The radioactive nuclear waste known as ECOS Laundry Detergent by Earth Friendly Products (A Review)

I’m adding this post as a placeholder for those with sensitive skin who had the misfortune of purchasing ECOS Laundry Detergent or are thinking of trying this brand. I tend to have a reaction to fragrance-based detergents, but after a good experience with Seventh Generation’s scented detergents, I thought I would be in the clear as long as I used a product that was plant based and “natural,” so I gave ECOS a try as well, opting for the Magnolia and Lily version. I was also interested in Ecover Zero (a separate brand) but they’re not as ubiquitous as ECOS, so I wound going for the lather.

Biggest mistake of my life.

No to ECOS Laundry, Toxic, Allergic, Dangerous

Prior to ECOS, I had never used liquid fabric softener before, and this detergent had it mixed in, so I thought, cool, getting two for the price of one. I didn’t worry because it was supposedly coconut rather than synthetic based, and I like coconuts (especially coconut pancakes).

But because I have allergic contact dermatitis, I didn’t make the connection right away that I was developing a severe reaction to ECOS, in fact thinking it was a reaction to petting a dog instead. When it continued I finally realized it was the laundry detergent, promptly ditched the bottle, and re-washed my clothes using a dye/fragrance free alternative.

And yet it still wasn’t enough. I continued to have rashes from my clothes for a period of three weeks, bewildered that even after several washes there still remained ECOS residue that was causing rashes on my skin to no end. I couldn’t understand it, because the last few times I broke out as a result of contact with fragrance-based detergent, the rashes usually went away in a couple of days after a single wash of my contaminated clothes.

This was THREE weeks now with no relief. Not even an oatmeal bath helped. I contacted ECOS to see if they could offer any suggestions on what else I could do to remove the remaining residue left from their detergent off my clothes, and they completely blew me off and my customer support inquiries.

I am now convinced they are a scam company allegedly peddling cancerous products developed from nuclear waste while funding terrorist operations on the side just for funsies. Allegedly. It has been allegedly alleged. Mostly by me. But still, I wouldn’t be surprised if that was all true.

According to one insightful review on Amazon, the following ingredients gave me some clues as to what could have caused such a severe reaction:

Directly from the bottle: Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine (coconut-based surfactant), Sodium Coco-Sulfate (coconut based surfactant), Cocamidopropylamine Oxide (coconut-based surfactant,) PHENOXYETHANOL (PRESERVATIVE) METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE (PRESERVATIVE), Equisetum Hiemale (Horsetail Plant) Extract

The first ingredient is Cocamidopropyl Betaine: EWG Skin deep database concern of 4 out of 10

“About COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE: Cocamidopropyl betaine is a synthetic surfactant; it has been associated with irritation and allergic contact dermatitis, reactions that could be due to the ingredient itself or to impurities present in it, such as 3-dimethylaminopropylamine.”

“Other HIGH concerns: Contamination concerns; Other LOW concerns: Ecotoxicology”

PHENOXYETHANOL (PRESERVATIVE) EWG Skin deep database concern of 4 out of 10

Other HIGH concerns: Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Occupational hazards; Other MODERATE concerns: Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive); Other LOW concerns: Data gaps

METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE (PRESERVATIVE) EWG Skin deep database concern of 5 out of 10

About METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE: Methylisothiazolinone is a widely-used preservative; has been associated with allergic reactions. Lab studies on the brain cells of mammals also suggest that methylisothiazolinone may be neurotoxic.

Other HIGH concerns: Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs); Other LOW concerns: Ecotoxicology, Neurotoxicity

[For info see EWG Skin Deep database]

I think in my case there were a combination of additional factors that exacerbated the reaction:

  • I’ve been used to having soft water to wash my clothes, but after moving to a mountainous state I’ve been slowly learning how hard water can adversely impact so many things, including making it more difficult to remove excess residue from laundry detergents unless you soften it somehow.
  • This was also the first time I’ve had to deal with a detergent with a liquid fabric softener component. Apparently the oils are far more difficult to remove completely and require a lot more than just a single wash cycle. When I finally wised up to the possibility that the ECOS residue was STILL embedded in my clothes even after several washes, I took a much more aggressive approach and started doing additional wash cycles using baking soda and vinegar. It took almost 10 cycles of this before my clothes finally became wearable again. If that hadn’t worked I would have had no choice but to declare most of my wardrobe ruined and forced to spend hundreds on new clothes and bed sheets.

