Dryer sheets and fabric softeners are in millions of households. Although they may make your laundry feel soft, smell fresh and free of static cling, they contain harmful chemicals. In fact, dryer sheets are one of the most toxic items in anyone’s home. Chemicals are heated in the dryer increasing their toxicity and making them slightly worse than liquid fabric softeners. The dryer’s exhaust pumps toxic air into the neighborhood. Fabric softeners work by leaving a coating on the fabric which makes it feel soft and has a fragrance. Clothing will continue to outgas in closets, negatively impacting the air quality of your home.
Using dryer sheets can result in several health related issues including headaches, central nervous system damage and possibly cancer. Children and the elderly are susceptible to possible respiratory problems and skin rashes.
What Chemicals are in Fabric Softeners?
Fabric softeners and dryer sheets contain a toxic stew of chemicals. Many of the combinations have not been tested.
- A-Terpineol: Headaches, respiratory problems and central nervous system damage
- Benzyl acetate: Linked to pancreatic cancer
- Benzyl Alcohol: Upper respiratory tract irritant
- Camphor: Can cause central nervous system disorders
- Chloroform: Carcinogenic neurotoxin
- Ethanol: On the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list and can cause central nervous system disorders
- Linalool: Causes central nervous system disorders.
- Limonene: Suspected Gastrointestinal or Liver Toxicant, Immunotoxicant, Kidney Toxicant, Neurotoxicant, Respiratory Toxicant, and Skin or Sense Organ Toxicant
- Ethyl Acetate: Causes headaches and is on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list
- Pentane: Causes headaches and nausea
Toxic Dryer Sheet Oilternative
Ditch your toxic dryer sheets for a natural alternative. Wool dryer balls are completely free of synthetics and help dry clothes faster. Add essential oils directly to your wool dryer balls for a fresh scent.
- Young Living Starter Kit Oils for Laundry – Purification, Lavender, Lemon or Thieves all work well.
- Choose one and add 4-5 drops on each dryer ball.
- Toss in the dryer and enjoy the fresh natural smell – chemical free.