Arm And Hammer Perfume And Dye Free Detergent Really Helped Our Family

by Yvette Alvarez-Rooney
(Phoenix, AZ)

Yvette sent in this review of Arm and Hammer Perfume and Dye Free detergent.

Yvette says:

I noticed that my 6 year old continually coughed at night and through the night at times. It was almost an asthmatic cough and it really concerned me.


It would also happen when he would get dressed for school. I thought it was a problem with food, etc.

I realized that it was more than likely his sheets and pajamas and school clothes that were all washed in the name brand detergent.

I switched to Arm and Hammer Free of Perfumes and Dyes and he has NO MORE COUGH EVER!!

It scared me to think that the other detergent was giving off such harmful fumes that it would cause such a deep bronchial cough.

I am VERY pleased with Arm and Hammer and would even post this on their website I am so happy to have a healthy child again.

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Taylor says:

Thanks so much for sharing how this hypoallergenic laundry detergent helped your family Yvette.

That is scary to think that a detergent's scent or other allergens were causing such a health problem for your son.

Has anyone else used Arm and Hammer perfume and dye free detergent, and want to share a review? If so, you can share your Arm and Hammer detergent review here for this or any variety of this brand. In addition, you can read other reviews that have already been submitted.

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Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin 4x Concentrated Free Detergent Review

by Taylor

I recently used a bottle of a new version of this detergent which is free of perfumes and dyes -- the Sensitive Skin 4x concentrated version.

The little jug has such concentrated liquid in it that you're supposed to be able to do 60 loads of laundry with it.

First, to talk about it's cleaning power - I've been overall pleased with this detergent, since it has cleaned as expected (generally) without any offending scent.

You'd be surprised how many "unscented" detergents actually have a chemical smell to them, but this one doesn't have one that I've detected and the clothes come out clean, but scent free.

The only exception I noted to this general statement above was one of my husband's athletic jackets, which for some reason I noted continued to have a sweat smell at the collar.

Of course, this may have had more to do with the way I washed it, since I threw it in with some permanent press items on a lower water temperature setting, so this may have caused the issue, although it is disappointing that a product with "double scoops of baking soda" would allow such odors to linger.

If that is the only problem with it, I would happily buy it again, because I think the baking soda in it also helped soften the clothes, making them feel nice despite not adding a fabric softener.

However, I also had a problem with the laundry cap for this product. It is a very small cap, for a small bottle, but I definitely think I'm overfilling the detergent cap meaning I will not get anywhere near 60 loads of laundry from this little bottle.

Part of the problem, I've diagnosed, is because the instructions say to fill the cap 1/4 full for medium loads, and use more for large or heavily soiled loads.

However, the marks on the cap, which are EXTREMELY faint to begin with have a 1 and a 2 marked, and the 1 is about 1/2 of the cap, meaning for quite a few loads I was overfilling the cap based on the marks within the cap itself!

If you want people to be able to do 60 loads with this product, mark where on the cap to fill it up to get 60 loads out of it! That seems like an obvious concept to me, but it is not something the company chose to do!

Now that I know that, and finally figured it out after wasting a bunch of soap, I'll be more careful but my opinion is that they should make it much easier to actually get the number of loads advertised out of a product. In fact, I used my trick of adding a line to the cap with a permanent marker to help me know better when to stop pouring.

The reason my complaint is important is because this detergent is so concentrated, meaning that a little is supposed to go a lot farther and I bet I used 2-3 loads full of detergent the first couple of loads I washed until I got it all figured out.

Has anyone else used this detergent? If so, I'd love to hear from you, sharing how it has worked for you, good or bad. You can share your review here.

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Arm & Hammer Scent Free Powder: Latest Box Seems Like It Has A Scent

by Mardi
(Corvallis OR)

Mardi shared this observation about Arm & Hammer's scent free detergent, in the powdered version.

Mardi says:

I have used this for detergent for over 10 years.

The last box is labeled "scent free". It seems to have a fragrance, so I thought I had purchased the wrong box.

