Green Alternative: Fabric Softener


We all love the feeling of a fresh load of laundry out of the dryer. It’s warm, soft and smells incredible. And we all love walking down the grocery isle that has the fabric softeners and dryer sheets, smelling each one. What we might not know about those beloved dryer sheets is how dangerous some of the ingredients can be. Let’s take a look at some of these ingredients and what possible dangers they pose. According to Natural Life Magazine, here are a few:

  • Benzyl Acetate: Is linked to pancreatic cancer and its vapors can be irritating to eyes and respiratory passages, creating coughing. Can be absorbed through the skin.

  • Benzyl Alcohol: This upper respiratory tract irritant can cause central nervous system (CNS) disorders, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and dramatic drops in blood pressure.

  • Ethyl Acetate: This narcotic is on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract, it may cause headache and narcosis, anemia with leukocytosis and damage to the liver and kidneys.

  • Limonene: A known carcinogen, as well as an eye and skin irritant and sensitizer.

  • A-Terpineol: Causes CNS disorders and is highly irritating to mucous membranes. Aspiration into the lungs can produce respiratory depression, pneumonia or even fatal edema.

  • Camphor: Causes CNS disorders and is on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Is easily absorbed through body tissues, causing irritation of eyes, nose and throat. Also dizziness, confusion, nausea, twitching muscles and convulsions.

  • Linalool: A narcotic that causes CNS disorders and respiratory disturbances, which, in animal testing, have led to death.

  • Chloroform: Neurotoxic, anesthetic and carcinogenic and on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Inhalation of vapors may cause headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, irritation of respiratory tract and loss of consciousness. Aggravates disorders of the kidney, liver, heart and skin disorders. Especially a problem when subjected to heat.

  • Phthalates: Notorious for being used in children’s plastic toys and other baby products, phthalates are also used in scented products to help the scent last longer. They have been implicated in breast cancer, allergies, reproductive system problems.

Yuck. So what can we do to avoid these yucky chemicals from clinging onto our clothes? There are a few alternatives that can readily be found on the internet. Here’s one that I like!

They’re cool because they look like alien technology. They also dry your clothes quicker, make them super soft, and you can buy little inserts for them for awesome chemical free scent. And the best part? You’re saving a ridiculous amount of money. For a 2 pack you are paying $20 (if you want the ones where you can insert the scent stick, its $17 for the ones without) and they have a guarantee to last 2 years. This equals out to be less than $0.90 a month. Pretty neat huh?

These can be purchases from Nellie’s All Natural, and there are a few other brands that sell similar products as well!


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