I strongly recommend anyone with sensitive skin (and even those who don’t) avoid Earth Friendly Products like the dark plague, even their “free and clear” version. Their complete and utter disinterest in customer satisfaction and lack of customer support/assistance to those who have an adverse reaction to using their products is unacceptable and disgraceful.

Update 6/17/2018: I recently tried out a new shampoo that gave me the same skin reaction as the ECOS detergent (fortunately when I stopped using it, the symptoms went away after a day). Checking the ingredients, this one stuck out like a sore thumb: Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine.

I think I’ve gone through enough testing as an unwitting guinea pig to conclude that any product with an ingredient that starts with the letters coco- or coca- should be avoided. Specifically Cocamidopropyl Betaine or Hydroxysultaine. For some reason using products with coconut-derived ingredients seems to be equivalent to pouring acid on me, and yet ironically I have no trouble eating anything with coconut in them. That’s probably due to these chemicals not being organically coconut, but rather synthesized from them.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine (CAPB) was once named Allergen of the Year in 2004 by The Dermatologist Magazine, yet the studies suggest it’s impurities introduced into the processing that causes the reaction, not the CAPB itself.

Regardless, it’s a safe bet that you’ll spare yourself a LOT of grief by simply avoiding any “natural” products that contain some variation of these coca-/coco- based ingredients.

Hope this helps!

77 Comments on “The radioactive nuclear waste known as ECOS Laundry Detergent by Earth Friendly Products (A Review)

  1. I am having the same reactions, I was fine with ECOS until this new batch came with softner… What are you using now? I frequently use vinegar as a softner but I think I am going to have wash mine and hubby so clothes several times now. Most all of my hives are showing up at seam line of clothes.

    • I’ve tried vinegar and baking sodas over several wash cycles, but in my case I finally gave up and got rid of some of my most affected clothes to start fresh and get instant relief. I think because the fabric softener in ECOS is oil based, that made it almost impossible to get rid of the residue. I’m using All Free and Clear Dryer Sheets now for the dryer cycles, and Seventh Generation fragrance free laundry detergent for washes (interestingly enough I don’t react to their scented versions, so I’ll be switching back to that over time.) I still use vinegar every now and then as well.

      Lesson for me was to never again use any oil-based products for laundry. Always use something that can be rinsed off easy, that way if I ever react again, it won’t take more than a rinse cycle or two to get rid of the offending residue.

    • I just bought the ECOS with liquid fabric Softner and am having the same horrific issues as in this post. I broke out in a terrible rash with hives that are so itchy that you aren’t able to concentrate on much more – I have never had hives before using this harmful product that markets itself as healthy. I tried benedryl and claritan and am planning to get rid of not only the detergent but, my bed sheets, towels and clothing that I washed in this terrible nuclear chemical mixture they call ECOS. I am telling everyone not to buy this CRAP! I’m in for the lawsuit.

  2. 2 months ago I bought that same laundry detergent, and have been very sick for over a month with a severe burning rash all over my body.  Part of my rash turned into Impetigo, which for me is a serious infection due to the fact I don’t have a spleen.  I am just finishing up my second round of antibiotics !!!  I had to stop working.  I have spent over $1000 in doctors and specialist and medical supplies, not to mention over $5000 in lost income !  Right away I suspected I was going to be sensitive with everything due to my severe rash, so I better wash everything in baking soda and vinegar until it cleared up.  My rash started getting better after over 5 weeks of near sleepless nights, so thought I would start using 1/2 of this detergent again and half baking soda, and I started breaking out again !!!!!  Today, I have read 100’s of people with the same burning itching stinging spreading rash for weeks before any relief.  I am so appalled at this company for the way they have COMPLETELY treated so many of us with aloofness when we tell them our experience !!  I have documented almost daily pictures of the progression of my rash and my sores.  If enough of us are in agreement, this sounds like a class action lawsuit !!  Companies should NEVER get away with purposely harming our health by ignoring our pleas and complaints and putting so many of us through this debilitating skin reaction !!!  I will gladly give out my email address, if anyone out there wants to try and form a class action lawsuit !!!  jc4sue@AOL.com

    • That sounds horrible, I hope you are finally recovering now. I’m sure if enough people complain action will be taken, whether its a change in the ingredients or a lawsuit.

    • I too, falling for the marketing as “ecologically friendly and socially responsible” erupted in the same dermatological manifestations after washing just one blouse in this toxic “Ecos” sludge and daring to wear it.

      Did somebody say LAWYER!!! Sounds like your next step. I will be refraining from using this toxic cleaner for clothes cleaning- I found a great new use for it though: Cleaning the TOILETS!