I found the smell lingering on our sheets and my husband started to itch.

I purchased a new box but it too has a odor. Has the company changed the formula? Has anyone had a similar reaction?

Taylor says:

Mardi, I did a little investigating for you about the scent free powdered detergent from Arm & Hammer. I found that it has recently been reformulated, with it saying on the website:
The detergent you love has been reformulated to pack more cleaning power in every scoop.
That is not uncommon in powdered detergents, with lots of brands compacting the powder to be more concentrated, similar to how they're concentrating the liquid detergents. However, like you said, it still says it is perfume and dye free so I'm not sure why you're smelling something, but perhaps the reformulation caused the problem.

You are the first person to tell me they've had a problem with the powder, but I actually have gotten another complaint about the liquid version all of a sudden causing an allergic reaction after having used it for years (see below).

I'd love to hear from even more people to know what they think of this detergent, especially the scent and dye free version. You can share your Arm & Hammer detergent review here.

You can also check out other reviews of even more hypoallergenic laundry detergent brands here.

***Update #1: I got a comment from a SR101 reader, who stated:
Arm and Hammer has a laundry detergent that says on the front label "Perfume and Dye Free," yet you read the ingredients on the back and it lists dye and perfume. FALSE ADVERTISING!
I have not personally tried this supposedly hypoallergenic laundry detergent, so I have not been able to look at the back of the bottle myself.

I would be curious to know if anyone else has this detergent and can confirm or deny what this reader has said is listed in the ingredients of this product.***End Update

***Update #2: I got a comment from Joyce, who said she also smelled something in this detergent now. She stated:
I am in agreement with Mardi. I noticed a soapy smell also. I have always loved this product because it was fragrance FREE. I know there is nothing we can do, but I will be looking for a fragrance free replacement. Strong odors actually make me ill. I wish I could still get the old product.
So apparently there are a couple of people now who've noticed this issue. ***End Update

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Arm & Hammer Free & Clear Detergent Left No Residue In My Washer

by Claudia
(Mission, BC Canada)

Claudia shared her review of this detergent, and what she found most important about the way it worked.

Claudia says:

My laundry was noticeably cleaner and odor free using this detergent.

As well, a very important factor was no residue ring in my washer tub. That is a very positive sign that the detergent is a good one if it does not leave any residue in the laundry tub.

Taylor says:

Thanks for sharing your review Claudia, and I'm glad you've found a detergent you like so much.

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I Developed A Bad Rash From This Free & Clear Detergent

by Alexa

I started using this a month ago and shortly after developed a rash on both of my legs. I thought it was eczema and ignored it.

Fast forward 2 weeks as it covers my thighs and knees and it itched so bad my legs were cut up and bruised from itching (mostly in my sleep).

Nothing I did helped relieve it. Over the counter allergy meds, antihistamines, hydrocortisone, calamine, etc.

I've never experienced anything like this. It was miserable.

I finally went to doctor who was shocked by the rash. It was an acute allergic reaction. I was prescribed a VERY strong steroid cream and was told to throw the detergent away.

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"FREE of perfumes and dyes!" Um, no...

by CMA
(Seattle)

I'm really sensitive to strong perfumes. It's a pain, but I've learned to deal with it. Luckily, there a a lot of perfume-free products out there, although many come at a premium price.

Recently we bought a a box of ARM & HAMMER Powder Laundry Detergent, Perfume & Dye Free. It was quite a bit cheaper than the pricey scent-free product we usually get at the local co-op. Note that "FREE of perfumes and dyes" is printed in large letters on the front of the box.

My husband started the first load. When I started pulling out the finished wash I was hit with a strong fragrance. My eyes and nose immediately began burning and watering. My sinuses clogged up and began pounding. My throat burned. I could taste the scent. I shoved everything back into the washer and started the first of two water-only cycles. It took two cycles to almost get rid of the smell.

Initially, I gave Arm and Hammer points for having a real person on the end of their customer service line. They lost all of those points when I realized that she was working off a script. I told her what had happened. After the non-apology, "I'm sorry you had this response to our product", she asked some questions. The first one was, "When did the rash start?"

