Gain Fireworks Can Cause Allergic Reactions: Reader Experiences

by Taylor

Gain Fireworks can cause allergic reactions, ranging from skin reactions like hives and rashes, to sneezing, headaches, and even difficulty breathing.

To be fair, this obviously doesn't happen to everyone who use it, and there are a LOT of people, including readers of this site, who absolutely love this product.

But what this product is is a scent booster. It actually has no purpose, laundry wise, except to add scent.

It isn't even a fabric softener. It just makes things smell. Many people like the smell, but still, that is what it does.

Since I learned, with my interview with a dermatologist, that scent is one of the main triggers of laundry allergies (the other is dyes) the fact that this product, which provides scent, causes allergic reactions for people isn't surprising.

This is especially true because the way the product is designed, it encourages you to add a lot of these little beads, so the smell is even stronger. So, while some people can handle a scent, when they overdose their laundry with it, this is another time I see readers sharing stories about allergic reactions. In this case when a little is good, a lot is not necessarily better!

I am seeing more and more stories like this, which is why I created a page all about it. Of course, this scent booster isn't the only offender either. I've gotten lots of similar stories about Downy Unstopables and Purex Crystals as well.

Below you'll find reviews and experiences as told to me by readers who've had an allergic reaction to this product. If you've experienced such a reaction you can submit your experience to me here and I'll add it to the page.

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Son Got Itchy Red Bumps & A Rash From Sweet Sizzle Scent

by SR101 Reader

After a long back track of trying to figure out why my son had developed what looked like welts and hives on his upper body -- looking for bed bugs, fleas, spiders, any other new products being used -- we have come to the conclusion it's Gain Sweet Sizzle that has produced what looks like red bite marks that swell.

How long does it take to leave all residue out of your washer? I read somewhere it can stick to the walls.

Even with Benadryl and cortizone, in 4 days time we've had new bumps pop up in new spots everyday.

What an unpleasant experience. I won't be buying another Gain product again.

***Update: Another reader, Kristin, commented that a similar thing happened to her. She said:

I have the same red rash, I even have to pay for an emergency room visit. They will not go away. GRRRR very disappointed.
***End Update

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Horrible Rash After Using Gain Fireworks Moonlight Breeze

by SR101 Reader

SR101 Reader says:

I have never been allergic to any product before.

I bought Gain Fireworks Moonlight Breeze and used it to wash my bed sheets. I woke up with a horrible itchy rash throughout my arms this morning.

It has been over 12 hours since I came in contact with the sheets and the rash still remains.

I will no longer be using this product.

Taylor says:

I'm sorry to hear about your experience and I hope you feel better soon.

If you are having trouble getting the scent, and thus the allergens, out of your clothes I would suggest reading my article about what to do if you've had an allergic reaction to laundry detergent.

In addition, I wanted to alert everyone that these aren't the only stories of allergic reactions on the site. I've gotten some on the main Gain Fireworks review page and also a picture of the rash caused by this product here.

Gain Fireworks {Referral Links}

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Comments for Horrible Rash After Using Gain Fireworks Moonlight Breeze

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horrible rash
by: jmkloeck

I developed a horrible rash from using Gain Fireworks. I've used Downy Unstoppables since they came out with no problems.

got blisters on my lips
by: Anonymous

I used Gain Fireworks scent booster for the past two weeks, especially on towels. I got blisters on my lips similar to that of poison ivy. I have to be super careful with laundry soap anyway, so I was concerned when I purchased this product but I wanted to give it a shot. I think it is a good product, but it is just not for me.

itchy welts
by: Anonymous

I have used Gain products for years and have had no issues but a few weeks ago I thought I would try the gain scent boosters (fireworks) and two days later me and my whole family started getting bumps/welts on us. They are very itchy. Three weeks later me and one of my sons are still reacting to it and I have washed everything multiple times to remove the scent boosters out of our clothes. I don't know how many times I'm going to have to wash things before it gets out of the fabric.