  3. Oh my freaking gosh. I developed eczema because of this. I can’t believe I went to numerous doctor visits, which have at first concluded it (my eczema) was ringworm. I felt so alone for so many months. What the hell!

  4. I have had the same problem and even after I stopped using it, the rash comes back to haunt me. I have to continuously apply cream when I feel a little itch coming on the discoloured spots where the rashes had popped up. Is there any solution to being free of this rash???

  5. Me and my partner are also having issues with not this scent, but the lavender scent. His mom bought it buying into the “eco-friendly” stuff, and for the past several weeks my partner has had a rash all over his arms, torso, and legs. I just recently have begun itching too. I’m hot-washing our clothes and bought a different detergent to try.

    • Feel better soon! Just to nip it in the bud I sometimes add white vinegar to my rinse cycle even after a few months, as I think that helps clean out the washing machine from remnants of the old detergent. I also wiped down the drying machine with the same.

  6. Thank you so much for writing this post. I bought ECOS about a month ago because it was on sale. For the past two weeks, I’ve had a horrible rash and sleepless nights. I’m pregnant, so I assumed my symptoms were pregnancy related. Then last night I slept in the guest room where we haven’t changed the sheets since before we got the ECOS. I felt so much better and started to wonder if it could be the laundry detergent. I’m not opposed to buying all new clothes and sheets to get rid of this miserableness. But if I want to try to save my old clothes, any tips for doing that? Just a billion washes with vinegar and baking soda?

    • I think continual rinse cycles with white vinegar is the best. They actually have white vinegar designed for washing that is more potent. See if you can find those online or in the stores, as it might do better. The killer was the fact that this was also a liquid fabric softener, so it leaves an oil residue that is hard to get rid of. When I reacted to other detergents, only one normal wash was needed because they didn’t leave an oil residue. Lesson learned for me, NEVER USE A LIQUID FABRIC SOFTENER.

  7. I am SOOOOOO UPSET reading this! I purchased on sale a few weeks ago and thought it would be safe for my whole family, as we have been using such great eco friendly detergents before with no problem. I am a holistic doctor and my daughter showed up with hives one day, my friend who is a pediatrician actually said, check detergent. We stopped immediately. I have tried wash after wash to get this stuff out of our clothes and sheets. It is AWFUL!!!!! I guess I will try the vinegar today and baking soda. I cannot replace everything it is too expensive so I have to find a fix. Sadly it is so into all of her pjs she woke up with body wide hives again. She just got over the last set of hives, it took a full week to almost disappear. She is really uncomfortable. This company should take responsibility! I would be temped to approach them legally, this is irresponsible. Please if anyone has any ideas beyond the vinegar and baking soda or info email me @ drmichellecoleman@gmail.com

    • I am sorry for your suffering and can certainly relate. I have tried everything to get this out of my clothing and nothing seems to get rid of it. So I have thrown in the towel so to speak and started replacing my clothing starting with my underwear. If anyone finds something that washes this offending substance out please let us know.

      • That sucks, I hope you find relief soon! Some of the tips here have been really helpful, so if you haven’t tried it already maybe one tip will help you too.

  8. Thank you for writing the post, I’d had it for few months, and didn’t realized all my HIVES was possibly cause by the laundry detergent.

    I was having difficult time sleeping due to all the red dots on my skin, itchy and etc. I’d kept washing my clothing and bed sheets, thought it might be some other reason or too dusty. None of the over the counter cream, med and doctor med works. It was a nightmare!!!

    But after reading this article, i think i found the reason. Really appreciate it!!

  9. I am having the same reaction and I have never been allergic to anything in my life. Wtf is this all natural not so much. So upsetting!!! Also a note I have had the regular ecos and was fine as soon as I tried the magnolia it was all over

  10. I am still recovering form the skin allergic and HIVES after 2.5 weeks. I will suggest people who is having the same issue like me (unable to recover from the skin allergic with sleepless nights due to the itchiness), the doctor told me that the detergent might still be on the mattress and the duvet (because those two items are hard to clean).

    He suggested to wash theclothing and bed sheets and all other items several times, clean or change the duvet and the mattress or purchase a mattress protector (protector from allergy, dust mite and bed bugs).

    I’d tried putting on the mattress protector last night (before making final decision of changing the mattress), was still having a little trouble falling asleep but was able to sleep all the way through the night without itchiness first time ever since the HIVES.

