Switch to Natural Fabric Softener for Safer Laundry

Reader Contribution by Faith Moser
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Faith Moser is the creator of eco ike {organic baby t’s + cookbooks full of yummy, healthy and quick recipes for kids and grown-ups}! If you want your kids to grow, live, eat & play green, visit ecoike.com

I will admit it, in winter I have cheated on my “green” fabric softeners with traditional ones. I LOVE my green fabric softener sheets, but during the winter our laundry sometimes has a lot of static. And static cling clothing makes me cringe (it’s like nails on a chalk board to me)! But, after hearing all of the bad news (again) associated with conventional fabric softeners, I have decided to go completely green and not look back.

Conventional fabric softener sheets can contain some really nasty chemicals–chemicals that I DO NOT want touching my children’s skin. Remember skin is the largest organ in the human body! It’s safe to say that bypassing traditional softeners will also avoid the possible exposure to ugly ingredients like:

• A-Terpineol: Associated with central nervous system disorders
• Benzyl Acetate: A carcinogen linked to pancreatic cancer
• Benzyl Alcohol: An upper respiratory tract irritant
• Camphor: It’s listed on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list (enough said)
• Ethyl Acetate: Another culprit on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list and an irritant to the eyes and respiratory tract

So what can you do to dry your laundry and keep your clothing from sticking together (and the dreaded electrical charge if you have to pull them apart)? Try these 5 tips for cling-free and chemical-free laundry:

1. Line dry when possible! It’s the best choice.

2. Safety pins! Who would have thunk it? Place two to three safety pins on a cloth or rag and dry with your clothes. I am not sure how this works, but it does work!

3. Add ¼ cup of vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser of the washing machine for a natural fabric softener.

4. Wool dryer balls! This is a fun new discovery. The balls bounce around in the dryer and keep the laundry fluffed, static at bay, and it reduces the drying time! They last for a long time, too.  After an initial investment of $20+, you will be good to go for years! 

5. Avoid over-drying. Additional (and unnecessary) drying time typically leads to additional static cling. If your dryer has a sensor to automatically turn off when clothes are dry (rather than a set time), use that option!

Photo Courtesy CleanSypria

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