Hives All Over
by: Anonymous

I have broke out in hives all over my entire body. They are very painful and have caused me to itch to the point of being out of work for two days and spend a lot of time at the doctor. I have never been sensitive to any type of laundry detergent, refresher, or scent booster until this. I will never again buy this product. After spending so much time out of work and spending so much money on medications and doctors visits I am disgusted! I don't wish this pain and itching on my worst enemy.

Horrible Rash
by: Gabriel

My girlfriend and I got horrible rashes that looked like bug bites and would keep getting new ones everyday and they were terribly itchy. We had our apartment sprayed for bugs, but that did not help we just kept getting these red welts. It wasn't until we stopped using the Gain Fireworks product that the rash and welts started going away. We will no longer buy Gain products.

Used Gain Scent Boosters (bad idea!)
by: Yolanda

I came across your post and sorry your son has had such a bad reaction! The welts almost look like some sort of bite or infection. I can relate to your experience. I tried the Gain In Wash Scent Booster Midnight Scent and my family and I have been suffering. My husband's eye has swelled up and itches, my daughter developed welts and almost chemical type burns on her legs. We have a red itchy bumpy rash on our legs, chest and bellybutton. The stuff smells amazing but after a while the scent made my chest tight. I totally understand what your going through and hope you guys get better and your sons skin clears up. Take care!

by: Kara

My coworkers decided this week they wanted the place to smell good so they took Gain Fireworks and dissolved in water and sprayed all the furniture and carpet. My nose is bleeding I have a sore throat and cough. My chest is very tight and I have a headache. I've been to the doctor I have a prescription for prednisone to try to counteract allergic reaction I'm having. At this point I'm hoping I live through the work week. The sent doesn't seem to be going away after four days. This is horrible

These beads are the devil!
by: Anonymous

I have used Gain for years. I tried the Fireworks beads and I have broken our with welts on my arms and legs. I itch so bad it's horrible. I will NEVER use this product again.

Caused my dog to have a reaction
by: Anonymous

Used the Gain scent boosters on my dogs bedding and she had a severe reaction which led to a 3am emergency vet trip for a massive steroid shot. She became extremely swollen all over and itchy. Never using this or any other perfumed detergents on her bedding again!

rash and now miserable
by: Courtney

I started using Gain Fireworks Scent Boosters in my laundry a few weeks ago. I developed a rash last week and now my arms are covered in the rash. I am miserable. Got a steroid shot on Tuesday and started oral steroids on Wednesday. Today is my second day of the script and it it still there. I hope this starts working.

Original scent Fireworks caused crazy itching
by: Sherry

I loved the scent, but within days I was itching like crazy! It was so bad it would wake me up at night and I would get up and shower! I re-washed bedding and clothing and am still itching! I'm seeing comments and assume it will take multiple washes! No rash or hives, but I'm so uncomfortable from my skin so irritated!

Pain in the a**
by: Anonymous

My son's friend introduced me to Gain Scent Boosters and not long after that I developed a rash on bottom of my feet which than moved up my feet and on my legs,hands and arms. They are red and extremely itchy!! I've had them now for about 4 weeks and they are not going away. Tried creams and calamine lotion but that just eases the itch. I don't know how long till they go away but the sooner the better!

can I return them to the store?
by: Anonymous

I also realized the rash and constantly itching is from this product. My question is will the store allow me to return it due to being allergic to it? I've used it only twice and figured out today it's what's causing me to break out in hives.

Hives and rashes
by: Niki

I recently put a small amount of the Gain Fireworks scent booster in my wash with some towels and a few of my children's clothes. About 8 hours after wearing their clothes for a day at school, my 8 year old came home with what looked like sunburned skin on her chest and back with hives covering the redness. We gave her Benadryl and after about 2 hours the red burn started to spread to her neck, legs, scalp and face. We were very concerned about her well being and we contacted the local hospital ER for help. They told us to watch her breathing and if any difficulty come in right away. Her ear lobes were swollen and luckily for us it started to lighten up at about midnight. Please discontinue use of this product. We were not certain of what clothing items were in the wash at the time and our 5 year old has had a mild case each day. We are trying to desperately clean/rewash all clothes so they don't break out again.

