Loved Downy Unstopables Lush Scent But Caused Daughter To Get Rash
What follows below are lots of submissions I've received from readers who've all experienced an allergic reaction to Downy Unstopables (or their loved one has).
I've got my own personal theory of why this product seems to be causing such severe reactions for some people -- the product is designed to produce a VERY intense scent. (I'm not singling out this product for vilification either - I've gotten similar reports for lots of other laundry products too, especially laundry scent boosters from many brands.)
Since scent is one of the major triggers of allergies, especially when that product then comes into close and prolonged contact with the skin, like laundry products do, when you purposefully do it you're creating a recipe for disaster for those amongst the population who suffer from laundry detergent allergies, which actually aren't caused by just detergents but any laundry supplies containing allergens.
However, I would caution that many of the stories below are from people who had NO IDEA they or a family member had allergies to products such as this, so don't assume because there hasn't been a problem in the past that you're immune now.
Plus, consider guests to your home, who may have allergies or sensitivities to certain smells who may have a major medical incident if you washed their guest sheets with this scented product, for example!
***Update - this page got way too long, because I've received so many submissions.
Now, without further ado, here are the submissions I've received from readers, telling their experiences with this laundry scent booster that should serve as a caution to others to at least think about it, before using this product.
The first of these is from an SR101 reader who shared her opinion of the "Lush scent" of Downy Unstopables (which is a lavender smell).
SR101 Reader says:
I found this at Walmart and tried it on a whim. I really liked the lavender scent and when it ran out I got more.
Unfortunately, I finally figured out that it was causing a body rash on my daughter. She isn't prone to skin rashes from products (in fact this was the first time ever) so perhaps there is something in it that is more irritating that the usual laundry products.
Anyway, I'm disappointed because I really did like the smell.
Thanks for sharing your experience. Unfortunately, this is not the first time I've heard this product causes an allergic reaction.
Frankly, I'm not very surprised, mainly because the product is touted as a way to add a LOT of smell and scent to clothing. The more scent added the more likely even those not normally prone to allergic reactions will react adversely, especially since the scent is right next to the skin, which can be very sensitive.
Therefore, I suggest using all such scent adding products, especially those that will be used as part of your laundry supplies, to be used with caution until you determine whether all your family members can handle it.
I received this comment from a SR101 reader who has a definite opinion about Downy Unstopables.
SR101 Reader says:
We are above the laundry room in our building. One of our neighbors has unfortunately started using this product.
Every time they do the laundry the stench is overpowering and nauseating for a day or two afterwards, and causes everyone to have eye and sinus irritation.
We know it is the Unstopables because the wrappers are always on top of the garbage in the laundry when it happens.
The building owner already had the laundry room vented into the garage so it shouldn't be coming through apartment windows, but when Unstopables are used, it is still overpowering in the apartments.
So sorry to hear that your neighbor's actions are causing you such problems, especially since he or she probably has not considered this possibility at all and most likely has no idea it's bothering you so much.
It reminds me of my mother, who is quite allergic to many things. Whenever a woman in church would come in and sit down in a pew close to her who had lots of perfume on my mom would have to get up and move away, or she would have such a bad allergic reaction she would be sick for several days. These little old ladies had no idea they were causing problems for others, but it was a problem just the same.
Unfortunately for you, you can't just move to a different church pew like my Mom could. I don't have any great suggestions for you because I have found that people who don't suffer from allergies don't seem to understand how badly various strong scents can effect people that have those allergies.
Perhaps you could nicely show your neighbor this web page, where I've gathered not only your review but many others where people across the country have been reporting allergic reactions to Downy Unstopables.
If you've used this product I would love to hear a review from you, good or bad. You can share your review here, or read other reviews that have already been submitted, along with my information about the product.
I Eventually Added So Much Lush Scent I Broke Out In Hives
by SR101 Reader
A SR101 Reader shared this experience with this laundry scent booster with me.
SR101 Reader says:
I used this product--Unstopables--for about two weeks or so, and I loved the scent.
I kept using more and more with every load of wash, and today, I broke out into hives all over my body, and only in the places that come in contact with clothing (I still have them now, and it's been over 12 hours).
I don't usually react this way to laundry detergent products (even though I have fairly sensitive skin), but it's the only thing in my diet/routine that has changed.
I'm going to re-wash all of my clothes and hope the hives go away!
I recommend that those with skin sensitivities be careful with this product, and if you do use it, make sure you don't overdo it.
Thanks so much for sharing your experience.
I think you bring up a good point. The way this product is advertised it says you can use as much as you want, and that the more you use the more intense the smell.
I think this really encourages people to overdo it to the point that even those who normally don't have allergies to lots of scents experience a severe reaction.
In my personal opinion they should change their advertising and give a maximum amount that should be used per load, so that people don't feel like they can use even more and almost guarantee themselves or a person around them misery from too much perfume!
Sore Throat, Sneezing And Itchy Nose Because Of Unstopables
by SR101 Reader
An SR101 Reader wrote in sharing a slightly different allergic reaction to this product that many others.
