I was reminded recently, when a friend disclosed her experience "Cleaning Up" her space after a cancer scare. (If you want more info on how to do that look at Hulda Clark's books.) My friend mentioned the toxins in the dryer sheets. So to pass on some knowledge to whoever wants to pursue it, check it out:
Do you know about the toxic danger of fabric softener and dryer sheets? A simple change in your laundry routine can save money, protect your health, and help the environment, all at the same time.
Fabric softener and dryer sheets may make your clothes feel soft and smell fresh, and they help prevent your socks from sticking to your blouses, as well as that annoying shock you get when you’re done folding laundry and you reach for the doorknob.
What many people might not know is that fabric softeners and dryer sheets are actually really bad for you. Why? Because they contain a lot of chemicals that the EPA has classified as dangerous. And because we use dryer sheets at the end of the laundry process, these chemicals don’t get wiped off our clothes until our skin wipes them off.
And chances are that the staggering 99.8 percent of Americans who use common commercial detergents, fabric softeners, bleaches, and stain removers would think twice if they knew they contained chemicals that could cause cancer and brain damage.
With more and more studies coming out, people are finally starting to get the news: by using these chemical fabric softeners and other chemicals, you are exposing yourself and your family to toxic chemicals that could have dire long-term consequences.
The Chemicals In Dryer Sheets
- ALPHA-TERPINEOL- Causes CNS (Central Nervous System) disorders and is highly irritating to mucus membranes.
- BENZYL ACETATE- Carcinogenic (linked to pancreatic cancer).
- BENZYL ALCOHOL- Causes CNS disorders. It is irritating to the upper respiratory tract” causing “headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drop in blood pressure, CNS depression, and death in severe cases due to respiratory failure.
- CAMPHOR- Causes CNS disorders.
- CHLOROFORM- Toxic. It is an anesthetic and carcinogenic.
- ETHYL ACETATE- Narcotic. This product is on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract.
- LINALOOL- Narcotic. Causes DNS disorder, respiratory disturbances.
- PENTANE-”Danger-Harmful if inhaled; extremely flammable.
Fabric softeners are made to stay in your clothing for long periods of time. As such, chemicals are slowly released either into the air for you to inhale or onto your skin for you to absorb. Dryer sheets are particularly noxious because they are heated in the dryer and the chemicals are released through dryer vents and out into the environment.
The exposure is so constant that it can be difficult to connect the product with the signs of reactivity it causes.
Health effects from being exposed to the chemicals in fabric softeners and dryer sheets include:
- Central nervous system disorders
- Blood pressure reduction
- Irritation to skin, mucus membranes and respiratory tract
- Pancreatic cancer
Green Alternatives To Dryer SheetsWell, the cheapest, and greenest, option, is to ditch using dryer sheets altogether.
Or you can try one of these green options:
- Fill a small cloth sack with dried herbs like lavender or basil. This will help scent your laundry.
- Purchase some essential oils like lavender, sandalwood, or mint. Drip a few drops on a cloth, and throw it into the dryer with the rest of your clothes.
- If you’re worried about cling, then add one or two tablespoons of vinegar to your washing machine’s rinse cycle. This will help the wrinkles fall out in the dryer. You can also try adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to your rinse cycle if the vinegar doesn’t do the trick.
- There are several green dryer sheets out on the market. One is Mrs. Meyers Clean Day. They list all the ingredients on their website, and the sheet is biodegradable
- You can also check out 7th Generation’s Fabric Softener Seventh Generation. Like Mrs. Meyers, they fully list their ingredients on their site.
- Ecover is another company that makes eco-friendly cleaning products including fabric softener and laundry detergent.
I am intrigued with Wool Dryer Balls. We get a lot of static. It sounds like an easy, sustainable solution.
Wool does not harbor bacteria.
A set of three wool dryer balls in your dryer will shorten drying time by 15-25%.
Wool Dryer balls are made to eliminate static and soften clothes.
They also cut down on ironing, because clothes come out of the dryer less wrinkled
They will help your dryer last longer. Dryer sheets and softeners have chemicals and waxes that can kill a dryer’s heating element. The softeners/dryer sheets cause wax buildup on the lint catcher so hot moisture is not escaping the dryer, which could burn out the heater.
Wool dryer balls will keep your laundry clean and toxic free. There are no fragrances or anything synthetic about them.
Reduces Waste: Unlike conventional dryer sheets that must be discarded, just leave the 100% safe wool dryer balls right in the dryer for load after load.
To use, simply toss 3-6 balls in your dryer and start. No need to remove them from the dryer, just reuse! Add your favorite essential oil to these for a wonderful scent of your choice!
We can do a lot to protect our health by making smarter choices in the products we use every day! A simple change in your laundry routine can save money, protect your health, and help the environment, all at the same time.
Here's a DO-IT-YOURSELF solution. My favorite!
Wool Dryer Balls
" ...you can speed up laundry drying times by turning a skein of wool yarn into three felted wool balls.
Save Time and Energy
These balls function as fabric softener and you can add a few drops of an essential oil to give your laundry whatever scent you'd like. All you need to do is wrap a length of wool yarn around your fingers twenty times, slip the strands of yarn off your fingers and wrap the middle of that circle another twenty times until it reaches the size of a tennis ball and then you cut the yarn and tuck the end under another strand. A standard skein of yarn should make three or four of these balls.
The last step is to "felt" the balls to make sure they won't unravel. Place a ball in the end of a leg of pantyhose or tights and secure it with a piece of synthetic string that won't felt and add the next ball and so on. Once everything is tied off run it through a wash cycle and your dryer on the highest heat settings.
At this point you will have several wool dryer balls that work great for improving drying efficiency and eliminating fabric softener.
So I will go look for some 100% wool at the craft store and see how it goes.
I will let you all know.
Thanks for reading : )