If you have sensitive skin, you know how important it is to choose the right detergent. After all, your laundry detergent washes the clothes, towels and bed sheets that come in direct contact with your skin nearly every second of every day.
Unfortunately, many detergents that are hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin are just not that effective at washing away dirt, stains and odors.
So what should you look for when shopping for a laundry detergent for sensitive skin?
The Short Answer: Vapor Fresh® Laundry Detergent
Honestly, asking a detergent to be free & clear of many popular additives and also be high-performing is asking a lot. Not many laundry detergents can live up to those expectations. But Vapor Fresh® Laundry Detergent (also available on Amazon) can, and it meets all the requirements of a good laundry detergent for sensitive skin, such as--
Free & Clear Of Fragrances
As you’ll notice with most of this list, you’re going to want to avoid any additives that are designed to be effective after the wash is done. This is because if an additive is providing some sort of effect after the wash, by definition it needs to remain on the clothing to do it’s job. By remaining on the clothing, it is guaranteed to come in direct contact with your skin for extended periods of time, where it can cause problems. This is especially true for tight fitting clothes like yoga pants.
One of the best example of this sort of additive is fragrance. If the fragrance washed away in the washing machine, it wouldn’t provide any sort of scent to your clothes. Many fragrances can cause skin irritation, especially in people that have sensitive skin to begin with. For this reason, if you’re looking for a laundry detergent safe for sensitive skin, you’ll want to choose an unscented laundry detergent.
Free & Clear Of Dyes And Optical Brighteners
Some laundry detergent manufacturers add dyes and optical brighteners to their laundry detergent to artificially give your clothes the appearance of being whiter and brighter. If you have sensitive skin, you’re going to want to avoid laundry detergents with dyes and optical brighteners for two reasons.
The first reason is similar to why you want to avoid fragrances-- these additives remaining on your clothing after the wash is done in order to work, and therefore come in direct contact with your skin. Because many of these brighteners and dyes are skin irritants, you’ll want to avoid laundry detergents with them.
The second reason is from a practical standpoint-- if your laundry detergent is using chemicals to trick your eyes into thinking the clothes are whiter and brighter than they really are, how do you know your clothes are actually being cleaned? There’s some food for thought!
Free & Clear Of Softeners
Again, fabric softeners are designed to remaining on your clothes even after the wash is done. For this reason, never use a detergent with softeners or add fabric softener to your load of laundry if you have sensitive skin.
If you wash a lot of gym clothes and sports jerseys, then even if you don’t have sensitive skin you’re going to want to avoid fabric softeners. When softeners are deposited onto the surface of your gym clothes and jerseys, they clog the pores of the technical fabrics and reduce their ability to wick moisture away from your body and regulate your body temperature. Avoid fabric softeners when washing your gym clothes and jerseys to keep them working and looking like new!
If you’re using a detergent without fragrances, dyes, brighteners and softeners, you better make sure that it can clean your clothes well, because it has no margin for error! Doesn’t get all the stains out? No brighteners to cover that up! Doesn’t get all the sweat out of your gym clothes? No fragrances to cover that up!
How can you tell if a laundry detergent is high-performance? Big clues would be if it contains non-ionic surfactants and enzymes, two classes of active ingredients where laundry detergents get most of their cleaning power. Also, in general powders are more effective than liquids.
Designed For Cold-Water
Another thing to look for is that your laundry detergent is effective in the water temperatures you’ll use most often. For most people, that’s cold and warm water, but rarely hot water. Because standard laundry detergent components work best in warm and hot water, laundry detergents must be specifically formulated for cold water or they won’t be able to truly provide a complete clean for your laundry in all temperature environments. The bonus is that cold-water detergents are also way more eco-friendly!
Call us crazy, but we believe laundry detergent should be able to clean clothes so well that they don’t need to contain fragrances, dyes or brighteners to make the clothes look clean! And that’s why we formulated Vapor Fresh® Laundry Detergent to be the most high-performance free & clear laundry detergent on the market. It gets the job done and because it’s free and clear of all the skin-irritant additives, it’s safe for sensitive skin as well.