We all love the smell of fabric softener, but what you may not know is that fabric softeners are actually toxic, and can cause major health issues! Fortunately, we’re here with a natural alternative you can make yourself!
In particular, the following chemicals commonly found in fabric softeners are toxic:
- A-Terpineol: Causes Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders, meaning problems relating to the brain and spine such as Alzheimer’s disease, ADD, dementia, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, seizures, strokes, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Early symptoms of CNS problems include aphasia, blurred vision, disorientation, dizziness, headaches, hunger, memory loss, numbness in face, pain in neck and spine. A-Terpineol also irritates the mucous membranes and, if aspirated into the lungs, can cause respiratory depression, pneumonia or fatal edema.
- Benzyl Acetate: This substances has been linked to pancreatic cancer. Its vapors can be irritating to eyes and respiratory passages and it can also be absorbed through the skin.
- Benzyl Alcohol: This upper respiratory tract irritant can cause central nervous system (CNS) disorders, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and dramatic drops in blood pressure.
- Camphor: Another substance on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. It is easily absorbed through body tissue, causing irritation of eyes, nose and throat. Camphor can also cause dizziness, confusion, nausea, twitching muscles and convulsions.
- Chloroform: This substance was used as an anesthesia in the 1800s up through the early 1900s when its potential for causing fatal cardiac arrhythmia was discovered. A carcinogenic neurotoxin, it is on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Inhaling its vapors may cause loss of consciousness, nausea, headache, vomiting, and/or dizziness, drowsiness. It may aggravate disorders of the heart, kidneys or liver. Its effects worsen when subjected to heat.
- Ethanol: Another fabric softener ingredient which is on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list and linked to CNS disorders.
- Ethyl Acetate: This substance, which is on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list, can be irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract. It may also cause severe headaches and loss of consciousness, as well as damage to the liver and kidneys.
- Limonene: This known carcinogen can cause irritation to eyes and skin.
- Linalool: A narcotic known to cause respiratory problems and CNS disorders. In animal testing, exposure to linalool has resulted in death.
- Pentane: A chemical known to be harmful if inhaled.
- Phthalates: Used in scented products to help the scent last longer, phthlates have been linked to breast cancer and reproductive system problems.
Oof! What an awful list!
Fortunately, making your own is both easy and cost-effective. Check out our recipe below:
- 1 gallon white vinegar
- 30 drops of essential oil
Mix ingredients together and pour into a storage container.
- Dilute the vinegar mixture with water before being used in your laundry.
- For regular sizes loads, mix 1/4 cup of vinegar mixture with 3/4 cups of water.
- Pour the fabric softener into your washer during the final rinse cycle.