If you suffer from allergies, your laundry could actually be making your symptoms worse. Here are some laundry tips you can use to ensure yours doesn’t cause flare-ups to happen.
Wash in Hot Water
A leading cause of allergies is dust mites, which can easily get into bed linens, towels, throw rugs and draperies. For this reason, you should always wash these items on the hottest setting possible, and then dry them in the dryer rather than hanging them on the clothesline. Be advised that not all items can be washed in this manner, so you should read the tag carefully before proceeding. If washing in hot water is not recommended, have items professionally cleaned instead.
Items that have been stored in your closet can easily collect dust mites during the off season. As such, you should launder items you haven’t worn in awhile to ensure they are clean. Plush toys and stuffed animals should also be washed at least semi-annually by placing them in a net bag and laundering on the gentlest setting possible.
Choose Laundry Products Carefully
The harsh chemicals found in many laundry detergents can actually make your allergies worse. If possible, purchase detergents that are free of phosphates, added perfumes or dyes. Avoid using chlorine bleach, as it also an irritant that can make allergy symptoms worse. Rather than using fabric softener, add a cup of white vinegar to your rinse cycle. Your clothes will smell fresher and cleaner, yet the vinegar itself will be unnoticeable. By doing so, you can eliminate the need for dryer sheets, which contain chemicals that can irritate your skin and nose and make breathing more difficult.
Clean your Washing Machine
Switching to products that are free from harmful chemicals may not be enough to keep your allergies at bay. To ensure there is no residue inside your washer, run it through a couple of complete cycles without adding clothing. This is especially important to do just before washing large loads of stored clothing or linens.
If you suffer from allergies, following these laundry tips is very important. Also when you bring your laundry to us, don't forget to tell us if you are allergic to certain laundry products. We would be happy to accommodate your special needs.
Image attribution: Orrling and Tomer Scheib.