    He also suggested to reduce heat build round the allergic areas, use very very mild or even none for body wash and do no use very hot water for body wash.

    I see little improvements after following the instructions, just experience sharing hope it will help others and everyone will recover soon.

  11. I’m pretty sure that I am suffering from the same allergic reaction as others mentioned above. I recently purchased Ecos brand detergent with a lavender scent and woke up one morning with a rash on the back of my neck. The rash itches and burns at times, not to mention it looks pretty nasty. I took The detergent back to the store and exchanged it for another brand, then washed all my clothes and sheets again. Hopefully this helps and it clears up soon.

  12. My experience started last fall with a rash at the collar line progressing to cover almost my entire torso inside of two weeks. At first I thought it was just a case of poison ivy/oak. As it turned out it did not go away in the usual three week period. No it only got worse turning into a burning stinging torment preventing sound sleep for weeks on end. When I took a shower it brought me to tears. I tried everything, oatmeal baths, steroid creams, herbal treatments. I went to a dermatologist and had a skin biopsy and was told I have contact dermatitis, I was not impressed with the diagnosis and was prescribed a cream that gives limited relief.
    I changed laundry detergent from ECOS to another not knowing this new detergent may contain the same offending chemical (Methylisothiazolinone) which I was unaware of until reading on this site.But the rash is still lurking and not until today 10 weeks after first symptoms do I have some hope that I may have identified this curse.

    Thank you!

    I found this site interesting
    http://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/methylisothiazolinone-allergy/

  13. I’ve had terrible HIVES all over my whole body for about 5 days now and I thought it was weather related until I read this post and the review! I recently purchased this ECOS detergent with the liquid softener and now I am sure that the hives are from this. So frustrating. I finally took some Allegra and that helped a little. Off to the store to get something else for laundry. Thank you for the Vinegar idea too.

  14. Hello! I just did a search for reactions to this laundry detergent because I’m having trouble breathing around clothes that are just washed. I have been using this awhile now and not realizing that it could be a factor in many symptoms I’m having. I recently moved from a house that had mold so I have blamed everything on mold. I had to wash and rewash my clothes to remediate them and so I’ve been washing like 40 plus loads in this stuff and now having major reactions to it. I’m thankful to find this and find out that it is likely the detergent although I’m not happy to hear that others are having such a hard time. Wow. Just trying to process. I have multiple chemical sensitivities. I’m wondering if anyone can recommend a safe detergent?

    Wishing peace and love on you all~ Kim

    • I’m having good luck with Seventh Generation laundry detergent, even the scented version. Seems to clean well and no reactions. I’d recommend their scent free version though just to be perfectly safe, but I think there’s less of a risk here because the detergent is easily washed off due to no liquid fabric softener included. Good luck!

    • It took a month or so, followed by paranoia that every itch I had was due to ECOS residue. 😬

  15. I was going to call the company to see if they changed their formula. I am head to toe itching. I am going to try to get this out of my clothes. My skin is red and raw from scratching.

    • Sorry to hear that, hopefully some of the advice here will help. It may take some vigorous washing to finally remove the oils (I’m convinced it’s the oil based nature of the liquid fabric softener that makes this so vexing to completely eradicate from your clothes) but with enough perseverance you should find relief. Good luck!

  16. My five month old got eczema that looked like burns over the majority of her body. And we were using the unscented! Here I thought I was being a responsible mommy using the “healthier” soap. I double rewashed and extra rinsed everything she owns in Dr Bronner’s Baby Liquid, washing soda, and vinegar. She’s almost completely clear now. She still flares up when she comes in contact with my husband’s or my clothes on bare skin. Now I’m rewashing the entire house. This company should have to pay my water bill!!

    • It’s not your fault, no matter how much research you we’ll never be omnipresent enough to avoid all the dangers out there. I’m glad your daughter is feeling better though! Funny you mention Dr. Bronner’s as I’ve been using that more and more often now, starting with their toothpaste and now using the bar soaps (no reactions, yay!)

  17. Thank you for the heads up re: ecos. I had been using any detergent that said fragrance free sensitive skin etc and then just gave the clothes a couple of extra cycles of clear water to get any residue out. This worked fine until I used tide free and gentle pods. Big mistake. Trying to get through the worst bout of contact dermatitis I’ve ever experienced.

    • Weird how even fragrance free/sensitive skin brands can cause issues. Hope you find relief soon!

  18. I will never buy this detergent again. I’m going through the same dilemma. I can’t sleep at night because of the constant itching all over my body. I cannot wait to return this product and buy ALL clean and clear detergent. I only bought this devil of a product because it’s on sale at Costco.

