Should You Skip the Fabric Softener?

You feed your kids organic fruits and veggies, bathe them in quality natural soaps, but have you considered what is in your fabric softener?

Fabric softener is full of nasty chemicals that are bad for our bodies and waxy build up that can ruin our dryers.

Bad Ingredients

 A-Terpineol is an alcohol added to fabric softeners because of its pleasant scent. However, it has been known to cause central nervous system disorders.

Benzyl Alcohol  is used as a solvent. Side effects from exposure are nausea, vomiting and dizziness.

Camphor  is chemically manufactured from turpentine oil and, if ingested, can cause severe vomiting and even death.

Ethyl Acetate is used as a solvent. It is also used in entomology for asphyxiating insects for collection. It’s listed on the EPA’s hazardous waste list as a narcotic.

Linalool is used in the majority of scented hygiene products because of its pleasant scent. It is also used as an insecticide. In animal studies it has been shown to cause loss of motor skills and depression.

Pentane acts similarly to butane (lighter fluid) and is also used as a solvent and is on the EPA’s hazardous waste list.

Why It’s bad for your Dryer

Waxy ingredients in some fabric softeners can cause build up in your lint trap. This can cause an imbalance in proper ventilation, making your dryer work inefficiently and could even cause a fire. To check for build up on your filter simply pull it out and hold it under cool running water. If the water flows through your filter is clean. If the water pools then you have waxy build up. This can be cleaned using hot water and dish soap.

Healthy Alternatives

Line Drying

Hanging clothes in the sun can help kill dust mites, bleach out stains and save on energy costs.

Aluminum Foil

Make fist-sized balls out of aluminum foil and toss three or four in your dryer. The aluminum will help keep clothing from collecting static and can also help separate clothing during drying, shortening the time needed to dry a full load of laundry.

Wool Dryer Balls

Using merino wool or any other type of wool yarn labeled “hand wash only” you can either purchase wool balls like Woolzies or easily make your own wool dryer balls. Using a hand wash only wool will allow the balls to naturally felt in the dryer and help them from unraveling. Wool balls will help separate your clothing in the dryer, shortening drying time and softening clothes at the same time. If you’re not sensitive to scents you can even add a few drops of any essential oil to your dryer balls to give your clothes a nice smell right out of the dryer.

Check out our article Easy DIY Baby Laundry Detergent for more laundry room tips and tricks.

Source: EPA, Web MD

Photo Credit: Memoirs of Megan

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sara Taylor

Sara is a work-from-home mom with a photography business and a passion for capturing real life. She spends her time chauffeuring, teaching, encouraging and cherishing her three elementary aged children. Aside from her family and photography, Sara loves knitting, baking, and Instagram. You can find her on Facebook .

Leave a comment