One of our missions while trying to transform our household into a green haven for our family was to replace products as we ran out of them. We figured that throwing away boxes and bottles full of products away was wasteful and it would make it easier on the wallet to go one item at a time instead of suddenly needing to replace everything in our home.
One of the things that have taken forever at getting to the bottom of has been our box of dryer sheets. Why? Because we hang so much to dry that we use them very rarely and when we absolutely MUST use the dryer, we cut them in 2, sometimes 3 parts. So a little box of 70 dryer sheets has been lasting us going on a year now.
When I pulled one out to realize there was only left in there this morning, I jumped for joy at the idea of finally switching to eco-friendly, non-toxic, biodegradable fabric softener.
Then my curiosity got tickled and I decided to look at how bad for the environment dryer sheets really were. I was very shocked and quite scared by the info I found. Not because of the dangers for the environment, but because of danger to us!
According to World-Wire.com, this is a list of some of the chemicals found in commercial 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 needless to say, the last dryer sheet went in the trash and I went searching for alternatives.
Fabric Softeners :
Natural health food stores, and even many big grocery stores, will sell natural fabric softeners that are non-toxic and made from plant-based products. They are often times only a few dollars more and will make your clothes just as soft and static free.
Home recipes :
Again, from World-Wire.com here are a few ideas on home recipes to help make your clothes soft and static free without the use of chemicals :
Add a quarter cup of baking soda to wash cycle to soften fabric
Add a quarter cup of white vinegar to rinse to soften fabric and eliminate cling
Reusable natural dryer sheets :
My final suggestion is to check out a great product I found while doing this research. I came across a site for a Canadian company called Static Eliminator that produces a chemical free, hypoallergenic, long lasting and safe reusable dryer sheet that seems just fantastic!
“How does it work?
The technology behind the Static Eliminator Re-Usable Dryer Sheets is a true innovation for the way you do laundry... The weave of the Static Eliminator Re-Usable Dryer Sheets gives them their static fighting power - instead of coating your laundry with harmful chemicals, these unique, re-usable dryer sheets "conduct" the static out of your laundry load. The Static Eliminator removes static and softens fabrics while remaining chemical free and maintaining your dryer warranty.”
So I hope I could inspire you to look for safer alternatives to your traditional dryer solutions. We all want a safer, healthier home and sometimes little differences can have a huge impact!
What are some of your favorite home recipes for household chores?