I'll be getting a refund, but I don't think I ever helped her understand that a product that is marketed as being "FREE of perfumes and dyes" has to be exactly as described. Someone may well go into full asthmatic respiratory distress after trusting this product. They're lucky it wasn't me.

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Can You Develop An Allergy To A Detergent After Using It For Years?

by EJ
(Washington, DC)

I got this question from EJ, asking about a possible allergic reaction to laundry detergent she has been experiencing recently.

EJ says:

I've been using Arm and Hammer scent- and dye-free liquid detergent for years with no problem, but over the past year I've been getting rashes, mainly in my crotch.

It started about a year ago when I got a rash on the right side of my waist. A few months ago I got a rash on the left side of my waist, under my arms, and on my upper thighs.

My dermatologist did a biopsy and said whatever it was was caused by an allergic reaction. The rash ultimately subsided, but then came back more localized along the inside crease of my thighs two weeks ago.

My internist thought it was fungal, but the cream he gave me has not cured the itch. So, I assume it is another manifestation of this allergy. It is driving me crazy.

My question: Could I have developed an allergy to something in the Arm and Hammer scent- and dye-free detergent? I am assuming that is what has happened.

The bottle of the detergent does not list the specific ingredients in the detergent for some reason.

Taylor says:

Thanks EJ for asking your laundry question.

I am not a doctor, so I cannot and will not try to diagnose what your particular rash is. However, laundry detergent allergies do often manifest themselves as itchy rashes, or hives.

Although you have been using this detergent for years it is not a guarantee that you will never develop an allergy to it.

For instance, it is my understanding that allergic reactions are at least sometimes related to your immune system, and that changes with time, so you can develop or lose allergies with time.

In addition, although you may not know it, laundry detergent formulas can change, and these slight formula changes can sometimes create an allergic reaction to laundry detergent you have previously used for years without incident. (See an example above with a reader who used the powdered version of Arm and Hammer perfume and dye free detergent for years and recently noticed a scent to it).

***Important update - I also recently noticed that Arm & Hammer has come out with another detergent, with the same light green cap, which is called "Sensitive Skin Plus Skin-Friendly Fresh Scent." It is a dye free formula that has a scent to it that they say shouldn't bother people's allergies. I would definitely be careful when grabbing a jug of detergent not to accidentally get this one, with the scent, if you also cannot use fragrances since it looks VERY similar to the jug which is both dye and scent free.***

I will give you the same advice I gave to many readers, which is to try out a new hypoallergenic laundry detergents, until you find one that doesn't cause you to get any rashes or you otherwise figure out, with the assistance of your doctor, what is causing your rashes in this case. Buy the smallest bottle possible until you find one that works for you, so you don't waste money on a lot of bottles that might not work for you.

Good luck! I know it can be frustrating to deal with this issue.

You can share your laundry detergent review here for this or any brand, telling me which ones you like (or don't) and why. I'm also always interested in scent and dye free product reviews, to share with other fellow allergy sufferers.

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Comments for Can You Develop An Allergy To A Detergent After Using It For Years?

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Allergic Reaction
by: Anonymous

I do not have any sensitivities to things and was very shocked to get this severe allergic reaction to laundry detergent. I used this brand and now have a very sore, itchy rash all over my body.

Hives with new Arm & Hammer HE detergent
by: Jane

I have used Arm & Hammer sensitive skin powdered detergent for years. Worked great and no skin irritation. A few months ago, we got a new High Efficiency washer. It said we should use HE liquid laundry detergent and so I bought Arm & Hammer for sensitive skin. Even after running each wash with a double rise, our whole family is having issues with itchy, irritated skin. Do not know what to do as A & H worked so well. Have to check if I can use the powder in the HE washer-if not any suggestions??

