Getting Toxins Out of Your Life: Fabric Softeners


Thousands of loads of laundry over many years and I was sure that without my beloved drier sheets my clothes would come out full of static electricity and be stiff and uncomfortable to wear.  In all honesty I never thought about not using dryer sheets until my then boyfriend now husband and I moved in together and he strongly protested dryer sheet/fabric softener use.  He claimed that he hated the film and feel of his clothes after they were dried with dryer sheets.  I thought he was being a bit dramatic, after all a lifetime of dryer sheet use kept the static electricity out of my hair!  As time went on he finally won me over to the no dryer sheet crowd.

So why the fuss over fabric softeners and dry sheets?  They contain chemicals that irritate the skin, trigger asthma and are toxic to our reproductive systems including:  distearyldimonium chloride, diethyl ester dimethyl ammonium chloride, variants of hydroxyethyl methyl ammonium methyl sulfate or the vague terms “biodegradable fabric softening agents” and “cationic surfactant.”  The fragrance softeners are even worse, containing  phthalates, which disperse the scent; synthetic musks such as galaxolide, which accumulate in the body; and much more.

I can attest that since changing our lifestyle and getting toxic chemicals out of our home my sinuses have stopped running constantly and I feel much better.  The good news is that we use toxic free laundry soap and no fabric softeners or dryer sheets and I do not suffer from static electricity in my hair or home! 

As a non-toxic alternative to fabric softeners and dryer sheets try using wool dryer balls.  They soften laundry, reduce static, and shorten drying time.  You can buy ready-made balls or make your own with wool batting or wool yarn.