Safe clothing can be a huge challenge for people with MCS/ES. Most clothing is not chemical free. Even organic clothing can be treated and finished with the same toxic chemicals found in regular clothes (see link at the end of this post for more details)
Sometimes it is possible to detox regular clothing. For mildly sensitive people it might just take a few regular washes with a tolerable detergent. For more sensitive people, a more involved protocol may do the trick. For others, we often end up without much in the way of clothing and bedding, because even the trace chemicals can be too much.
Here are some methods many people have used to successfully detox their clothing. As always, individual results may vary according to personal sensitivities, water conditions, products available, and whatever might be in the clothing to begin with.
Updated Version of Ellen’s Laundry Decontamination Protocol
Originally posted at MCS-Canadian-Sources and at The Canary Report (copied with permission)
When I joined the MCS… list in 2005, I learned what other members of the list were doing to decontaminate their new clothes. I made some changes, the main one being that I soak the new items in plastic bins, rather than soaking them in my washing machine.
I have an expensive front-loading washing machine, with a maximum soaking time of 35 minutes, which is totally inadequate for decontaminating new or really smelly fabrics. I continue to make changes as I find problems or improvements.
If you have a top-loading washing machine, soaking times can be set much longer, because the timer can be turned off after the soaking ingredient and machine water are completely mixed.
I am including the latest version of my protocol here.
Please note that I have only tested this protocol on cotton, cotton/bamboo blends, cotton/polyester blends, and a very few totally synthetic fabrics. It is not safe to use on silk.