  19. I’m guilty of buying this crap too and have never had allergic reactions to detergents in my life. There is something very toxic about Eco detergents that warrants a class action lawsuit. I wonder how many more people have been terrorized by Eco products and haven’t posted there story. My nether regions are on fire but after reading this and taking a long shower and applying organic coconut oil I finally have relief. Been using for 5 days now and a small rash and swollen face and nethers. I can’t imagine what would have happened if I kept using this Eco #%!£. Somebody let me know when and how we can get this lawsuit started. I’ve missed two days of work and probobly going to have to replace most my wardrobe from what a lot are saying here.

    • Not sure if there’s grounds for a lawsuit, but it definitely helps to raise awareness that there are people with sensitive skin that have serious issues with this brand. (Amazon reviews, blog posts, complaints on social media do go a long way).

    • I agree! I had NO clue that this could cause such terrible reactions! I bought it twice! My family was treated for scabies, and I had to tell family and coworkers that we were infected. After treating it, every time I felt a “bite” or saw a bump or rash on one of us, I rushed to my dermatologist for a checkup. I saw 3 different derms; one saw my concern was more than just a little bit, and checked out my kids no charge. They all told me that my skin was fine, that I must be allergic to something. One told me that she thinks maybe I never had scabies at all! Something today at work told me to check out this detergent and lo and behold, I see this article! I even read that sleeping on pillowcases that were washed in a detergent that is bothersome can also cause your scalp to itch! The hand soap by this company also makes me break out and chaps my hands. A coworker of mine shared that she can’t use the hand soap and that she and her cats were itching; she washes her sheets regularly because of the cats always getting on the bed. Now we both are wondering if our issues were originally because of this brand. I tried the magnolia twice (including this latest time), and the fragrance-free once, and she has the fragrance-free. Prayers to you all!

  20. So grateful for this post. I put on my clothes this morning and instant redness all over my torso and hives. I’ve also had some sort of eczema on my face (travelling around it) since around the time I bought this (and didn’t put it together!). One thing I noticed was that the pants that caused the reaction were a synthetic fabric. I’m currently wearing organic cotton that was in the same laundry load and am faring better. Off to the store for me! Can’t believe it.

  21. I made a list of ingredients that are potentially the culprit from the product:

    * Cocamidopropyl Betaine
    * Sodium Coco-Sulfate
    * Cocamidopropylamine Oxide
    * Phenoxyethanol
    * Fragrance

    I have to wonder if it’s the fragrance. Usually I don’t react to natural fragrances (I use Seventh Generation with 0% synthetic fragrances with no issues) but now I wonder if the fragrance used here is actually synthetic (despite their claim that it is natural).

  22. I can’t take this! Hives all over my body. Just when I’m hive free, wham I forgot I washed that too. Been doing laundry every day. Can’t sleep, eyes are itchy, hives and have take meds that are probably killing me, just to servive, she

    • Sorry to hear of your troubles, see if the advice in this thread can help. Hope you find relief soon!

    • I dont know how practical this would be if your whole body is covered but i found that a beta methasone ointment prescribed by my doctor worked very well to calm the rash and sooth the itch. I couldn’t find Seventh Generation for quite a while so I used Borax alone in the wash for a few weeks with an extra cycle or two. This seemed to get the residues out of my clothes and bedsheets. I dont use hot water, warm seems to work best. I have added tide for sensitive skin to my list of laundry detergents to avoid. So sad people have to go through this. I feel your misery but I know you will get this sorted out to find relief and find what works for you.

    • So sorry exactly what happened to my husband it is miserable,.

  23. Did you know there was a class action suite against ECOS claiming that it was not all natural and contained known allergens? The suite was settled in May 2016 and Ecos was to change their labeling and remove a chemical I think. My hubs is not allergic if I use a fabric softner dryer sheet he will get a rash sometimes. Rather than try to figure out what brand, I have used liquid detergent for the 29 years we have been martied. I bought ECOS in Dec. Hubs showered and put on clean clothes Christmas Eve and broke out all over even his ears and eyes were swollen. Contacted Ecos repeatedly no response filed a complaint with Consumer Product Safety Commission web site https://www.cpsc.gov/. They sent it to ECOS no response. My complaint is the ONLY one that comes up when I search their name. I highly encourage anyone who had a problem file a complaint with CPSC. I finally heard from ECOS when I started posting about their class action suite o tWitter aND their face book page. If they settled the case in May 2016, how was iI buying and reacting to their product in Dec 1y, how about all of the comments regarding 2017 purchases. If enough complaints perhaps they will be held accountable. Can you imagine how dangerous you reaction would be if it happened to a child or toddler instead. My hubs is the only one in our family that had a reaction so in some cases it is hard to tell it was the detergent.

