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Laundering for Allergic People

By HHI Staff

Those who have conventional allergies to dust, dust mites, and other household allergens will want to make sure to clean their clothes and bedding frequently, using gentle, low-odor products. This means, of course, they’ll need to purchase items which are not only easily washable and dryable, but also sturdy enough to withstand repeated launderings. In particular, how to care for bedding is a big concern. The following are some suggestions you may wish to follow.


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For sheets and pillows, it’s best to wash them weekly. Pillows (unless the manufacturer’s tags state otherwise) need only a short agitation cycle of about two minutes on a gentle cycle using warm water. However, you’ll want to use a full rinse cycle to make sure all the laundry detergent has been completely removed. Then place them in the dryer. (Again, that is unless the manufacturer’s tags state otherwise.) If you use pillow protectors to seal out dust mites, the pillows themselves might only need to be washed every 3 months.


Blankets, comforters, quilts, and mattress pads will need laundering at least every 3 months. However, for those who experience severe allergic reactions to dust mites, this can be done more frequently. Again, if you use allergen-impermeable protectors on the comforters and quilts, they won’t need laundering as often. All these items should be washed with gentle cycles using warm water, then dried in the dryer.


Electric blankets require special care. Only wash them for a short time, perhaps for only 2 or 3 minutes. Then, place in a dryer, but only if the manufacturer’s tags specifically recommend this. Otherwise, dry over two clothes lines. Don’t take your electric blanket in to be dry cleaned. This isn’t just because of the problem of bothersome dry cleaning odors your blanket would absorb, but also because the cleaning solvents could damage wiring inside the blanket.


By the way, don’t forget to launder washable area rugs and curtains regularly, too. Too often, these are overlooked.


It should be mentioned here that Aller Wash is an “anti-allergen laundry liquid” designed to remove and neutralize dust mite allergens from bedding and other items. However, it’s a scented product. If you want to avoid scents and perfumes, this product may not be the best choice for you.


(This article is from the archives of the original Healthy House Institute, and the information was believed accurate at the time of writing.)
(Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of The Healthy House Institute, LLC.)


HHI Error Correction Policy

HHI is committed to accuracy of content and correcting information that is incomplete or inaccurate. With our broad scope of coverage of healthful indoor environments, and desire to rapidly publish info to benefit the community, mistakes are inevitable. HHI has established an error correction policy to welcome corrections or enhancements to our information. Please help us improve the quality of our content by contacting with corrections or suggestions for improvement. Each contact will receive a respectful reply.

The Healthy House Institute (HHI), a for-profit educational LLC, provides the information on as a free service to the public. The intent is to disseminate accurate, verified and science-based information on creating healthy home environments.


While an effort is made to ensure the quality of the content and credibility of sources listed on this site, HHI provides no warranty - expressed or implied - and assumes no legal liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product or process disclosed on or in conjunction with the site. The views and opinions of the authors or originators expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of HHI: its principals, executives, Board members, advisors or affiliates.

Laundering for Allergic People:  Created on January 22nd, 2010.  Last Modified on May 14th, 2013


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