If you do a Google search for "toxic fabric softener," you'll find a lot of articles that detail the toxicity of fabric softener. As with a lot of blog posts and information found on Associated Content, however, how factual is this information? Very, it turns out.
I did a quick search to see if I could find actual studies that described the adverse effects of fabric softeners and dryer sheets. A study conducted on mice in 2000 found that the type of fabric softener sheets studied were made of chemicals that are known irritants, and those chemicals affected the mice's ability to breathe.
I also found a press release from 1976 that discussed how the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) denied a petition to ban the fabric softener "Bounce." Granted, they couldn't find enough evidence to support the fact that Bounce was likely to cause injury, but the fact that we've been questioning its effects on our health for more than 30 years is fishy.
Fabric softeners contain chemicals like ethanol, ethyl acetate, and chloroform--all of which are on the EPA's Hazardous Waste List. Even if these chemicals only occur in small amounts, I would rather avoid them if I can.
But what if you like the way fabric softener makes your clothes smell or the way it reduces static and softens stiff jeans and towels? There is a natural alternative: wool dryer balls.
Why use wool dryer balls?
Wool dryer balls:
- are natural and eco-friendly
- soften clothes without harsh chemicals
- reduce wrinkles and static
- save you time and money by reducing drying time
- are perfect to use with cloth diapers
- can be scented with essential oils to make your laundry smell fresh
- make great soft balls for kids to play with in the house
How do wool dryer balls work?Just toss them into the dryer with your laundry, and they will bounce around, separating clothes so the warm air can work its way between them and absorbing extra moisture.
How many wool dryer balls do I need?It depends on the size of your load, but you can use 2-10 wool dryer balls per load. Just keep them in the dryer and toss the clothes in.
Green Baby Diaper Service now carries wool dryer balls. The 100% wool balls are made of felted wool yarn wound around wool felt. The wool felt in the cores is repurposed from scraps left over from Tmuffin wool soakers. So if you use Tmuffin wool dryer balls, you're helping to save the environment in more ways than one!
Oh yeah, and one ball in each pair looks like the Earth. Adorable.