  24. Thanks so much for your site! Been struggling for 2 months with hives that move around my body. Arms waist, thighs, and now cheeks and neck.mosquito like bites that swell up hugely. So not a rash . And no evidence of biting insects of any kind. slight help with Claritan but none with benadryl.Cortisone cream helps a little. Now going to rewash everything we have with white vinegar, hot water. Finding many same suspect chemicals in my shampoo, Ecos (duh), bar soap and skin cream. Everyone’s input here is helping me move through the helplessness I have been feeling for all the burning itching !

  25. God I wish I’d seen this before I bought Ecos detergent. Same story here as everyone above: bought Ecos, mysterious rashes and in my case extreme skin dryness developed, went through the hell of trying to figure out what it was, and after two horrid, sleepless, anxious months deduced it was the Ecos detergent. Customer service at Ecos didn’t even reply to my complaint email about how their ‘hypoallergenic’ detergent is far from what it claims.

    Unfortunately, I’ve had to replace all of my affected clothes. I have Chronic Atopic Dermatitis, so there’s simply no living with irritating clothes. And since they went through the dryer with the fabric softener still in them, the material has bonded to the fabric so there’s no hope for complete removal. If you haven’t dried your clothes after washing them with Ecos, there’s hope that you can remove the product entirely. Otherwise, I wish you all the best with tolerating the remnants of the chemical.

    To attempt removing the fabric softener stains I’ve been washing my affected clothing in Oxyclean and vinegar over and over again. I’ve noticed that a thick, sludgy goo with a grey-purple color comes out of my clothes when washed like this. To be fair, it’s likely this removes some of the fabric softener but also takes some of the clothing dye out with it. When I don’t use Oxyclean, the water that comes of the same clothes is nearly clear. Take this suggestion with a grain of salt as I could be inadvertently damaging my clothes.

    • I’ve noticed that with ECOS, typically even when I react badly to a detergent, it only takes one wash to remove the residue that triggers the reaction. But this was the first time I had used a liquid fabric softener hybrid, and for some reason the oil based residue seems to require nuclear fire or the breath of Godzilla to eradicate fully. Some clothes I was able to keep after enough washes, like my jeans, but others were a lost cause, such as my bed sheets, which I gave up on instead of just putting through the washer a million times.

      ECOS customer service is nonexistent and a joke. Hope you find relief soon! 😦

  26. My husband is going through the same thing. Horrible hives that are so uncomfortable. Thank you so much for writing this, now to begin washing everything:/

  27. Me too! My wife started complaining about relentless itchy legs and then I noticed that I developed hives – front of my thighs, groin, waste line, ribs, underarms. It took us a month of trying to figure out what was going on. My wife bought this crap because I have been dealing with dermatitis for the past couple of years. We’ve switched our detergent and it’s slowly getting better. Tried contacting ECOS – no response. Can’t wait for this to be over. Thank you for posting along with everyone’s comments about their experiences.

  28. My itchy red bumps started Thanksgiving and have spread since then. Mosquitoes and chiggers are not possible at this time of the year where I live, and fleas or bedbugs (perish the thought) seem unlikely given the circumstances (my wife is rash free and the cats are not scratching). I have bad year round allergies so I have been theorizing about various triggers, but I’ve never had hives that looked like these (insect bites). Yesterday I glanced at my new Ecos laundry detergent and noticed it had “with fabric softener” on the label. I never use fabric softener and must have grabbed this bottle by mistake at Whole Foods. I’ve used Ecos for several years without problems. An internet search brought me to your blog. I’m in the process of washing all the clothes using All free and clear. . . . . . . .I am thankful for the internet. Years ago, when I first got on line, I broke out in the underarm area and tried every remedy with no results. I had started using a new sport deodorant and did a search and discovered many other men suffering from the same rash. A further search turned up the offending ingredient. I hope my hives clear up soon. Thanks.

