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.
Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin 4x Concentrated Free Detergent Review
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.
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.
Arm & Hammer Scent Free Powder: Latest Box Seems Like It Has A Scent
Mardi shared this observation about Arm & Hammer's scent free detergent, in the powdered version.
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?
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).
***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 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
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.
Can You Develop An Allergy To A Detergent After Using It For Years?
I got this question from EJ, asking about a possible allergic reaction to laundry detergent she has been experiencing recently.
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.
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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