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 Post subject: New clothes - smell
PostPosted: 22 Jul 2011, 14:31 
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Hi,
I'm finding it really hard to buy new clothes. As you can imagine, I'm sensitive to the smell of them and they make me feel as if I'm being slowly poisoned (I'm sure many of you will know what I mean). This has been happening for some years now and luckily I am not that bothered about fashion - so I've just been wearing my old ones (and I don't react to them). However, there are some clothes that I really do need to now buy.

The frustration that I am having is that sometimes the clothes do not seem to necessarily smell in the store when I sniff them (although some do greatly), but then they do smell when I get them home and sniff them. I'm wondering why this is and can only think that my sensitivity must somehow shut down when the chemical is in a large amount (lots of it around on the clothes in the shop). It is really a nuisance to keep buying and immediately taking clothes back without being able to use them. Many of the shops say it will wash off and sadly I have tried that a couple of times without success (wasted money); so I do not really want to try that again. I guess if I washed them lots of times they might stop smelling (but I would have to wash them alone in order for them to not contaminate the rest of my clothes and also they may well start to wear out before I get the smell off).

The organic clothes are too expensive for me (I could indulge with the odd item now and again) and I don't get chance to try the organic clothes on in a shop to see how they fit. So, I don't really like buying clothes over the internet if I can help it.

For those of you with chemical sensitivity to the smell of new clothes - what do you do? Are do you buy clothes? Also, do you find that you react more to the clothes when you get them home than when you sniff them in the shop?


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 Post subject: Re: New clothes - smell
PostPosted: 25 Jul 2011, 12:23 
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Joined: 28 Oct 2009, 16:27
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I am going throught this at the moment and it is very difficult indeed. I wrote a post which may help:
why clothes make us ill

Iactually have no clothes as mine are all in black bags in the garage - they have all been contaminated with a perfume and I cannot for the life of me get it out. I still do not know where this perfume came from, perhaps on my partners kilt suit he wore at christmas, god knows but it has completly made my MCS unbearable and I am reacting to many more things more quickly than ever before. I lie in bed thinking like I am lying next to someone with perfume on. Life is now h3ll, the h3ll worse than before. I am still sleeping in the lounge on sofa cushions with a sleeping bag. No pyjamas, no bra, no slippers, no jumpers etc. I have a few pairs of socks and pants, a pair of jeans a pair of joggin bottoms, 4 tops, 1 jacket - that's it. I am glad it is not winter.

I bought some new clothes and they stink. I, like you, find that things stink more when I get home. I can be out and ok and when I get home I become aware of perfumes which have now stuck on my skin and clothes. Apart from trying to rid the clothes of the manufacturing stink, if someone has tried the item on then it can be imposible to remove their perfume.

Before you wash anything - treat it. Sun & fresh air first for a week really helps. Then I'm spraying on vinegar or alcohol (vodka) and letting it dry in the sun, repeat a few times. Then wash and repeat this process until the clothes are bearable - wash them alone. Make sure you do an extra wash without any vinegar or alcohol before wearing as even those are annoying me. Remember though, sun can and does fade things.

You are not alone. I bought a mask for MCS and had to return it because it stank of perfume. It was either made by someone wearing perfume or the retailer's staff wear perfume although they claimed they don't. Funny that a letter that arrived from them stank of the same perfume.

I hope you find some useful tips here. Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: New clothes - smell
PostPosted: 25 Jul 2011, 21:20 
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Thanks for your kind reply and suggestions. I tried using bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar on some clothes this weekend that had got tainted with some smell - it seemed to work.

I'm sorry that you are having such a struggle with your clothes etc. I can really understand your problem and how terrible it must be for you. The whole chemical sensitivity is a nightmare for me. I seem to be just too sensitive for this world (it is too polluted for me) and you seem to be the same.

One of my difficulties is things like 'febreze'. I have had very difficult situations where people spray their furniture etc with it to make it smell nice and if e.g. my fiance sits down on furniture that has been sprayed (without realising) the smell of it lingers on his clothes (and it really makes me feel poisoned). I wish people would just open their windows and air their houses with fresh air instead.

I have recently asked my fiance to hang on to all of his old clothes and not to throw any clothes/bedding/towels etc out ... because I might have to end up wearing/using his old stuff when my existing stuff wears out (no ... sadly I am not joking). I think his T shirts and stuff like that would be fine for me to wear if necessary. I have recently pretty much given up with conventional stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: New clothes - smell
PostPosted: 25 Jul 2011, 22:02 
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I watched a video of a guy with MCS a few months ago. He was trying to get to sleep on a wooden platform with no pillow and an old jacket to keep warm. At the time I thought it was scary and extreme. Last week, when I had used vinegar on the sleeping bag but it hadn't rinsed out properly, I felt like that guy. I didn't have any other blankets as my old ones are contminated with perfumes. The new one is not bearable yet. I ended up with the sleeping bag on my legs and a sheet which I'd bought for my sons bed over my shoulders. It is really not funny anymore. I have turned into some obsessive compulsive person with washing and rubbing my skin with alcohol and olive oil to try to get the stink off my skin and stop it spreading onto everything else again.

I totally understand what you mean when you consider hanging onto your partners stuff. I was going to throw out everything due to the perfume but I'd really like to try get the perfume out more as the new stuff has it's own problems. I just can't face trying the stuff on to see if that perfume that has ruined my life has gone. Things were bad before but this is much, much worse in such a short space of time and that is what worries me. I do not know if it will improve back to the previous level or if this is me on the downward spiral.

Probably my situation has been worsened by having to replace everything with new things that stink - I can not win here.

My partner mentioned that he wasn't throwing out his kilt suit as it cost about a £1000! I told him quite frankly that my health was more important than any stupid money. And if the perfume came from his stupid suit, then what about the cost of all my clothes that have been ruined? What about the cost to my health?

