Laundry Detergents for MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity)
March 07, 2022

Laundry Detergents for MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity)

Are you looking for an all-natural laundry detergent that won’t trigger your multiple chemical sensitivity? Something as simple as doing laundry can become a guessing game. Luckily, some detergents have earned the MCS seal of approval. Here’s what you need to know about safe suds for MCS.

multiple chemical sensitivity

Understanding MCS

According to the University of Washington, multiple chemical sensitivity is a disorder triggered by exposure to chemicals in the environment. Individual responses to MCS vary through common symptoms including headaches, respiratory problems, memory loss, depression, and fatigue.

According to studies conducted by Sabrina Rossi, MSc, and Alessio Pitidis, MSc in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, MCS is both a complex disease and multisystem disorder. It is categorized into various stages of severity and can be hard to diagnose in its milder form. The researchers cite difficulty in avoiding exposure to environmental chemicals altogether.

While MCS is not new, its definition is still contended. Johns Hopkins Medicine highlights debates surrounding MCS within the medical community. Many believe it to be the manifestation of chemical exposure, while others argue it’s a psychiatric condition rooted in anxiety. However, it is generally accepted that people with MCS often experience potentially harmful symptoms.

Learning about MCS and its impact on your life will likely be an ongoing process. Limiting your exposure to unnecessary toxins is one way to combat this condition. By understanding the safety of household products, you can do your part to keep MCS in check.

Finding the Right Detergent

The best laundry detergent for MCS is a matter of personal preference and symptom history. Finding your favorite may take some time, but there are a few green brands to keep in the running.

Problems with Standard Detergent

People with MCS may have completely different reactions to chemical exposure, so it’s impossible to anticipate your exact reaction. Generally speaking, "regular" laundry detergent could irritate the skin or trigger other unwanted reactions if you suffer from MCS.

Determining Ingredient Safety

Every detergent is different, so you’ll need to check individual labels for ingredient information. In case you’ve had bad reactions to several brands or products, it might be worth searching for common chemicals among them.

Another tip is to ask for advice from others with MCS. Products like those listed above are a good place to start, and personal anecdotes could point you in the right direction. Lastly, a study by Anne Steinemann, Ph.D., connects fragrance to MCS reactivity, so consider scent-free alternatives.

Castile Soap Safety

Castile soap is a type of soap made from olive oil and lye. Lye is an inorganic ingredient, meaning it consists of at least two ingredients. You may not know that hard soaps, otherwise known as bar soaps, are made by combining sodium hydroxide as an alkali with fatty acids or that liquid soap is made by combining potassium hydroxide and fatty acids. In other words,  soap is just as safe to use as any other bar or liquid soap.

It’s also important to remember that you may have a reaction to certain soaps, detergents, or ingredients while another person with MCS may not. Other considerations could be differences in brand, chemical reactions to fragrance, etc.

Final Thoughts

Finding the right laundry detergent for MCS is definitely doable. Ask yourself which products or ingredients have worked well before as a point of reference. Next, determine whether fragrance is an issue before choosing a few new products. Then, it's time to roll up your sleeves and do some home testing!

If you have any questions about choosing the best all-natural laundry detergent for you, please don't hesitate to contact our helpful team using our inquiry form. We'd be happy to hear from you.

Or maybe you have tips for others with MCS? Are there any detergents you’d personally recommend? Feel free to comment down below. In the meantime, best of luck with your search, and let us know where it takes you!