Many of you probably know that Toby has eczema and recently he has suffered some pretty bad flares of it which have proved tricky to control. Not liking the thought of smothering him in hydrocortisone, I am exploring more gentle ways of combating this tricky skin condition and on top of creams, oils, dietary changes and natural clothing, I’m also looking at how I do my laundry and whether I can make changes there too.

When I was pregnant I knew that I should wash Baby C’s clothing in non-bio detergent and I’ve always chosen ones which don’t contain smellies, but I’ll be honest in that I buy whichever non-smelly non-bio is on offer at the time I need it. It’s only really been with Toby’s eczema worsening that I’d really thought about what more I can do to make his clothes treat his skin better. I’ve researched a few brands such as Surcare, Eco-Balls and good old fashioned soap flakes but I’ve also read about doing an extra rinse after each wash to get rid of detergent residue build up and that led me to wonder about our washing machine itself. I already do extra pre- and post-rinses for Toby’s cloth nappies and to start doing them for all my washing I have to wonder how economical that is with our fairly old machine. Not only that, but is the machine clean enough or could dust or other particles be building up during cycles and making Toby’s skin worse?

Amongst the wide range of Panasonic washing machines available are features such as A+++ energy efficiency and showers which blast the water into the drum from two directions, meaning that clothes are being effectively washed and rinsed in one go. In my mind that means less need for extra rinse cycles and less of a build-up of detergent because different angles are being reached so more areas will be washed effectively. I can only see this as beneficial if it means that clothes get a deeper wash, therefore nasty residues are coming into contact with Toby’s delicate skin and aggravating it. I think it’s easy to stick with your white appliances until they conk out one day – usually when you have the most laundry and the least money – but if it could help Toby to feel more comfortable then Phil and I really do need to look at whether a new washing machine would help as well as ensuring that we are using the best possible products for him.

Have you got any laundry tips for eczema sufferers? Would you invest in a better washing machine if it was more economical and could help you get better and cleaner results? Let me know in the comments below or get in touch via Facebook or Twitter.

*This is a collaborative post with Panasonic, all words and thoughts are my own*