I can’t remember the last time I used fabric softener, but it’s safe to say it happened more than a decade ago.
I also can’t remember why I stopped. It might have been because the overpowering fragrances of my laundry detergent and fabric softener seemed to clash. It might have been because my washing machine didn’t have a fabric softener receptacle and I never cared for dryer sheets. Or, I just might have been trying to save a little money on my grocery bills.
Whatever the reason, I never missed it. And I haven’t noticed much of a difference in my clothes throughout the years.
I’m sharing all of this just to let you know that I’m not personally affected by the safety of fabric softeners. But I bet a lot of you are.
Last week I shared about the disappointing ratings many laundry products have received from the Environmental Working Group.
If you take a closer look at the ratings, only one fabric softener tested received an A (it’s the Lavender Mint version of Green Shield Organic Fabric Softener). Five received B’s and twelve received C’s. One-hundred forty-one fabric softeners received D’s and F’s.
What is in fabric softeners?
So what are some of the ingredients that make the products so dangerous?
- One ingredient of concern is “fabric softeners.” The real fabric softening chemical is didecyldimethylammonium chloride. It aggravates allergies and is harmful if swallowed.
- Cationic fabric softeners also are used and actually are the chemical Methyl bis-2-hydroxyethyl ammonium methyl sulfate (C14-18). These fabric softeners also aggravate allergies.
- Colors found in fabric softeners also are concerning. For instant, C.I. Solvent Yellow 14 is suspected to cause cancer and genetic defects. It also harms aquatic life.
Never fear – I do have some good news. Tomorrow I’ll share one natural, safe and crafty alternative to fabric softeners.
Do you regularly use fabric softeners? Are you pleased with the products? Would you be interested in a safer choice?
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