April 7, 2012

All-natural laundry upgrades

A simple way to create a healthier home is to remove two common sources of chemicals from your laundry room -- fabric softener and dryer sheets.

There are a variety of toxic chemicals found in these common household items that can lead to respiratory and nervous system disorders and an increased risk of cancer. 

Here are some of the chemicals found in commercial fabric softeners and dryer sheets:
  • Alpha Terpineol: can cause central nervous damage and respiratory problems
  • Benzyl Acetate: linked to pancreatic cancer
  • Camphor: causes central nervous disorders, is easily absorbed through skin
  • Chloroform: a carcinogenic neurotoxin that warns inhalation can be fatal
  • Ethyl Acetate: a narcotic that can cause liver and kidney damage
  • Linalool: causes central nervous system disorders and depresses heart activity
A study published in PubMed.gov found that fabric softener emits mixtures of chemicals can cause sensory and lung irritation and reduce airflow.

Not only are these chemicals bad for your health, they hurt the environment too.

Ready to make a change?
Instead of fabric softener, fill a Downy Ball with white vinegar and throw in the wash on top of the laundry. It works great, is a natural antibacterial cleaner and fabric softener. And it doesn't leave your laundry smelling like vinegar. 

Instead of dryer sheets, use dryer balls. They help reduce drying time (saving money) and helps soften clothes too. We use two dryer balls at a time, and ours have lasted for more than four years and are in great condition. Dryer balls can be found online or at stores such as Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond or WalMart. While PVC-free or wool dry balls are your best option, any type of dryer ball is better than using toxic dryer sheets.

Both of these changes are easy to make, will improve your family's health and will save money!

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