Normal washing does not completely remove animal proteins embedded in clothing. Is there a substance that can break down the proteins and render them harmless to allergy sufferers without breaking down the clothing fibers?

  • 3
    Did you use a bio detergent? It is better at breaking down proteins, although it can damage wool, silk and other fibres, and aggravate sensitive skin conditions. Feb 13, 2020 at 20:49
  • Good question, but it almost has a forensics tone to it.
    – Ken Graham
    Feb 15, 2020 at 15:51
  • @WeatherVane: No I don't think so, we're using a sensitive kind because of allergies. I'll have to do some research to see if such products are sold here in Germany, for all I know the EU banned them. Feb 19, 2020 at 18:45
  • @newenglander - There is no EU ban on biological detergents as far as I know and I'm in the UK. We use bio as there is no bleach component to the detergents Sep 23, 2020 at 12:36

5 Answers 5

  • Hot water is known to denature some allergens.
  • There's special laundry detergent that's designed for allergy sufferers. It will neutralize the allergens either using chemicals or enzymes.
  • Finally if you want to try the natural route, try using a cup of vinegar and hot water combination. The comb should have a denaturing effect as well.

Unspool some duct tape from a roll and press it against the fabric surface. Wait about 10 seconds, then pull it off. a strip of duct tape can be used up to 5 times like this to pull dander out of clothing. discard after 5 uses, and replace with fresh tape.

  • Why wait the 10 seconds? Sep 23, 2020 at 12:32
  • @ChrisRogers, the adhesive on the tape flows slightly over a timescale of some seconds. waiting ten seconds gives the adhesive time enough to make good contact with the dirt particles, so they will come off with the tape when you pull it off. Sep 23, 2020 at 16:28
  • Is it better to fuss with duct tape when you can use lint rollers? Oct 9, 2020 at 15:43
  • 1
    @eyesplice17, duct tape is cheaper and stickier! Oct 9, 2020 at 22:57

How can animal dander be completely removed from clothing?

My recommendation would be to apply Shout for a few minutes to those tough stains, just prior to putting your clothes in the washer for cleaning.

The dander here, is that a stain may be set (meaning it cannot be removed) if it has not been treated prior to be machine washed.

I habitually have Shout on hand and apply it to stains that I think will not come out.

Shout Triple-Acting Stain Remover Spray 30 fl. oz.

Protein-based stains

When working with protein-based stains, seek a stain remover that has an enzyme-based agent. Enzymes are biological catalysts, which means that they either speed up or change a chemical reaction. When you use an enzyme-based agent, the enzyme enters the stain and breaks up the non-water soluble molecules into smaller, more soluble molecules.

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I find that Shout works very well on blood stains as long as the garment is properly treated before washing.

Other cleaning agent may work, but I am comfortable just using Shout.


I know that there are enzyme solutions that dissolve (digest) pet dander used by professionals. It may be worth trying a product I saw in the Amazon branded janitorial supplies ... they had a gallon of concentrated enzyme solution for twenty bucks which is a lot cheaper than enzymes branded specifically to remove pet stains from carpets, etc. Bear in mind that the fabric would have to be dampened with the enzymes and stay damp long enough for the organisms to consume the dander. (Never tried the stuff in gallons but I know those solutions digest pet urine well enough that the stains no longer show in UV light.) The nice thing about enzymes is there is generally no risk of damaging the fabric or altering the color.


There a couple of solutions that you can use to remove animal dander from your fabric. Please find them below:

  1. HEPA filter vacuum cleaner: Use hand attachment of this cleaner to suck dander from your clothes.

  2. Lint brush: You can use this to remove the visible animal danders.

  3. Hypo allergenic pet wipes: This can be used to neutralize the allergic effects of dander. Advised to use only on dark and sturdy fabrics as vapor content can cause stain. If unknown about the type of your fabric, try the wipe in unidentified spot and continue according to the result.

  4. Wash using hot water: Local cloth washers have advised to wash them in hottest water possible. This can destroy the microbial allergic particles. Along with, try to use allergen laundry detergent. The market has a wide range of allergen laundry detergents that you can select from.

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