Sensitive Skin Formula NOT for Sensitive Skin
by: Alicia

I've been using Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Free of Perfumes & Dyes for about a year now. However, for the past 2 months I have developed an extremely itchy rash (hives) all over my body from my neck to my feet. I've been to my primary care physician who ran blood and urine tests, went to the dermatologist who completed a biopsy on my back, had bug exterminators come twice to check my apartment, and spent over $100 on medications (thought it was fungal, then thought it was body lice). Still, no relief. Everyone asked about my detergent but being that it claims to be for "sensitive skin" I never considered it. Until my boyfriend moved in and started using it as well and he developed the same itchy rash. Two months of frustration, pain, discomfort, time, and MONEY thrown away. Now I have to rewash loads of clothes, bedding, towels, and blankets just to get some relief. I have no idea what changed whether it was the product or my body but thanks for nothing. I do NOT recommend this product.

Developed a sudden allergy to scented A & H so I hope this works!
by: Anonymous

I've used this brand for years, because I'm extremely allergic to Gain detergent and after a full body reaction to Gain I switched to this brand. I'd always been very satisfied with the Arm & Hammer detergents, however after purchasing a new scent (Twilight) I experienced a full body allergic reaction (hives). I threw the new bottle out and bought the sensitive skin one so hopefully it will work! I've rewashed my laundry and the hives seem to be going down (3 days now). I'll need to make sure I purchase their free and clear products from now on.

If you are having problems with detergent read this
by: BridgovertroubledH20

If you are having problems with a "FREE" detergent after many years of use, please take this into consideration. They are ultra concentrated and in many cases the amount of detergent that the bottle tells you to use is too much. We use Arm and Hammer Sensitive Skin liquid for all machines and it works in HE machines.

If your clothes smell soapy, like ammonia, or have any other kind of chemical odor to them and you are using Arm and Hammer Sensitive Skin Liquid (unless it's the Sensitive Skin Plus) there is NO odor. If you are smelling an odor you are using too much detergent. Wet laundry with too much detergent on it will often smell like soap, laundry detergent, or ammonia. If this happens, wash the laundry again, a full cycle, with an extra rinse cycle, but don't add detergent. Adding plain vinegar to the rinse cycle can help speed up the get rid of the odor process.

How much detergent should you use depends on the size of your machine. For a full washing machine doing a heavy load we use 1 tablespoon of detergent, just one tablespoon. The clothes come out looking clean and smelling fresh with no odor. Any more than that, and the clothes have an odor to them.

rash everywhere
by: Anonymous

I have broken out in a rash everywhere -- bikini line, arm pits, hands, it's terrible. Don't use this detergent! Nellie's All Natural Soda is the way to go!

Me too
by: Anonymous

I have had the same reaction to the scent free/allergy friendly detergent and am about
to look for another company's product. The itching has been horrible and like you, legs, arms, lower back, etc, etc: unbearable, even with using steroid cream. Please, reformulate this again !!

Used for years then had and awful reaction
by: Anonymous

I have used Arm and Hammer scent free for years, and just recently bought two big jugs of the scent and dye free ones. Within one week, I now have the worst outbreak of itchy bumps on my back and torso and I now think it is because someone changed the formula. The bumps on my face are red and itchy and I have marks that look like scratches all over my forehead and eyes. Now what product do I use? No lotion or pill the Dr. ordered has helped.

Sensitive skin
by: Leigh Anna

As I am aging my skin has become more sensitive so I started using this product free of scents and for sensitive skin. My husband and I have been using this product for six years and are very satisfied.

sensitive skin version caused severe allergic reaction
by: Trucinda

For a long time I used plain old original Arm & Hammer. A couple of weeks ago I noticed it wasn't available anymore, so I switched to the one for sensitive skin. Now I had to go the doctors and get a prescription for a severe allergic reaction. Toms did the same with their bar of soap. This stinks because I get hives from everything else. Now I have to play guinea pig with my skin until I find a detergent that works. It it's not broken don't fix it!!!!

itchy reaction
by: Kim

Terrible reaction, itchy all over bras and panties, had to rinse twice before I could use again. Had to wash four loads of laundry in just distilled vinegar. Only Relief. Will never risk using this product again.

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