Change the Way You Soften Your Clothes

My suggestion for one more great tip is another green trifecta! Save money/save the planet and protect your family from harmful chemicals. STOP USING DRYER SHEETS and FABRIC SOFTENER!!! And did I say please? Please. If you care about the health and safety of your family members, you might want to stay away from both conventional dryer sheets and liquid fabric softeners altogether. Even though it feels nice to have clothes that are soft, smell fresh and are free of static cling, both types of products contain chemicals known to be toxic to people after sustained exposure.

According to the health and wellness website Sixwise.com, some of the most harmful ingredients in dryer sheets and liquid fabric softener alike include benzyl acetate (linked to pancreatic cancer), benzyl alcohol (an upper respiratory tract irritant), ethanol (linked to central nervous system disorders), limonene (a known carcinogen) and chloroform (a neurotoxin and carcinogen), among others. Will that do it for you? After you get over being angry for being duped, go to the laundry room and get rid of your dryer sheets and fabric softener. Take it personally! I did.

And I even have a few suggestions to avoid static cling (heaven forbid!) and keep your clothes soft. You can buy what I lovingly refer to as “the blue balls” for your dryer. They can be purchased for about twenty dollars at Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond, or online. They last FOREVER!!! We have had ours for about two years. And don’t tell Mr. Green I am writing about him but an awful rash that he suffered from for years has totally disappeared since we stopped using Bounce.

There are also some great natural solutions for fabric softener including simply adding either a quarter cup of baking soda or a quarter cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle. Both of them will soften clothes and the vinegar will address static cling. Talk about saving money and the planet! In addition, a few companies have answered the consumer call for greener, safer ways to soften clothes and reduce static cling as well. Seventh Generation‘s Natural Lavender Scent Fabric Softener and Ecover‘s Natural Fabric Softener are both good choices that rely on vegetable products and natural essential oils instead of harsh chemicals to get the job done. What a concept.

Two websites you might want to visit for more info: www.nationalgeographic.com/greenguide & sixwise.com.