Friday, August 6, 2010

Reasons not to buy dryer sheets or fabric softener

I have never been one to use softeners or dryer sheets. My mom didn't use them growing up. When I first got married I thought I would make our stuff extra soft by buying a package of dryer sheets (this is a link to the most natural ones i found, they are pretty good if you must have soft clothes.), the accountant likes soft towels. I did and I couldn't stand the chemical smell. To be honest our stuff seemed unnaturally soft. Too soft if there is such a thing. I didn't feel as dry when I used those extra soft towels. My husband now likes to tease me that our towels are exfoliators, since I have been line drying everything this summer to save money. But hey the minute they get wet they are soft again and they smell so fresh not like chemicals. Out of curiosity I looked up what is in our softeners and discovered lots of nasty chemicals! I highly recommend that if you don't change anything else about laundry you get rid of the softeners and dryer sheets or at least find a natural substitute!! Granted one exposure or two probably won't hurt you it's repeated usage of these chemicals and all the others in our modern environment.

List of chemicals found in dryer sheets and fabric softeners:

  • A-terpineol (irritates mucous membranes and causes central nervous system damage)
  • Benzyl acetate ( linked to cancer of the pancreas, eye and respiratory irritant)
  • Benzyl alcohol ( can cause headaches, nausea vomiting, dizziness, depression disorders)
  • Chloroform (EPA hazardous waste list. Identified as carcinogen and neurotoxin)
  • Ethanol (EPA hazardous waste list for causing brain and nervous system disorders)
  • Ethyl acetate (eye and lung irritant)
  • Linalool (CNS effects causes decrease in muscle coordination, depression)
  • Pentane (causes headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness and depression)
The point of fabric softeners it o stay on your clothes. Now think about your clothes covering your largest organ, your skin. Your skin absorbs these chemicals all day and all night. If you use dryer sheets some of the chemicals are vaporized, you breathe them in. I know we can't eliminate our exposure to chemicals but we can at least minimize it as much as possible!

In the winter when I am using the dryer I use dryer balls.

Nellie's Dryer Balls

If you use liquid laundry detergent just use baking soda to replace your fabric softener as I mentioned in a previous post. 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup depending on the size of your laundry load.

References: Healthy Child, Healthy World by Christopher Gavigan

Green Goes with Everything by Sloan Barnett

Organic Housekeeping: In Which the Non-Toxic Avenger Shows You How.... By Ellen Sandbeck

1 comment:

  1. Jenny: Plus those puppies are expensive! I hate when I need to buy more. Maybe I will give it a try...



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