Life goes on, unfortunately :roll:

The world is polluted, I blame the people who live in it. I don't know why they can't just wash and keep clean rather than covering up with fragrance. and it seems to be getting worse and we can't avoid it as the powers that be seem to think we need more stink everywhere.

I'm sorry if I sound negative, life is just really tough right now. I exploded on my toddler yesterday for touching something that I'm trying to get the perfume off = I just don't want it going on him or his clothes.


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 Post subject: Re: New clothes - smell
PostPosted: 26 Jul 2011, 22:38 
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I can truly understand why you feel so down at the moment ... it is really hard for you to deal with ... especially being surrounded by people who mostly aren't affected by all of this. It can be quite isolating.

Please don't get too disheartened though, because this might not be a downward spiral. For example, my symptoms fluctuate and I cannot say exactly why. I went through a long spell (years) of reacting hugely to the washing hanging out to dry on the washing lines in both of my neigbours gardens. I felt so poisoned by it and could not enjoy my garden. It was really terrible, but so far it has not affected me as much this summer (even though conventional washing powder does affect me badly still). I find it hard to believe that both neighbours have switched to a more natural type of washing product. So I cannot say why that has changed. Also, I suffered terribly for years even if I caught a sniff of cigarette smoke and yet it is not quite so bad now (although I still react badly to it ... just do not feel that it is truly poisoning me to the extent that it was before). Both of my neighbours either side of me smoke and it used to come into my open windows (and yes as you can imagine, I started to hate living next to my neighbours). Yet cigarette smoke has not been affecting me quite so badly recently and again I cannot say why. Now I might be reacting more to the smell of new clothes than previously (although in reality I react to loads of stuff). I used to react badly to the smell of white vinegar and could not tolerate it (goodness knows why) and yet now it seems fine and I use it for various things around the house. So ... as I said this might not be a downward spiral for you. Perhaps for you too things are fluctuating and this is affecting you much more than usual. It might not stay this way.

Just trust that hopefully things will get better.


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 Post subject: Re: New clothes - smell
PostPosted: 26 Jul 2011, 23:57 
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Thank you for reminding me it can get better. I recall a bad period about five years ago when I abandoned my flat due to neighbours cleaning practices and then have to move again due to fabric softner/washing powder from neighbours tumble drier. I always felt so much pressure in my head, headaches/ migraines every day I thought my head might explode.

Since moving here I managed to keep quite well. Obvioulsy I still had loads of headaches but was able to keep mostly well in my home. That was up until that perfume contaminated everything a few months ago.

I guess I will just have to start again with clothing & bedding and maybe gradully introduce things when I get my toxic load down.

At some point, I will have to try sleeping in my bed. I can see that will take a long time. Hopefully I can manage that before it's -18C again. I am preparing for winter already - bought three fleeces today so I can de-stink them and a new bra - woo hoo. Hope no-one per-fumed has tried them on.

I hope you are managing to get your clothes wearable.

BTW I tried very hard not to sniff the new clothes - I don't need to as I know they will stink :twisted: I'm sure you must know that by now? I have such a bad habbit of smelling things though... I really should stop that.


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 Post subject: Re: New clothes - smell
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2011, 15:28 
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Yes you are right ... I should stop giving the clothes a sniff to see whether I react to them ... obviously I am then breathing in the chemicals (how silly of me!).


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 Post subject: Re: New clothes - smell
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2011, 17:54 
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Joined: 16 Jul 2010, 19:43
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I am in the same as all of you. First it was mold and I had to get rid of clothes. Now it's the chemical smell in new clothes. I smell everything while it's hanging on the rack before I buy it. Yes now they're making them smell better in the store until you wash them and then they stink. I return everything! I feel no guilt.

I think we can safely blame the detergents and febrese for that chemical smell after laundering. But now they've put the chemical and bonded them into the fabric. Can't get it out. Makes me ill; nauseous and asthmatic.

Keep everything old, yours or his, you might need them one day.

I wondered if bedding bought overseas would smell as badly. I sleep on pillow, no pillowcase, one safe sheet and one lightweight comforter. Can't find any other bedding I can tolerate.


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 Post subject: Re: New clothes - smell
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2011, 14:14 
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Joined: 20 Jul 2011, 16:32
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Hi Tealexis,
You mention returning clothes to the shop - have you managed to do this after trying to wash the smell out? Only I thought that usually the shops don't take them back if washed. It's a bit of a grey area if we are having an allergic reaction to the chemicals they have used in making them. It would be good to know how anybody else has got on with this.

I took a pair of summer trousers back to M & S last year. I had not worn them, but I washed them once to see if I could get the smell out. I couldn't so took them back and said that I had given them one wash and complained politely about the chemical smell on them. The assistant couldn't smell anything and got a supervisor (who also couldn't smell anything). Eventually after quite a bit of hassle, they did refund me but it was embarrassing and so I wouldn't like to do that again.


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 Post subject: Re: New clothes - smell
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2011, 15:03 
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OK Firsly the salespeople would obviously deny they smelled anything. I've heard that before. That's when I say, "it doesn't matter whether you can smell it or not. I'm the one who has asthma." In fact to save myself wear and tear, I don't tell them it's the smell. I'm just returning them, or someone didn't like them as a gift. Two can play that game. Just keep all the tags and receipts.

I can't afford to keep buying clothes/bedding and just throw them out. THEY know what chemicals they're putting into the fabrics. If they can deceive us to thinking these are new and don't smell, well I can return the items. Sometimes I do not return items, depends on the cost of the item.

BTW they all hate me (stores) and sometimes I send my hubby to return them. He says they never give him a hard time.
Good luck. Don't give in to them. They're making lots of $$ doing what they're doing.


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