  29. It’s March 2018, and I’m having the same problem with their laundry detergent. At first I thought I was crazy because who hasn’t scratched an itch until it leaves a mark? But then these marks started appearing all over my body mostly on my back the bottom of my butt and my chest. I thought I just had dry skin so I started applying lotion and skin oils at night and some Bag Balm over that to seal in the moisture and it still wouldn’t go away. I even doused myself in apple cider vinegar and I cannot explain to you the burn that followed. It was too painful that I couldn’t sit in it for the amount of time that I wanted to. I had to immediately wash it off. I have never been allergic to anything in my entire life and I have never reacted like this to any kind of laundry detergent. My boyfriend finally suggested that maybe it’s the laundry detergent and so I looked it up and found your website and my head almost exploded in Rage. I sit for most of my day at work and when I go to sleep, I sleep on my back. This completely explains why my back side is the worst of it. I cannot believe that this is happening. I am currently washing all of my clothes in vinegar and baking soda and warning anybody and everybody that I can about how horrible this product is and how there is no resolution besides rewashing your clothes or buy new ones. Thank God I read all the comments on here so I don’t waste money on doctors visits wondering what is going on. It is annoying that this will take the better part of a month to go away and the fact that my water bill is going to go up this month.

    • Thanks for sharing Amy, I hope you find relief soon! As long as you diligently wash the clothes and the washing machine as well (I think it helps to do a few cycles without laundry and adding just white vinegar). It’s the oil apparently that make sup the liquid fabric softener that seems to be so problematic. Generally if I have an allergic reaction from detergent, one cycle is enough to strip the offending chemical but ECOS was like a roach, almost nothing short of fire and brimstone would eradicate the allergens. 🙄

  30. Thank you so much for posting this! It took me 2 weeks to finally figure out this detergent was the culprit of my insanely itchy, mystery rash. I had no issue with this detergent years ago before it had the built-in fabric softener. I bought it 2 weeks ago with a Kirkland fabric softener (again, didn’t realize it had one built-in) and immediately started getting little red itchy bumps on my stomach. I thought the Kirkland fabric softener was the cause so I started re-washing all my clothes unfortunately in the Ecos detergent. The worst part is I’m very pregnant and already feeling miserable, and the rash spread all over my stomach and down to my legs. As my rash continued to spread and keep me up all hours of the night, I finally googled the Ecos detergent and found this site. I went to the store immediately and got baking soda, white vinegar, Oxi Clean, 7th generation detergent, and Tide. I started washing all of my clothes and bed sheets in hot water twice to get rid of the detergent. I woke up this morning and my rash has already improved! I’m so relieved and so mad, but mostly so relieved! Thank you!!

  31. Another victim here who just got sent to an emergency room by the Veteran’s Administration for the excessive rash and swelling. Doctor was asking what different products I started using recently and this was it! Thanks so much for your article. Now to figure out how I can afford to replace my clothing.

  32. I guess this could be my culprit. My step daughter and I both have rosacea type rashes on our faces. Both started breaking out around same time of the purchase. We went through the entire bottle before figuring what it was!!! Tons of dermatology appointments and hundreds spent on medications. Not to mention the embarrassment of a bad complexion for months!

      • Thanks for commenting! I would imagine it would show up where the clothes or material comes in contact with the skin, so there would generally be rashes all over the body. if it only happens in the face, it could either be something else, or maybe the facial skin is more sensitive. I would look at any soap or moisturizer you might be using for the face, as that could potentially be another culprit. Good luck and hope you find relief soon!

  33. So so upset! We just switched to ECOS free and clear a couple weeks ago, and my daughter’s eczema is the worst it has ever been… Huge skin cracks and scaley rash all over. We are on a debt free journey and I was looking for a less expensive natural detergent. Now I feel awful to cause this much pain in my little girl! Cannot believe this.

    What is the wash routine with baking soda and vinegar? I’m so hoping I can save her clothes and sheets! Back to Seventh Generation for sure.

    • Hope your daughter finds relief soon! I had to go through several cycles of baking soda and vinegar especially (including scrubbing the dryer with it) before I eventually found relief. Also got rid of my bed sheets as well. It might have been overkill though, but it was better to be safe than sorry. 😬

  34. I usually buy a cheaper “free and clear” detergent but I had run out and decided to use my sister’s ECOS. BIG MISTAKE. I have been dealing with these scale-like rashy bumps all over my legs/thighs/arms for the last 2 weeks. I’m already sensitive and have keratosis pilaris so I thought maybe my KP was just flaring up or because of seasonal allergies.

    After deciding to look up the detergent and finding all of you with the same issues – I’m so happy. I’m fortunate that my rash doesn’t really itch too much. It’s mostly just a nuisance and unsightly. I’ve been lathering myself in coconut oil and using a natural soap in the shower for fear of using anything else on my skin. As well as taking allergy medication.

