Have you ever walked through a neighbourhood passing by houses and suddenly been struck with a strong unnatural scent, perhaps making the comment, “someone’s doing laundry!”
Most likely it was the smell of a fabric softener or dryer sheet you smelled, wafting out from a laundry room vent.
After looking into the list of chemicals on a package of dryer sheets three decades ago, I never purchased them again. It was scary stuff then, but what’s disturbing today is that ‘mainstream detergent makers’ are no longer required by law to list any of the carcinogenic and hormone-disrupting chemicals in their products on the labels. There is a telephone number to call “for more information”. I’ve tried calling that number, and didn’t get very far.
Today, we have the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. The EWG’s mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. With breakthrough research and education, they drive consumer choice and civic action.
EWG provides consumer guides to tens of thousands of products including food, personal care products, and cleaning products. The following guide shows how the EWG rates household and cleaning products (interesting to note that we couldn’t find one commercial fabric softener with less than a D to F rating):
WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW:
LINEAR ALKY BENZENE SULFONATES (LAS) are petrochemicals that take a long time to biodegrade, which makes them a hazard to humans and animals (as benzene may cause cancer in humans) and to the environment.
There are countless research documents available, including this one from 1998, when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services / Public Health Services National Institutes of Health, ran a National Toxicology Program study with over forty-eight distinguished contributors from the scientific community, who issued a report entitled, “Toxicology And Carcinogenesis – Studies of Technical Grade Sodium Xylenesulfonate (CAS NO. 1300-72-7) In F344/N Rats and B6C3F1 Mice (Dermal Studies). You can read their publication No. 98-3380# here
DIOXANE, or 1,4-dioxane, is a synthetic petrochemical, a byproduct of the manufacturing process, and a serious known carcinogen. It is not required to be listed on the label, and was found in over sixty percent of laundry detergents tested in 2010.
PHOSPHATES, used to help your clothes stay clean longer by preventing dirt from sticking to them, are a nightmare to ecosystems, triggering abnormal growth of marine plants.
ARTIFICIAL FRAGRANCES containing Phthalates / synthetic Fragrance or “parfum”. Phthalates interfere with the body’s proteins, are hormone disruptors classified as xenoestrogens, found in personal care products and plastics, and are linked to disease processes, linked to various toxic effects on mammals and fish, and can cause skin and eye irritation as well as allergies.
“Most laundry detergents,” writes Sabina M. DeVita, Ed.D.D.N.M., NNCP, IASP, “contain a potentially toxic brew of chemicals that can leave residues behind on your clothing, be absorbed by your skin or be released into the air you breath.” [p.56, Your Right To Know Vibrational Cleaning Guidebook, 2015. ISBN: 978-1-59930-435-9]
ABOUT DRYER SHEETS & FARBRIC SOFTENERS…here is an article stating that dryer sheets cause hormone imbalance, neurotoxicity, respiratory problems, and even cancer.
I used to tell my clients, “Always remember that your skin is your body’s largest eliminating and absorbing organ!”
WHAT WE CAN DO:
WASHING LAUNDRY: Check for a truly non-toxic product at your local healthy store, OR, to save money, using pure natural ingredients and essential oils for scent, you can easily and economically make our own liquid or powdered laundry cleaner like we did (pictured above) that will not cause our bodies harm. See the recipe for a liquid laundry soap below.
CLOTHES DRYING / ANTI-STATIC / SOFTENING: Start by using silicone or other dryer balls such as those made from pure wool, in an electric or gas clothes dryer, to prevent static electricity. You can place a drop or two of a pure essential oil of your choosing onto or inside of one of these dryer balls for scent and to kill microbes.
“I remember ditching dryer sheets around about 1987, and didn’t use anything at all in the dryer until someone invented the little silicone “hedgehogs” as i like to call them. Now there are 100% wool dryer balls to which you can add a drop or two of your favourite essential oil or blend. The box says they reduce static, reduce drying time by 25%, eliminate wrinkles, are safe for sensitive skin, and soften clothes naturally.”
“This week I added a drop of Young Living’s ‘Purification’ essential oil blend to wool dryer balls and really loved the way the clothes DIDN’T smell when I was putting them away!”
“Some people use a rolled up ball of tinfoil to eliminate static electricity.”
You can also easily and economically make your own liquid fabric ‘softener’ that works, and will not harm you body or the environment. It is especially nice to use when washing flannelette sheets. See recipe below.
D.I.Y. BASIC LIQUID LAUNDRY SOAP RECIPE:
(Note: You will need a 7 litre capacity jug or pail)
7 litres of hot water
1/3 cup of coarse sea salt
1 cup of baking soda
1 cup of unscented pure-castile soap
and 15 to 20 drops of pure essential oil (such as Young Living ‘Theives Oil’, Young Living ‘Joy’ essential oil blend, Young Living Lemon essential oil, or Young Living Lavender essential oil, or another pure essential oil).
Shake before using and add 1/2 cup per load.
D.I.Y. NATURAL NON-TOXIC FABRIC SOFTENER RECIPE
To order the Young Living essential oils mentioned above, as well as the Thieves® line of non-toxic essential oil-infused household and kitchen-safe products at 24% discount CLICK HERE
or visit our Facebook Page: Ounces Of Prevention