Fabric softeners usually come with an image of freshness and comfort, although the truth is that these products contain a variety of chemicals and toxins which can do a lot more harm than good. Inhaling these chemicals od getting them through your skin can cause a wide range of health problems, especially in children.
Here’s what most fabric softeners contain:
Chloroform was used as anesthesia back in the 19th and early 20th century until science discovered that it could cause fatal arrhythmia. Chloroform is a confirmed neurotoxin and carcinogen and has been related with symptoms such as headaches, vomiting, dizziness, nausea, liver failure and heart problems if inhaled.
A-terpineol is a compound which can harm your central nervous system and cause Alzheimer’s disease, ADD, dementia, seizures, Parkinson’s disease, stroke and many cardiovascular problems. It can also irritate your mucous membranes and cause pneumonia or edema which can be fatal.
This compound has been associated with dizziness, nausea, vomiting and sudden blood pressure drops.
Benzyl acetate has been linked to pancreatic cancer and inhaling the compound can irritate the respiratory tract and eyes.
This type of alcohol has been known to harm the central nervous system.
Pentane is a harmful chemical that can damage your organs when inhaled.
This compound can irritate your lungs and eyes, while also causing headaches, dizziness and loss of consciousness. It has been known to damage the kidneys and liver as well.
Camphor can be easily absorbed in the tissues and may irritate the nose, lungs, eyes and throat. It has been related to symptoms such as nausea, irritation, convulsions and muscle spasms.
Linalool is a powerful narcotic that can cause central nervous system problems as well as upper respiratory problems. Exposure to high doses of linalool has resulted in death in animal lab tests.
These known carcinogens have been linked to breast cancer as well as fertility problems.
Limonene is another confirmed carcinogen that can irritate your skin and eyes.
If you’re a vegetarian, you’d like to know that most commercial fabric softeners contain tallow, a type of animal fat. Manufacturers are certainly aware of what’s in their products, and there is a label that they shouldn’t be used on children pajamas, but it’s too small to be noticed unless you pay really good attention to it.
Instead of these toxic products, you can prepare your own fabric softener at home. It’s easier than you think and contains simple ingredients that are easily available. The DIY fabric softener we have for you below contains vinegar, which can easily remove soap residue and reduce static reduction as well as a bit of essential oils which will give your laundry a great scent.
Here’s how to prepare it:
- A gallon of white vinegar
- 30 drops of your favorite essential oil
Mix ¾ cup of water with ¼ cup of white vinegar first, then add the essential oil and stir well. That’s it – your fabric softener is prepared. Whenever you need to use it, add it to your washer in the final rinse cycle.