Cleaning Tips for Allergy Sufferers

Some chemicals are more irritating to allergy sufferers than others, such as:

  • Sodium lauryl sulphate
    Also known as SLS, sodium lauryl sulphate is a detergent and surfactant used in many cleaning products (including personal hygiene products such as soaps, shampoo and body wash) to create a lathering effect.

  • Triclosan
    This is a polyhalogenated compound, otherwise known as PHC. Found in laundry detergents, antibacterial wipes and some soaps, PHCs are known to cause allergies and aggravate hayfever and skin conditions.

  • Ammonia
    Though ammonia is a naturally occurring compound, made from hydrogen and nitrogen, it can be harmful in concentrated amounts, causing respiratory issues and eye problems.

  • Formaldehyde
    Mostly known for its use in embalming bodies, formaldehyde also appears in many household cleaning products. It can cause asthma, headaches, skin irritation and vomiting.

  • D-Limonlene
    Though it might add a nice smell to the cleaning product, D-Limonlene has been found to cause contact dermatitis and produce formaldehyde.


These chemicals can be found in most cleaning products, including laundry detergents, fabric softeners, disinfectants, all-purpose cleaners, mould removers and furniture polish, so it is important to check the labels. Avoid using aerosol sprays, particularly air fresheners, as these have been linked to respiratory problems.

Luckily, “greener” alternatives are becoming more popular. Your local supermarket may already be stocking the latest ranges in environmentally friendly products which can be less irritating, but it is still important to check the labels.

Making your own cleaning products is the best way to avoid allergic reactions, and it is easier than you might think. Check out these simple and effective recipes using things you may already have in your kitchen cupboard:


  • All-purpose cleaner
    Mix ½ cup white vinegar and ¼ cup baking soda with 2 litres of water. You can add a few drops of essential oils if you prefer the mixture to smell nice. Use for cleaning pretty much anything!

  • Furniture polish
    Mix a few drops of lemon essential oil into ½ cup warm water, spray onto a soft cotton cloth and wipe furniture. Finish by buffing with a dry cotton cloth.

  • Laundry detergent
    Swap chemical laundry detergents for soap nuts, a natural, eco-friendly, hypoallergenic alternative which can be thrown into the food waste bin after 4 or 5 uses.


Do you have any homemade alternatives to using chemical cleaning products?


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