Static cling is a big problem in our house in the winter months and I like to use dryer sheets to eliminate the static but I use to use commercial dryer sheets and fabric softener all the time until I discovered that they can be really toxic and can do some really bad things to the human body and environment. I never would have thought in a million years that something as innocent as commercially made dryer sheets and fabric softener could be so harmful to use. I used them all the time for years without a single clue to what I was exposing us to as a family.
Now I only use homemade laundry product recipes and they have been working great for us. I have included some of the dangers of commercial dryer sheets and fabric softeners at the bottom of the page for you to check out. I know, I know, I love the scent of the commercial dryer sheets too but guess what? I found that by taking an old dress sock and filling it about half full with dried lavender and tying the sock off in a tight knot and tossing it in the dryer along with your homemade dryer sheets that your clothes come out smelling absolutely awesome and static free for the most part. And the scent stays with your laundry and you can get several uses out of your lavender sock too, lol.
Homemade Dryer Sheets
Soak a washcloth in some of the anti-static fabric softener from the recipe below. Wring out excess fabric softener then simply toss into the dryer with your clothes. I also find that taking a sheet of aluminum foil and wadding it into a ball and tossing it in the dryer works good too.
Toss the dried washcloth in the dryer and use again and again
until it no longer works. Re-soak and dry the washcloths when needed. You should be able to do a dozen or so dryer loads per fabric softener soak.
1 cup vinegar
1 cup baking soda
2 cups water
Mix the baking soda and water in a large gallon container until the powder is dissolved. Add the vinegar slowly so it doesn‘t fizz up as much. Once the mixture stops fizzing, pour into a clean container. Shake well and use 1/4 cup in the rinse cycle.
* I give this mixture a gentle shake each time before I use it to make sure it is mixed good.
THE TOXIC DANGER OF FABRIC SOFTENER AND DRYER SHEETS -
"Reprinted with permission of www.SixWise.com"
Many people will remember a famous TV ad where a woman races to her washing machine, fabric softener in hand, only to arrive just as the wash ends. This woman who "forgot to ad the fabric softener" was actually doing herself and her family a favor.
Although they may make your clothes feel soft and smell fresh, fabric softener and dryer sheets are some of the most toxic products around. 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.
Here is a list of just some of the chemicals found in fabric softeners and dryer sheets:
Benzyl acetate: Linked to pancreatic cancer
Benzyl Alcohol: Upper respiratory tract irritant
Ethanol: On the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Hazardous Waste list and can cause central nervous system disorders
A-Terpineol: Can cause respiratory problems, including fatal edema, and central nervous system damage
Ethyl Acetate: A narcotic on the EPA's Hazardous Waste list
Camphor: Causes central nervous system disorders
Chloroform: Neurotoxic, anesthetic and carcinogenic
Linalool: A narcotic that causes central nervous system disorders
Pentane: A chemical known to be harmful if inhaled
So how could products with pretty names like Soft Ocean Mist, Summer Orchard and April Fresh be so dangerous?
The chemicals in fabric softeners are pungent and strong smelling -- so strong that they require the use of these heavy fragrances (think 50 times as much fragrance) just to cover up the smells. Furthermore, synthetic fabrics, which are the reason fabric softeners were created in the first place, do not smell good either when heated in a dryer or heated by our bodies ... hence the need for even more hefty fragrances.
In other words, remove all the added fragrance that endears people to fabric softeners and -- like the cliche -- wolf in sheep's clothing -- the real smells of the chemical-laced fabric softener and the synthetic fabrics they were designed around may prompt people to shoot their laundry machines and be done with it.
Are "Soft" Clothes Worth It?
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.
Health effects from being exposed to the chemicals in fabric softeners include:
Central nervous system disorders
Blood pressure reduction
Irritation to skin, mucus membranes and respiratory tract
Pretty scary huh?
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