Although it seems that people have become practical about the products they use, as far as quality and price go, but it now looks like this may not be the healthiest way to go.
This is simply because these ‘cheap, affordable and effective” products are packed with toxins which could cause severe health problems. One of those products people are struggling with is fabric softener.
Aside from this, there is a an array of other products which belong in this category, such as body creams, scented candles, air fresheners and bathroom cleaners.
Mind this, we use each of these items on daily basis, which makes it that more dangerous.
As far as fabric softeners are concerned, experts have already labeled them as “indoor pollutants.” What’s worse is the fact that a large number of these toxins have been pre-approved for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Fabric softeners’ main mission is to keep all of your clothes soft, smooth, wrinkle-free and smelling like heaven. However, for all these factors to work together, experts explain there is supposed to be a significant dose of toxins used, which poses a threat for every household.
These additives can trigger skin and respiratory issues.
Fabric Softeners Contain Toxicities Such as Phthalates
Anne Steinemann, Ph.D., professor at the University of Melbourne in Australia and a huge specter of experts in the field, stated for the New Scientist, “Most of our exposure to hazardous pollutants occurs indoors, and a primary source of these pollutants is our everyday consumer products.”
As the report says, toxins and other harmful compounds don’t have to be listed on each product’s description.
This causes further problems, since unknown toxins are likely to combine with other substances causing even more danger for the consumer.
Fabric softeners can be used in two ways: The first is when you pour the liquid into the rinse cycle. The second is when you use a sheet and throw it in the dryer along with other clothes.
The two ways of using it are equally harmful for children and adults. Toxins will penetrate through the skin and will most likely cause serious damage.
People exposed to this occurrence have been known to suffer from phthalates.
A University of Illinois Cancer Center article states the following on the subject.
“Phthalates … [are a] synthetic preservative that’s carcinogenic and linked to adverse reproductive effects (decreased sperm counts, early breast development, and birth defects) and liver and kidney damage.”7
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) further explains that not everyone pays attention to health effects of phthalates on humans, but after experiments of that sort were done on animals it was found the animals were diagnosed with reproductive health and developmental problems, including:
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wrote that most Americans’ blood is packed with phthalates, which more often happens in women. In addition, the “breadth of the danger is not yet understood.”
Conventional Fabric Softeners and Other Hazardous Pollutants
According to Organic Authority:
“Using a liquid fabric softener? You are pouring these toxic chemicals into the ocean every time you use it. Even worse than liquid fabric softeners are dryer sheets, whose chemicals are heated and then shot into the air for you to breathe into your lungs.
That ‘fresh-from-the-dryer’ smell that fabric softeners impart to your clean load of laundry? Don’t breathe it in, if you like your lungs to function. That super floral smell is masking a seriously unhealthy chemical stench.”
The Worst, Most Toxic Chemical Offenders
Chemicals used in fabric softeners leaves a layer of (toxic) lubrication on your laundry which leaves the clothes softer nut is highly poisonous. But, then they add aromas and fragrances.
These chemicals are not just in your clothes, it is spread on your bedding, towels and washcloths.
It is appalling that you won’t even know it’s there, since manufacturers are not obliged to list all ingredients.
Fresh and Healthy Alternatives to Toxic Fabric Softeners
To avoid exposing yourself and your family to toxins, you can try preparing your own softener with only few simple ingredients found anywhere around you.
- 2 cups of Epsom saltsor coarse sea salt
- 20 to 30 drops essential oil
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- In a bowl or a pan, combine essential oils with the Epsom salts and then throw in the baking soda.
- Transfer the mixture into a container with a vacuum lid on.
The essential oil is up to your personal choice, which is amazing.
Take a look at these recipes as well:
- Add one-half cup of baking soda to your wash and enjoy the softness.
- Take one cup of distilled white vinegar and one-and-half tsp. of an essential oil of your preference, and pour them in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray 10 to 15 times on wet clothes and proceed with your regular washing.
- Throw a crumpled-up ball of aluminum in the dryer to prevent static cling.
- Take a clean wash cloth and pour several drops of essential oil in it. Add this to your wash and proceed as per regular.
Dryer Balls: Easy to Make and All-Natural
Dryer balls are a very cheap alternative, which also get rid of static cling. Another great thing is that these can last you for years. Use orange, peppermint, lavender or a mix of these essential oils and soak each bowl.
Here is what you will need to do this:
- Recycled 100 percent wool sweaters
- 100 percent wool yarn
- Knee-high nylon or old pantyhose
First, cut the sweaters into small pieces and roll them into medium-sized balls.
Using the wool yarn bring it tightly around the ball-shaped scrap pieces, making sure they’re round. Cover whole ball with it and secure the ends.
Next, tie a knot and drop it into a knee-high nylon sock. Make a knot at the top using a rubber band and place it during the hot cycles of first your washer, then repeat the same with the dryer.
Prior to all that, add a few drops of essential oil to the balls, and mix with the wet clothes and use immediately.