Sunday, June 21, 2015

Seriously, You Need To Ditch The Softeners

Welcome to yet another informative series in Dirty Laundry.  We are talking softeners this time and oh, my!  What I have found is very disturbing, but enlightening as well.  Shoo!

Just what are softeners?  Why are they so dangerous?  What are softener alternatives?

There is an abundance of information out there.  We'll bring it all to you, right here, in the smallest nutshell.



Softeners are a chemical compound that prevent static cling and soften fabric. Synthetic materials hold odor and hence, a big reason people reach for softeners perfume.  Another great reason to go cotton, right?! Just as with detergents, companies are not required to mention toxic chemicals in their products.  Here is list of the toxins found in softeners and the effects they've been know to have. From irritants to nerve damage, be informed.

Keep in mind, you are wearing these clothes coated in toxins every single day for nearly every single minute.  In other words you are continuously surrounding yourself and your family in toxins.  Youch!

Think about the money you would save by never buying toxic dryer sheets and softeners, again.  Hundreds if not thousands of dollars over time.  Of course, you'll also be doing the environment a huge favour and boy, could nature use a break.

Did you know that softeners may even damage some clothes?  Here is a short list of fabrics that you shouldn't even be using softeners on because they reduce absorption and increase flammability.  Obviously, towels, microfibre, athletic clothing and pyjamas.  Line dry these.

I've done some personal research with my lovely friends and family and found nearly everyone just loves their softeners and dryer sheets.  I realise how difficult the decision to ditch this stuff is going to be.  So, let us hook you up with several alternatives in hopes that you will get the effect your looking for.

The top alternative for softener is vinegar.  If the scent of softeners are your thing, then add essential oils to it.  You only need 30-40 drops to an entire gallon of white vinegar.  Who much does a gallon of vinegar cost compared to a gallon of your favourite softener?



If you have a Downy ball, put your vinegar mix in there or in the softener dispenser of your machine.  Vinegar not only softens clothes, it helps reduce soap build up and helps with static cling, too.



Another excellent alternative is baking soda.  Use it in the rinse cycle to naturally soften clothes, remove odors, whiten, brighten, remove stains and it will also help keep your wash machine clean.  Boom!  that sure is lot of advantages.



Aluminum foil balls are on the list of alternatives to soften and get rid of static cling.  However, their toxicity comes into question as well as the potential to damage delicate clothes, which shouldn't be put in the dryer anyway.  (Here's a link for someone's experience using the balls.  Click on the image.)

 foil ball review

Wool balls are an other favourite.  You can purchase them or make them yourself.  Wool balls reduce drying time and cut down on static. I love the idea of making some as a gift for family and friends.  You can even add essential oil to the balls at the end of the cycle and run the machine without heat for extra scent.  Find out how to make your own by clicking on the image below.

 wool balls

Since synthetic fabrics are the biggest culprit in static clean, try to keep them separate from cottons and hang them to dry, if it is an option.  I've found that simply giving my clothes a good shaking out helps ditch the cling, too.  

I hang my clothes out to dry and that's the topic for the next edition of Dirty Laundry.  It saves tons of money. It's the best thing for your clothes. There is no static cling. It's great for the environment and there are no chemicals.

Ask yourself, just how important is it that your clothes smells excessively perfumey and just how bad is the static cling problem?  Is it worth all of that extra money and toxins that are bad for you, your family and the environment?

If you were to use cold water, wash only full loads, wash during non peak hours, make your own detergent, use all natural products like vinegar, creme of tartar, baking soda and borax and hang out your wash, you'll easily save $1,000 a year.  Wow!

That's something to think about!