
Give extra care to your bedding and towels
Bedding and towels come into direct contact with your skin for prolonged periods. To ensure optimum comfort:
- Wash bedding and towels frequently to maintain cleanliness and remove allergens or irritants.
- Consider using a mild, hypoallergenic laundry detergent for the best experience.
- Avoid using fabric softeners on towels, as they can reduce absorbency and leave a residue that irritates the skin.
- Dry bedding and towels thoroughly to prevent the growth of mold or mildew, which can trigger skin reactions.
Wash your items separately
If you’re doing laundry and have sensitive skin, keep your items separate from everyone else’s in your household. Invest in your hamper to prevent your clothes, linens, or towels from getting picked up and placed in other laundry loads. This will separate your items and avoid unnecessary flare-ups on your skin. However, if you can get your household on board using a hypoallergenic alternative, you’ll use less water and resources than you would doing separate washes. Remember, our laundry sheets aren’t just for those of us with sensitive skin. Everyone will reap the benefits from a sustainable option with no harsh chemicals.
Following these best practices, including switching to hypoallergenic detergent, ensures a soothing laundry experience for your delicate skin. Taking extra steps to protect and pamper your sensitive skin may seem tiresome, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be grateful you did. Your skin will thank you for the gentle care!