Lavender Gardens Scent Caused Reaction
by: Anonymous

Did not use Unstoppables but used Gain Lavender Gardens. Now that you mention it I have had a rash for two months. Did not put it together. Went to the doctor for a steroid shot and a RX for some nasal spray. Had a severe sinus infection and very itchy with whelps and raised skin. It has to be the scent booster.

by: Anonymous

I lived with chronic hives for years but hadn't had them in about 15 years until 2 weeks ago. That's when I used a coupon for Gain fabric softener. Well, that money saved and more went to the purchase of Benedryl! It started out with a few hives and after a productive day last weekend of 5 loads of laundry the hives were back in force!! Thank you all for your input here to help shed light on my problem. Today is laundry day!! All free and clear products.

by: Lynn

A new co-worker sat 6 feet from me and ten minutes after she sat down on the first day, I could not breathe. I complained to management but nothing was done. I asked to be moved and was refused. I had to put up with her overuse of laundry additives for two months. I could not breathe, I could not sleep and I lost 20 pounds. My doctor prescribed a corticosteroid inhaler, anxiety meds and an anti-depressant. I had not been on any medication before this girl walked in the door. By the time I was allowed to move my office space, the damage was done to my bronchial tubes. She quit 8 months later. It was not until six months after that when I was able to get off of the inhalers and meds. My co-worked admitted to me that she used Gain Scent booster.

how long until rash and itching go away?
by: Anonymous

After using all kinds of steroids and creams which have not helped the itching and redness, does anyone have any suggestion as to a product that helped? Stopped the Gain Fireworks 2 weeks ago and rewashed everything with All Free and Clear. Also sprayed and wiped washer and dryer with vinegar and water. Rash worse than ever. Help!! How long did it take for rash to go away?

Gain Original scent booster
by: Anonymous

My son started getting a red rash on his neck. He wears hoodies all the time. I at first didn’t know what was breaking him out. Then I remembered I had used Gain scent booster in the original scent. I use gain detergent most of the time. I recently started using Gain dryer sheets and now the scent booster. I think I overdid it. I will go back to All free and Clear. I never had a problem with it.

Allergic to gain scent
by: Lorraine

My 85 year old hubby is experiencing horrific red rash on upper body and neck as well as his arms and legs. Used the Gain pellets for scent in wash week and a half ago. Since then worse rash. Went to doc today. Now on meds for allergic reaction. Worst rash I have ever witnessed.

Gain aroma boost caused swollen face
by: Kat

So just last night I washed my clothes with Gain aroma boost and I tell you I woke up with a swollen face "like Will Smith from Hitch." My wrists were on fire, I was super itchy all over, my skin felt so tight, thankfully I realized what it was right away because my throat felt tight from breathing it in all night. Yes, I keep my blanket close to my face. I took some chewable allergy medicine, that’s all I had at 4am. I did a google search and came across this post, soon realized I wasn’t alone. I knew people had allergic reactions but I have never experienced such agony in my life.

Moonlight Breeze
by: Rheea

I purchased the Moonlight Breeze scent since I enjoy the aroma so much. It is my first purchase of such an item and confused it doubling as fabric softener. I have seasonal allergies and suffer hives all the time, but since using scent beads, I've had hives and rashes more than usual. One hand towel I had done a full load of bedding with caused a rash and blistering on my hands and arms, my boyfriend thought I had gotten a sun burn. The area affected is red, swollen, itchy with tiny little blisters and dry from me trying to wash the area repeatedly. Trying not to scratch but I've slightly torn my hands and arms up it itches so bad. My live-in boyfriend did not get any rashes or hives and I have used the scent beads for both our laundry.

puffy eyes
by: Anonymous

I woke up with puffy eyelids Monday morning, as if I cried all night. But I didn't cry at all. Couldn't figure out why my eyes are so swollen, until I realized I washed my sheets, pillow cases and blanket on Sunday. After reading other peoples comments, I'm thinking it's the Gain beads. I love the smell but hate my puffy eyes. Will have to wash my bedding again.

