Fabric Softener for Sensitive Skin (ECZEMA) W/o Scent Recommendation

Updated on April 07, 2012
M.M. asks from Pittsburgh, PA
23 answers

hi moms, my son has eczema and very sensitive to any fragrance, any natural way you can recommned as a laundry softener? thanks so much

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B.B.

answers from New York on

You don't need a fabric softener of dryer sheets!! I use 7th Generation Laudry detergent and that's it. It works great.

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4 moms found this helpful

M.J.

answers from Milwaukee on

I have MCS and I would never use a dryer sheet. There are to many chemicals in them - even without the scent!

I use vinegar in my rinse cycle and I don't dry them to long.

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4 moms found this helpful

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L.A.

answers from Austin on

To tell you the truth, fabric softner is terrible for fabrics. I suggest you quit using it at all.

It is chemicals that latch onto fabric and really never washes away.

It actually makes terry cloth , less absorbent and wears out fabric a lit faster than if you never use it.. The good fbic manufacturers do not suggest it ever be used.

I was a linen buyer for many years and learned this from many of the Linen companies.

8 moms found this helpful

M..

answers from Detroit on

Fabric softener is the WORST for eczema, in any form.

7 moms found this helpful
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D.K.

answers from Cincinnati on

Baking soda works as a natural fabric softener. It also doesn't have any smell, making it an ideal substitute for people with skin sensitivities. Adding 1/2 cup to the rinse cycle will regulate pH levels in the water and suspend detergent or mineral deposits that can cause fabric to feel stiff.

Vinegar is a great substitute for bleach and color brighteners. It combats stains, moldy smells, and detergent buildup on clothing. That last one would be where it acts like a fabric softener.

While both technically work, the baking soda will give you better results for softer, fluffier fabric than the vinegar. At least, that has been my experience.

4 moms found this helpful
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B.B.

answers from New York on

You don't need a fabric softener of dryer sheets!! I use 7th Generation Laudry detergent and that's it. It works great.

4 moms found this helpful

M.J.

answers from Milwaukee on

I have MCS and I would never use a dryer sheet. There are to many chemicals in them - even without the scent!

I use vinegar in my rinse cycle and I don't dry them to long.

4 moms found this helpful
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K.F.

answers from Salinas on

I have never understood why people use those things. You may as well dunk your clothes in a chemical cocktail before putting them on.
Why not just wash and dry them? Am I missing something?

4 moms found this helpful

K.A.

answers from San Diego on

I use white vinegar in the washing machine. I fill the fabric softener diepenser with it. I throw in 3 tennis balls in the dryer. I use a good half the laundry soap it calls for per load in the washer. I only use "free and clear", ie no dyes and no fragarances, detergent.
We are a family with allergies and this works wonderful for us.
All of my laundry comes out fresh and clean and soft.

3 moms found this helpful

C.M.

answers from Washington DC on

I also use dryer balls. There are so many fillers and bad stuff in softener and it was causing my son to get excema. Once I stopped, his skin cleared right up

3 moms found this helpful

S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

after waking up (duh!) to the realization that fabric softeners are really just a conglomeration of chemicals i've quit using them altogether. my younger son is very sensitive to chemicals too, and i wish i'd have figured it out sooner. the best fabric softener you can use is white vinegar in the rinse water. that's all i put in my downy ball any more.
khairete
S.

3 moms found this helpful

V.W.

answers from Jacksonville on

Have you tried just plain white vinegar?

3 moms found this helpful
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K.N.

answers from Boston on

I've heard baking soda in the wash helps as a fabric softener, though honestly I haven't noticed.

I have a very dear friend with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) who cannot be around artificial fragrances either. We haven't used scented detergents or any fabric softeners in years and years and, honestly, everything comes out clean and soft enough if we use the dryer rather than line dry. Now, when I encounter something that's been washed with a fabric softener it feels "slippery" to me and like there's some kind of coating on it.

2 moms found this helpful
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J.P.

answers from Chicago on

I don't use any of that because we're all allergic, but I did find that those dryer balls (just plastic) that bounce around in the dryer help the clothes to dry much faster and be softer....

2 moms found this helpful
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J.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

i dont use dryer sheets. i use those dryer balls. yes the clothes come out a little staticy but not too bad.

2 moms found this helpful
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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

To me, fabric softeners are really not needed and is just a "necessity" that people think they need and buy.
Its extra money being spent.

I have never ever used fabric softeners.
And our clothes are fine.
I never understood the purpose of fabric softeners.

If anything, you can use vinegar.

Since your son has Eczema, I would not use anything in the wash such as fabric softener.
Even fragrance free, has chemicals.
Even vinegar or lemon juice etc., has fragrance.

Have you tried going to the National Eczema Organization's website?:
http://www.nationaleczema.org/seal-of-acceptance/nea-seal...

1 mom found this helpful
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M.T.

answers from Nashville on

Have you tried using baking soda in your wash?

1 mom found this helpful
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J.S.

answers from Columbia on

Vinegar

Google vinegar and laundry softener.

1 mom found this helpful

M.S.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I used to vinegar in a Downy dryer ball, but I've been using the dryer balls for years and recommend them. You can get wool ones, if you're worried about the plastic. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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P.M.

answers from Portland on

Most commercial softeners are actually darn toxic, even without scent. I have yet to find one I can tolerate. But half a cup of white vinegar in the rinse has the dual effect of both softening fabric with its mild acidity, and also helping to elliminate detergent residue. The pickle smell goes away by the time the fabrics are dry.

If you need an anti-static treatment in really dry, cold weather, you can add a couple of capsful of a "natural, unscented" hair conditioner – it's usually the same basic softening ingredient, plus a few conditioning "botanicals." Dissolve in a cup or two of water first, or this can leave oily marks in clean clothes.

Or try these static eliminators that can be used for dozens of dryer loads, and leave no residues of any kind in your clothes: http://www.gaiam.com/product/static+eliminator+2+per+box.do. I've use a pair for over a year now, and they do a pretty adequate job on static.

1 mom found this helpful
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L.*.

answers from Chicago on

You can use any without scent .Or use a splash of white vinegar in your wash wjth the detergent and you won't have static cling. It really works =0)

1 mom found this helpful
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A.A.

answers from Tulsa on

I don't use fabric softener at all. I use Dreft for baby's laundry, and Tide free and clear for ours. When I'm out of this bottle of dreft than we will all just use the tide.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.S.

answers from Las Vegas on

I have found I can get away with 2 dryer balls and a 1/2" strip of a dryer sheet. Just enough to keep the load from clinging together.

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S.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

we use bounce free which is free of perfumes..

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A.V.

answers from Washington DC on

We personally use our grocery store "free" type fabric softener sheets, but we also do not use them every load. We've also gone to Tide Free and Clear (I like it better than ALL, though I tried to like the ALL). My DD has mild eczema. There also used to be a Toddler Fabric Softener sold at Babies R Us. You could look for that, or something by Dreft.

Next question: A Good Natural Static Reducer!