24 April 2008

Drop Those Dryer Sheets

I could not believe this! I was at the Grocery Cart Challenge checking out the awesome bloggy giveaway of the ingredients for homemade laundry detergent (isn't that Gayle clever?!?) and after copying down the recipe, I decided to research homemade fabric softener, and ended up reading about how dangerous the chemicals are that we are putting in our laundry and our children's laundry and putting right on our bodies every single day. It is freaking me out. The chemicals are linked to pancreatic cancer, nervous disorders, respiratory irritants (an asthmatic mama might have known!), some are neurotoxins and most are carcinogenic! Un-be-lievable. Your skin is an organ. If we have medication patches that we can stick on our skin to be absorbed into our bodies - we better be darn sure to know that what we have on our clothes goes on our bodies.
Sound the alarm! Call Scotland Yard!
In all seriousness - I can't even imagine using fabric softener ever again! And to think that last year we were rubbing the sheets all over our skin to keep bugs away. I think I'll take my chances with the mosquitoes thank you very much. This information applies to both the liquid fabric softeners AND the dryer sheets. I love my clothes to be soft and smell good, but this is terrifying. I have a friend who doubles the amount of liquid she puts in her wash! Ahhhck!

Here are some alternatives - which I haven't tried yet - but will shortly and blog about them.
1. 6 cups water + 3 cups white vinegar + 2 cups of hair conditioner
2. 2 balls of aluminum foil thrown into the dryer
3. dryer balls you can buy at the store
4. 24 drops of your favorite essential oil mixed with a jar of vinegar (didn't say what size jar)

If you prefer sheets to putting the liquid in your washer, some said they spray the liquid concoctions on a washcloth and throw that into their dryer.

I am going to definitely be looking into this and blogging about it. Neurotoxins? Petroleum based products against our skin all day everyday? Carcinogens? It occurred to me that perhaps they could just make liquid cancer, flavor it with grape Kool-aid and we could just all drink it straight down and get it over with???? I know I am being a bit dramatic - but this really upets me! Can you tell?


  1. I have not used dryer sheets or liquid fabric conditioner in many many YEARS. As a nurse and a green-e at heart, I knew that dumping that stuff down the drain (eventually) was going to mess up my water supply in our well.

    Also, any usage of that stuff, breaks down the fibers in our clothing and causes damage on two levels. Clothes tend to fall apart easier. And it makes our clothing more flammable. It clings to our clothing and doesn't wash completely out.

    Lemons, vinegar and baking soda are the sustainable way to clean.

  2. Jules,

    www.heloise.com. She is a lady that has been around for years. My grandmother and mother have read her newspaper articles for many years. She is very good with household tips.
    Advocates cleaner, cheaper living.
    Let me know if you can't find her.

  3. forgot to mention...she's in good housekeeping. she's in a huge variety of newspapers with a daily article. I can find her books at my library. try yours.

  4. I was told somewhere that everything you put on your skin goes completely through your system in 45 minutes, or something like that. Scary. I'm waiting to hear how your laundry experiments turn out.

  5. I only use dye free fragrance free detergent, I'm allergic and have been my whole life. My mom always changed detergents because I would get a rash.

    The carcinogens are scary for sure.

  6. eew - I guess I will save the Bounce sheets for gnat control (but I won't rub them on)

  7. Hi, I am commenting on an old post--hope that is OK!

    I recently made my own detergent too and I am very happy with it. Have you tried any of the fabric softener recipes yet? The one with the hair conditioner seems to be a good way to get some scent on the clothes. I would really miss my Downey scent, but i am willing to try something new!



Awaiting your words......
♥ Juls ♥