Itchy armpits
by: Anonymous

I was really hoping my skin would get used to it. I always buy natural or unscented laundry soap because I am sensitive, but I would rather my clothes have a fresh scent. I thought I could sneak a few beads in with my unscented soap. My skin is ok with it, actually, except my armpits. Armpits are itchy itchy rashy. Tried everything on the armpits to relieve. Now my husband has itchy hives on his legs that he has scratched until bleeding. Scent boosters.

Covered in hives/rash
by: Anonymous

Oh my lord. I am covered in hives on my neck, scalp, everywhere above the waist. Never again.

won't use Moonlight Breeze anymore
by: Anonymous

It's been about 5 days since I washed my bedding and clothing with Tide Pods with some Moonlight Breeze fireworks. After drying (no softener) I went to bed... Nude... Woke up with around 7 huge bumps. On my legs, one of my boobs, both my armpits, and my back. I thought maybe it was a spider bite or bug bites. I thought well I went outside the night before, maybe it was mosquitos. I have 3 blisters on my left leg about the size of a pencil around. After 5 days of stressing about bed bugs and brown recluses I finally figured it out 🥴. I now have 20 bumps on my body that I can see. Definitely getting rid of them and will not use scent boosters anymore.

Severe post nasal drip
by: Anonymous

I have finally figured out that Gain Fireworks is the cause of very severe post nasal drip, sore throat, headaches and cough. I just stopped using this product so am not well yet, but hope that over time I will be.

Fragrance-boosting is ableist and harmful
by: Anonymous

I speak on behalf of my community with Mast Cell Disease and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, and also some people with chronic migraines. Please please please stop wearing and especially boosting fragrances. Fragrance is one of the most common triggers that can cause Mast Cell Activation Flare ups leaving us bed ridden or hospitalized, and can cause even fatal anyphalaxis. Fragrance serves no purpose and it often a chemical sh*tstorm of toxins. I can't even use the laundry room in my apartment building because of the fragrances other tenants use. It's horrible and not healthy. Please consider buying fragrance free products as much as possible because there are many of us who can't venture out of home because of all the unnecessary fragrances out there in public places. Thank you.

All over rash
by: Anonymous

After using Gain fragrance pellets I developed a red raised itchy rash that started under my arms and has spread throughout my body.

The itch was unbearable!
by: Alison

I started using the Gain beads in December. During the day I'd have random itching on my back and arms. However, at that time I was taking medication and rash is a known side effect.

When I stopped taking the medication the itching continued and now with a lot of tiny bumps on my back. The itch got so bad, especially when I was in bed, I couldn't sleep. I was getting desperate and bought some cortisone cream, which helped briefly.

Just yesterday, after another nearly sleepless night I sat down and tried to figure out what was going on. I realized the only different element in my home was the use of Gain "Fireworks".

I pulled the sheets off the bed and washed them and the teeshirt I wear to bed, leaving out the Gain beads. Lo and behold, last night not a single itch anywhere. Relief at last!

Worst Itching Ever
by: Anonymous

I washed my sheets and comforter using a good amount of Gain fireworks. I noticed some of the beads didn’t dissolve all the way and were stuck to my blanket. After about 24 hours I developed itching all over my body which then turned into welts/hives. I am miserable and going to try to see a doctor tomorrow.

by: Kimberly

I bought Gain Fireworks Beads and within 2 days my boyfriend had welts and patches of hives were breaking out all over his body. One morning he was standing on the side of the bed just scratching and clawing at his body, especially his groin area. That area is raw and he is miserable. We washed everything from the bed sheets to his socks and underwear. Over the past few days he has worn clothing that had been prewashed and he seemed to get a little relief. I had him taking cool showers when things would flare up and itch and burn. Along with pain reliever. About 2 days passed and he put on a pair of shorts and within 15 min he was burning and itching on his thighs. He took those shorts off and the rash subsided in time. We knew for sure at that time it was the scented beads.

by: Karrie

Never used any scent enhancer before, but after getting a good coupon to try the product washed 2 loads using Gain Fireworks and have still had hives 2 weeks later after sterilizing my washer and washing the clothes several more times.

need to know how to get this out of this house and out of my world
by: Sherry Gutierrez

