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ALLERGY TO CLEANING PRODUCTS: WHAT DO YOU USE AT WORK OR HOME?

Drain Cleaners

To clean drains and to kill smells, place a tablespoon of washing soda on top of the drain and pour very hot, or boiling, water down the drain.

Dry Cleaning Fluids

Dry cleaning fluids are solvents, usually chlorinated hydrocarbons such as tetrachloroethene. They can cause irritation at high levels to healthy people, as well as sensitivity reactions.

Avoid having clothes and other items dry-cleaned wherever possible. The solvents air off, however, so if you have to have clothes or other items cleaned, air them for a few days or longer in a spare room before using. Do not wear anything that has just been cleaned. Unless you are extremely sensitive, airing off the items will be enough to prevent you reacting.

Fabric Softeners

The main function of a fabric softener is to reduce static electricity on fabrics and thereby make them feel more supple and soft. They are often strongly perfumed and can be very troublesome. Avoid using them, or any laundry agents containing them in combination with a soap powder. Alternatively, try Boots for Sensitive Skin fabric conditioner which is unperfumed and well tolerated. Static electricity on clothes usually arises from tumble-drying, or from synthetic fabrics -so if it bothers you, you could either tumble-dry clothes less, or use natural fibres more.

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