Fern’s Fables…on Dryer Sheets, Fabric Softeners and Some Options for Static Cling

Did you know…

  • the chemicals released by dryer sheets and fabric softeners are toxic?
  • your fabric softener may contain compounds that release formaldehyde with use?    

A study published in 2011 found over 25 different air pollutants in these products, including those known to cause cancer. Here are a few highlights about this subject from Dr. Joseph Mercola’s website:

  • Manufacturers develop their fragrances by mixing a chemical cocktail to produce a scent.
  • There is no regulation for the long-term consequences of exposure to those chemicals. Exposure; vented into our air, and worn on our skin.
  • Manufacturers of these products are not required to disclose the ingredients and are self-regulated.
  • The company must only identify “fragrance” on the label without listing the ingredients used to make the fragrance

How to Get Rid of Static Cling

Fabric softeners work by leaving a residue on your fabrics that never completely washes out. At this point, it might be noted, that whatever is absorbed through your skin can be more harmful than what you ingest. This is because our skin is highly absorbent and what it takes in bypasses the liver (the organ that filters out toxins).

More natural options are safer, less expensive and less toxic to your family and the environment. (You might add up the cost of dryer sheets for the year and find that you could purchase essential oils instead for that lovely smell.)

Some tips and more natural options:

  • Launder your natural and synthetic fabrics separately since nylon and rayon fabrics develop the most static electricity.
  • Take clothes out of the dryer and hang them up when they are still slightly damp.
  • Make up a spray bottle, using distilled water with a few drops of essential oils. Spray on clothes as you take out of the dryer. You can even use this mix to spritz lightly on your clothes before putting them on. Lavender is great for children. Some citrus oils are uplifting. Men often like patchouli or cedar type oils. Be creative and experiment.
  • I have woolen dryer balls from Earth’s General store in Edmonton. They can be sprayed with your spray mix, too, five minutes before taking the clothes out of the dryer.
  • You can dampen a small towel and throw it in to the dryer for five minutes or so before clothes are dry.
  • Ball up a piece of aluminum foil and put it in the dryer.

DIY Fabric Softener and Dryer Sheets

You can also make your own fabric softener or dryer sheets at home with natural ingredients, and still enjoy a fresh scent on your clothing.

  • Combine 6 cups of white vinegar, 1 cup of baking soda and 15 to 20 drops of essential oil in the scent of your choice in a large bowl.
  • Once the combination has stopped foaming the oil should not be floating on the top of the liquid and won’t stain your clothes. Pour the liquid into a glass container and use up to 1 cup in your fabric softener dispenser in your washing machine with each load.
  • If you prefer dryer sheets, or want to use both, you can use the same fluid to make reusable sheets. Simply soak clean washrags in the fluid and wring out the excess. Next, hang the washrags until they are completely dry. Toss one in the dryer with your clothes; use up to 10 times before you have to get a new one.

For Your Hair

And lastly for your hair; brush with a wooden brush. Wood does not release electric charge easily. Or you may spritz lightly with a water/essential oil mix. Moisturize your skin well, before putting those clingy clothes on. However, pay attention to what you are putting on your skin. Just some coconut oil, (softened) mixed with castor oil and some essential oil of your liking could be an option.

Read Dr Mercola’s full article

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