SR101 Reader says:
After using the Downy Unstopables I woke up with a mild sore throat, nasal irritation and sneezing and I thought I was coming down with a cold.
The sore throat got worse each morning, but went away during the day.
By day three, the sore throat was worse (a moderate sore throat) and my nose was very itchy.
This wasn't progressing like a normal cold and I kept getting better throughout the day.
Then I figured out, my pajamas had been washed with the Unstopables. I hadn't worn anything else which had been washed in it. I had put a full capful into the wash and my pajamas smelled really strongly.... And I was breathing it in all night long.
Everyone else seems to be having a skin reaction, but I had none. Did anyone else have the sore throat, sneezing, and itchy nose from these?
Sorry the product made you feel so bad.
I would also love to hear the answer to your question from other readers. So, what allergic reaction symptoms have you experienced when using this product, if any?
Spring Scent Caused Red Raised Pustules On Child's Face
Started using Downy Spring a week ago when I washed the bedding. By the next day, after sleeping on the bedding, my son had small raised pustules on his face, where his face had been on the freshly washed/with Spring scent booster pillow case all night.
Took me a week to figure out what was going on.
By the evening the pustules would be close to vanishing and by the next morning they would be back.
His teacher thought he had impetigo/or Foot and Mouth disease.
I had to get a doctors note that said he was not contagious. (He had no other symptoms of these diseases and the pustules were not draining or getting worse).
Washed all his sheets/bedding on hot washes, with double rinses to clear out the Downy Spring. Using hydrocortisone/cortisone cream on his face to clear up the rest of the pustules.
Previous to this used Downy Lush with no bad reactions.
My Granddaughter Had An Allergic Reaction As Well!
My 7 year old granddaughter is also allergic to this product, and has been scratching and broken out in a rash since I began using it.
I realized that it was this and went to the computer to see if anyone else had the same problem, and found this page.
I do not know what is in it to cause the rash but unfortunately I will have to stop using it.
What is weird is I have an auto-immune disease and I have a VERY sensitive nose to odors and the first time I used this I thought that the smell was awful, and the first thought that came to mind was to try the other scent.
So I got out my coupon and was getting ready to go get some. Then I thought, maybe I will try it again. So I did and I liked it the second time.
Now I am half a bottle through the stuff and realizing that we have an allergy in the house.
I received a free sample of this scent. The scent was very strong, but I figured it would dissipate in the wash water.
The next day I wore clothes from the load washed with the Downey and that afternoon I had large itchy welts covering my entire body. Benedryl has helped some, but it continues to resurface on my entire body and is driving me crazy.
I used Downey once when I was in my late teens. I broke out in a rash over my entire body. That was well over 25 years ago, and I thought, well surely the product has changed, or the rash was possibly a fluke. Guess not, as I am itching uncontrollably as I am typing this comment.
I have used Bounce exclusively except for a one-time purchase of our local grocery store brand fabric softener and never had an issue.
Not sure what is in the Downey, but I will never try it again. Lesson learned.
Strong Allergy Reaction To This In Wash Scent Booster
Harvey shared his experience with this in wash scent booster.
This is the first time that this ever happened to me, actually last night. I woke up in the middle of the night and was itching all over and saw myself in the mirror with a ton of red marks (looked like maps of red color embossed skin rashes) all over my arms, shoulder, torso and legs.
I thought some sort of invisible bug has bitten me all over. I took a shower and applied Hydrocortisone cream to all the red itchy spots and I took one pill of antihistamine.
I thought about what was different that day. Was it something I ate or maybe flea bites from my dogs? And then I remembered that I just bought a new comforter and washed it with my regular laundry detergent with a cup of Downy Unstopables (for extra freshness!!)
I had been using this product for about 3 months, but mainly with loads that require an extra boost of freshness (gym related stuff). And as you all know Downy is great with that.
Needless to say I tossed the comforter aside and the sheets were replaced. The good news is that I woke up with no more symptoms, not a single trace.
Today I washed the comforter to rinse out any residue of Downy and I noticed, after handling the comforter from the washer to the dryer, yet again I had red marks on my hands. I guess I do have an allergic reaction to this product. Too bad because I love using it.
Harvey, it does sound like you had an allergic reaction to something, and based on your experience of touching the comforter again and again getting a reaction I think you're right to assume it has something to do with that.
I'm not quite sure it was the Downy Unstopables you had the reaction to yet though, although that is a definite possibility. The only reason I say this is because you had used this product previously, granted only on certain products, but without an allergic reaction.
I would wash the comforter several times with hot water and extra detergent to remove any residue from the Downy Unstoppables and then try using the comforter again. See if you still have issues, or if it seems to be better.
Unfortunately, sometimes figuring out what you're allergic to is a process of trial and error, and it is better to avoid stuff that can cause allergic reactions if you're especially prone. I would say, because of the high amount of scent in this product, this would be one to avoid if you're unable to pinpoint the exact problem, just to be on the safe side.
I hope you enjoy this gift, and stop by again soon!
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