I have a very bad reaction to the Fireworks. Scares me to even type the name it is that bad for me. I used a free bag that came with Gain Dishwashing liquid over 4 years ago, almost 5 years. I am still breaking out from new clothes. I have went through my whole savings (for my home) to buy clothes for work. I recently figured out how it was still getting into my new clothes no matter how careful I was being. It's in my seat belt and leather seat in my car. Now I drive with no seat belt (more scared of getting in a horrible wreck and ending up very injured or dead than of a ticket). I have plastic covering my seat and this is a very uncomfortable sticky ugly feeling. When I wear my seat belt I start breaking out and it gets in that article of clothing. I can't buy any more clothes so I have reduced to having to put a garbage bag under my clothing just so I will be able to wear clothes to work. I have nothing left. At home I would break out in the bed even with new linens. Figured out it is in my mattress. I wrapped my mattress with plastic. Hot, sweaty and loud. I cannot get this mess out of my world for nothing.

I will be okay with the scars if I can just get rid of the whelps, garbage bags, plastic, itching abnormal life. I am so scarred from head to toe. It looks really bad. I am wearing a garbage bag as I write this right now. You will not believe all the bed clothes, dresses, jeans, shirts, bras, panties, bed clothes, car seat covers, garbage bags, plastic, tears that I have been through. I am wiping the tears falling down my face now.

Not to mention washers. I cannot use my washer and dryer. I can't wash anything. Tried the laundrymat. Very bad mistake. Someone must have used the beads and then the washer and it got in all my new clothes, again. It is so sad what this has done to my life. Not to mention my husband. He can't even walk up to his wife and give her (me) a hug.

I have been through the most horrible feeling in the last 5 years, it's terrible. I just want to be comfortable and not have to worry that I am going to ruin another outfit because I rubbed up against something or my doggy went and sat on my husbands lap and then came and sat on mine. Now he has transferred it to me again. That's another way it transfers. My baby boy. He is my 9 year old boy. Yes, he is a doggy but he's our baby. He has fur so I noticed he was carrying it from the linens my husband wears- to me.

I just need to know how to get this out of this house and out of my world.

original scent in green container caused rash for husband
by: Wendy Rosmarin

Bought it because laundry smells bad and had tried cleaning my washing machine with vinegar and bleach. My husband had a spreading rash of itchy marks all over back and upper arms. The pain is so bad at times that it feels like pin pricks and wakes him up so cannot sleep. Has been taking Benadryl to help him sleep. Saw two dermatologists who did multiple biopsies but results were inconclusive. He has been in suffering in agony for several months. Stopped using with last wash and now using free and clear product only.

Blissful Breeze Scent Booster caused skin to itch
by: Sherri

I recently purchased this new scent. I have used the Moonlight Breeze and the regular Gain scents and had no issues until I used the new one this weekend. I was itching some on Saturday after wearing the clothes that I washed with it but figured my skin was dry. Lotioned my body and didn't seem to be a big deal. Yesterday, I washed bed linens and clothes, then changed my bed sheets last night. I have clothes on that I washed this weekend and slept in the sheets. I have been itching all over and have a light red rash on my arms, neck, face, back, and just looked online about allergic reactions to Gain and found this site. No more of that booster and have to re-wash everything. The itching is making me irritable. Be careful with these booster scent products.

tiny bumps all over my back
by: Natasha

I've used Gain for many years. The detergent doesn't seem to bother me, but the scent beads, that's a whole other story. My back is covered with tiny bumps that are in large clusters all over my back. And it is red and very irritated. The smell is amazing, but it isn't worth the price you pay. Literally and monetary.

whole family has allergic reaction symptoms
by: Yolanda

Last week I discovered the great smelling Gain Fireworks In Wash Scent Booster beads (midnight scent). I washed a couple loads and added the scent booster and also made a Febreze type spray with water. Since then my husband's eye has been itching and turned red, my daughter has broken out with a itchy bumpy rash on her belly button and legs. I started randomly itching, my legs especially broke out with this itchy bumpy rash along with under my breasts (washed bra with them). It scares me to know that it could continue. My chest also feels tight because of the strong smell. I have asthma and allergic to cats and dogs and strong perfumes and lotions. Are bumps, hives and welts normal?

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