- Benzyl acetate: Linked to pancreatic cancer
- Benzyl Alcohol: Upper respiratory tract irritant
- Ethanol: On the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Hazardous Waste list and can cause central nervous system disorders
- Limonene: Known carcinogen
- A-Terpineol: Can cause respiratory problems, including fatal edema, and central nervous system damage
- Ethyl Acetate: A narcotic on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list
- Camphor: Causes central nervous system disorders
- Chloroform: Neurotoxic, anesthetic and carcinogenic
- Linalool: A narcotic that causes central nervous system disorders
- Pentane: A chemical known to be harmful if inhaled
If that’s not bad enough, dryer sheets are made of FIBERGLASS. I don’t know about you, that will give me pause to reconsider before I toss another dryer sheet in with a load of panties in the future.
So what’s a girl to do? Bid farewell to fluffy towels? No way. There are plenty of wonderful, natural alternatives to chemical-laden dryer sheets. They are easy to make, use ingredients you probably already have in your cupboard and cost next to nothing.
FOR SOFTNESS (IN THE WASH)
Vinegar (among all the other amazing things it can do) is a natural fabric softener. It also removes soap residue, neutralizes tough odors and reduces dryer static. You can add vinegar directly to laundry during the rinse cycle or pour vinegar into the fabric softener dispenser (or fabric softener ball if your machine is dispenserless) of your washing machine.
FOR SOFTNESS AND SCENT (IN THE DRYER)
Grab and old, cotton washcloth that is ready for retirement. Add 3-5 drops of essential oil of your choice (Whole Food’s 365 eucalyptus oil is my favorite – and very affordable!) to your cloth and throw it in the dryer with a load. Replenish cloth with 3-5 drops between each dryer load.
If you’re seeking something with even more wrinkle-release power, check out Mister Steamy, a non-chemical fabric softener/wrinkle release ball that depends on the power of steam to whip your laundry into shape.
CHIME IN: What are your favorite alternative, green or natural laundry tips?