Dryer sheets work like magic and transform our landry into a pile of warm, cozy, and heavenly-scented clothes! What could ever be wrong with it? Well … we are sorry to wake you up from your dream (or rather, we are saving you from this nightmare), because many things are wrong with using fabric softeners!
In order to make your clothes smell nice, fresh, and feeling soft, dryer sheets and other fabric softeners contain an array of toxic chemicals! Those toxins are double the trouble because they are not only found in the clothes you wear and the blankets you sleep in, but are also present in the air you breath. Unfortunately, the pollution from dryer sheets is not officially regulated in the United States because researchers are just now starting to investigate the links between dryer sheets and an increased risk of cancer.
The main problem with fabric softeners is that manufacturers get away with purposefully deceiving their consumers. While the labels “fragrance” or “fragranced” simply tell the consumer that something is scented, companies don’t have to declare any specifics behind these terms. A “fragrance” can be made up of over 100 chemicals – none of them officially revealed and declared by the manufacturer! The bottom line is: there is absolutely no transparency for the consumer to know what the exact ingredients are!
That’s why we want you to ditch your dryer sheets! There are far better, more eco-friendly alternatives to conventional dryer sheets. The secret ingredient? White Vinegar! White vinegar doesn’t only make for a yummy salad dressing but – fun fact – it is also a natural fabric softener that neutralizes the smell of sweaty and smelly socks! Just add about ½ of a cup to 1 cup (depending on the size and water level of your laundry machine) to your regular amount of laundry detergent. Don’t worry – the rather distinct and strong white vinegar smell will not be noticeably in the end!
Alternatively, you can also make your own dryer sheets by recycling old cotton scraps (for example, from an old t-shirt). All you need is a container to store the cotton pieces in (like a mason jar), add white vinegar, and any essential oil of your choice (any citrusy scent, mint, or lavender works great). Your new dryer sheets should be moistened by the vinegar-oil-combination and are now ready to use. Again, don’t worry about the smell of white vinegar – it will evaporate from the heat, only the smell of the essential oil will remain. Doesn’t this sound like a good alternative? Give it a try and ditch your toxic dryer sheets once and for all – go green instead!