    Now on to the joys of rewashing every.single.thing! I’m the only one who has had a reaction though. My sister uses this on her whole family without issue. So strange.

  35. Oh my gosh, this stuff is Toxic to me. I got the Ecos with liquid fabric softener built in. The bottle said it was plant derived and all natural and marketed as healthy and safe – so DECEPTIVE! After washing 4 loads of laundry (including sheets/bedding and towels) and wearing items I washed and dried, my body started to break out in hives. There were about 30 raised reddish rash like hives all over from my bottom up to my shoulders. They were the size of nickels and quarters and itched worse than anything I have ever felt before. My energy was low and I didn’t understand this either (later seeing other posts, people had similar experiences with this product), I just didn’t feel good and there was no reason.

    Being the holiday weekend for 4th of July, I wasn’t able to get in to see a doctor until late in the day. To take fast action, I went to the Super Target Pharmacy and showed the Pharmacist some of these raised itchy bumps and he said those are hives. He asked if I had used any new products and I said, I just bought a new laundry detergent called Ecos with built in liquid fabric softener, he said that is it, stop using that product and don’t use anything that you washed and dried with that product.

    I let him know the hives were itching like crazy and I felt like I wanted to pop out of my itchy skin. He walked me over to get children’s liquid Benadryl (the liquid form only comes in a child formula). He said to take the liquid form because it will be the fastest acting and to double the dose. He said if the itching starts to subside shortly we know for sure it is hives. I said should I also see a doctor and he said you wouldn’t need to if the Benadryl starts to provide some relief. He also suggested I buy a anti-itch cream for the hives, which I did and that helped too. I spoke with customer service at Target and they said they will contact Ecos regarding a claim to replace the 4 loads of laundry.

    Target said they have an agreement with any products they purchase that if someone is harmed by the product it is that companies responsibility to take care of the harmed person, due to the product causing harm. I hope this is in fact true. Please tell the places, you purchased this product from about your experience so that they take if off the shelves, so others don’t have to suffer. Or perhaps the Ecos company will make changes so their products don’t cause toxic reactions to people.

  36. I also bought Ecos detergent lavender scent with the softener in it to wash my underwear and bedsheet etc, what a mistake… I don’ t have any hives but the entire area covered by my underwear feels itchy and burns, i don’ know if it is because it is so dry. I went to a gynaecologist thinking a had thrush or vaginosis or something but i was clear and then i thought about this new detergent i had bought. The thing is it’s been two weeks since i stopped using it and i still feel very dry and itchy and any dermatological cream i use is useless. Any suggestions about what to use on such a sensitive area? How long should i wait before i feel better? Oh man, as if we don’t have enough problems already

    • Hope you find relief soon, in the meantime not sure if you already did it, but I would recommend replacing clothes, bedsheets, etc. to see if it helps. Constant washing wasn’t enough for me, ultimately I replaced my bedsheets as well just to ensure there was no residue leftover to continue triggering symptoms. Good luck!

  37. So I have had this same reaction but w Tide pods free and clear even though i’ve been using that brand for years, suddenly a month ago, horrible ezcema like rash that is super itchy all the time. I, just last night, decided to see if it was the detergent and switched to a washing soda and vinegar rinse and 2 hot water rinses on top of that on my clothes and finally managed to sleep through the night last night so i think that the detergent might’ve been the problem. I am still in the process of washing everything but just so your readers know, there are lots of posts on stripping detergent residue off clothes using a mix of borax, washing soda, and calgon in the baby diaper blogger world. Although i suspect that just a bunch of hot water washes will help. There is also info on stripping fabric softener if you haven’t all thrown your clothes away yet. For the love of clean has a lot of good posts on that.

  38. Thank you for writing this!!! I (to my knowledge) have never had any kind of contact dermatitis in my life. I thought it was my new shampoo and an issue with aloe. Nope. Kept getting worse and worse to the point that the hives are covering pretty much my entire body. In desperation I started googling and now my life makes sense again 🙂
    Stupid Costco for having this on sale!!! Now to begin the process of rewashing everything!

  39. I also recently purchased Ecos detergent. I was wondering why I was getting Hives unit today. After I showed I put on recent washed clothing I had washed with Ecos and my body broke out in full Hives after putting on the washed clothing. I got on my smart phone and found your post. It makes sense prior to purchasing this product I never had Hives on my body after putting on just washed cloths. Thank you for making me aware.

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