If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that we try to live in a natural and sustainable way as much as possible. There are many reasons for this, from health to the environment, to finances.
Today I want to talk about one more area where you can make a very simple and cost-effective change that can have a big impact on your health and home (and save you money!).
Fabric softener. This is one of those things that was ingrained into me that you just need to use, but I recently discovered how bad they are for you!
I have a saying that I love about these types of things, “Know better. Do better.”
We can’t help our ignorance, but we can educate ourselves and then act upon that knowledge. So I wanted to share with you all a few of the reasons we have stopped using fabric softeners.
1. It negates the flame-resistant qualities of clothing
This is huge, and it’s something that most people don’t know about, even though it is posted in fine print everywhere regarding care instructions for flame-resistant garments.
There are some types of clothing (children’s sleepwear for one example) that are required to be flame-resistant. When you use fabric softener (liquid or dryer sheets), the residue from the fabric softener negates the flame-resistant qualities of the clothing. In addition that build up can actually make clothing more flammable! This is potentially very dangerous.
This is especially relevant to me since my husband is a wildland firefighter. No, his flame resistant Nomex aren’t the thing we’re hanging all of our hopes on with his safety, but I do want to give him every advantage possible.
See more information about other clothing types that can be damaged by fabric softeners.
2. It contains Toxic Chemicals
Fabric softeners contain a lot of chemicals that aren’t great for the environment or our health. I never really thought about this aspect of them until I developed MCS over the past couple of years after exposure to toxic mold. I now have a reaction (nausea, headaches, sometimes vertigo) to these chemicals. However, just because you don’t have an obvious reaction, doesn’t mean you’re unaffected.
Our bodies are remarkably resilient in adapting to chemicals (and foods) that are bad for us, so you may not have an immediate obvious reaction to them. However, they can still cause long-term problems. Harmful chemicals should be avoided when possible and fabric softeners are full of them.
In addition to this, fabric softeners can also cause harmful build up, both on clothing and in machines. Dryer sheets can reduce the life and efficiency of your dryer.
A Natural Alternative
You might be thinking, “this is all well and good, but I like my clothes soft!”
There is a very good alternative to traditional fabric softeners: Wool dryer balls!
Wool dryer balls:
- are completely natural
- reduce toxic load on you and your family
- cost less per load than traditional fabric softeners
- can be scented with any essential oil of your choice
- do not harm your dryer
- do not leave any build up
- help you save energy costs by reducing drying time by up to 20%
- last for 1,000 loads or more (no more running out of fabric softener!)
If you like the scent provided by softeners and dryer sheets, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to the wool dryer balls. This one is formulated specifically for laundry and is perfect for use with dryer balls. It smells great too.
Try Wool Dryer Balls for FREE!
In an attempt to help you make this transition even easier, I have partnered with Mightynest to allow Serving Joyfully readers to try out their wool dryer balls for FREE! (A $17.99 value!)
Right now you can get a set of 3 wool dryer balls from Mighty Nest for FREE (you pay just a discounted $3 shipping fee)! This is a great deal and makes it even more of a no-brainer to make this switch! That’s less than the cost of traditional fabric softener, and a perfect time to try them out if you’ve been thinking about it.
Click here to get your Dryer Balls. The dryer balls will be automatically added into your cart with the savings reflected when you click “subscribe.”
You will be enrolled in their monthly autoship program for just $10/mo, but you can cancel at any time to avoid being charged. You can also ship any other items for FREE with your delivery.
It should automatically reflect the deal, but if not you can use code DRYERFIX2016 (Don’t worry about the date, it’s still valid!)