Some cotton clothing items I have puchased within the last six months contain some kind of chemical residue which does not wash out with repeated washings. It is odorless but is causing burning in my sinuses and skin, rapid heart rate, flushed feeling, and hypervigilence. I have thrown away not only the new items but older ones contaminated from washing with or even touching them. I have been dealing with MCS for almost 25 years and have never encountered this problem. In the past, vinegar presoak and repeated washings have been successful in removing chemical residues. I have contaminated two clothes dryers and quite a few garments, plus sheets and bedding.
All of the offending items happen to be manufactured in China, everything from a pair of expensive jeans to a cotton coverlet, also expensive and beautifully constructed. This may be a coincidence but I am very concerned about the future, as my life is restricted as is to as few chemicals as possible.
I have tried washing in baking soda, vinegar, unscented organic soap, unscented detergent and multiple times.
Has anyone had this experience and do you have any suggestions or solutions? I would be so grateful for any information.
I also have MCS very bad. Can't help with the clothing, I would suggest nothing from china!! Who knows what this might be. Was interested in the burning in sinus. I told my Dr. this because it lasted for months.I got no help from him. Never figured out what it was from but it stopped.
I too have MCS (clothing is a tough one for me) and I had a bad reaction from clothing made in China, especially purchased from a large discount retailer. Am being super cautious now where purchase clothes,have had to purchase mail order from different sources than before (LL Bean worked ok) in order to avoid this problem.
I also use evaporated milk soaks in addition to vinegar and baking soda. A friend recently told me that vodka works great for her.
Hope this helps.
I also have MCS. I react to numerous things that either touch my skin, that I breathe, that I smell, that I drink, or that I eat. The reaction cycle can either be immediate or gradual.
Unfortunately, I also have heart failure, Persistent Atrial Fibrillation, High Blood Pressure, Asthma and Sinusitis, so it takes a lot of effort, planning, research, understanding AND AVOIDANCE in order to survive, or even have a reasonable quality of life.
I just went through quite an ordeal, and severe reaction, to a brand new washing machine! How crazy is that!? I have won the battle "almost" and am going to start a new thread about my ordeal and solution.
Originally Posted by sharewithme
I too have MCS (clothing is a tough one for me) ... I also use evaporated milk soaks in addition to vinegar and baking soda.
Hope this helps.
What made you decide to use evaported milk, vinegar and baking soda? How do you know it works? How long did it take you to find out that it worked? Do you soak clothing with all three at the same time?
I was originally taught this method of soaking and washing clothes by others with MCS. It has worked for me. It usually takes about 5 soakings and a total of 10 washes for the clothes to be just wearable for me. I use the bath tub about 1/4 full but you can also use a large container. Always do an extra rinse. Anytime you can hang clothes in the sunlight, especially outside, that also will speed up the process. The more washings the better.
1) Dissolve 1 cup low fat dry milk, fill with water, add item and soak overnite, rinse very well.
2) Dissove 1 lbs baking soda in same contanier, fill with water, add item and soak overnight. rinse well.
3) 2 cups vinegar to container, fill with water, add item and soak overnight. rinse well.
4) Do the dry milk soak again.
5) Do the baking soda rinse again
1) Normal washload, wash all at one time for the first 3 times:
fill tub with water and dissolve all together before adding clothing:
1/3 gallon vinegar, 2 cups dry milk, 2 lbs baking soda. Will smell weird and bubble up.
Don't worry it works and the smell will go away. Don't ask me why this works but since then I've known others who also have had success with this method. (I originally did this by accident and found it VERY effective.)
Next 7 washes:
Normal washload, fill tub with water, dissolve 2 lbs baking soda, add small amount of laundry detergent, now add item and wash. In rinse cycle add 2 cups of vinegar.
Normal washings thereafter.
I only use laundry detergent on a regular basis.
You are most welcome, hope something I share can help another, helps me feel more normal in the world, that I am contributing in some small way again. I've been so affected by mold allergy and mcs that my world has grown very small in many ways now as I must live in an EI safe household -- renting! Very hard to do and impossible in my homelands without owning, something I am not capable of doing now. I had to move to Texas to find a better environment to live in as I am extremely allergic to the rain molds and got very sick again this past summer. Back home it rains a lot and mold is high in the environment due to high relative humidity and abundant outdoor vegetation so I finally had accept the reality that the eastlands of the usa are not safe for me. The relative humidity is much lower here, it is an arid environment so there is much less vegetation and consequently my mold allergy has improved. Unfortunately the mcs is much worse now after this last crash upped my total load enough that exposures left me permanently affected to a higher degree. I am learning a great deal more about how to live and hopefully improve with mcs. There is a high EI population in these parts and many people have been generous with their knowledge and time in an effort to help me.
Let me know if this formula for washing clothes helps you. And if you find a better way to do it, please let us all know!
Wishing you and yours much shared love and laughter,
I'm wondering how you offgassed the new washer. I have MCS and am going through terrible reactions to the clothes washed in new washer. Can't get whatever the chemical residue is out. Also react to new clothes so this is an interesting thread - thanks for tips. I try everything and clothes/washing machines are the bane of my chemically sensitive existence!
I didn't! I had to move it out to the Florida Room, which is separate from my mobile home. OTOH, I am no longer as sensitive to it as I was. Outgassing on the Florida Room, or am I just getting better? I don't know? Perhaps a combination of the two?!
I have MCS and am going through terrible reactions to the clothes washed in new washer. Can't get whatever the chemical residue is out.
I take it that you did not react at all to clothes washed in the old washing machine, and you are still using the same detergents, etc., right?
Also react to new clothes so this is an interesting thread - thanks for tips.
We are blood brothers/siblings, so to speak! My very first inkling that something was unusually wrong was when new clothes were making my heart beat erratically and raising my blood pressure. After that, I found out that various blue dyes were also causing similar problems, and I had to wear black jeans instead of blue jeans. I continued to get worse, and I was having reactions from encounters with more and more things! Also, as time went by and my MCS was getting worse, the longer that I was exposured to an irritant or odor the sicker I would get and the longer it would take for me to feel better.
I try everything and clothes/washing machines are the bane of my chemically sensitive existence!
First of all..... I apologize for not responding to your post earlier! I did not notice your post until today. Sorry! I realize the frustration and limitations caused by MCS.
My Health and Heart Failure and my MCS are all on the rebound. Perhaps something in what I have done can be of help to you, or give you some ideas.
Instead of rehashing, or retyping, everything here, I'll just give you some links and threads where I have discussed what I have done to improve my health. There might be something of interest for you, and unfortunately a lot of boring extraneous details too!
Of course, OTOH, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I am not saying that I can be of any help, but it sure is good to find someone else with similar problems!
Do you have allergies? Do you have any other health problems? Are you overweight or diabetic? Have you ever had hormonal/metabolic problems, either caused by pregnancy or cold or flu or infection or disease?
Following find three of my threads and their links that might be of some help:
Heart Disorders > My enlarged, stretched out heart (CHF) is rapidly getting better.