I gave up dryer sheets mainly because I ‘heard’ from someone else that they were bad. I was a follower. In my mission to be healthier and have less toxins in the house I started a journey (you can read it here) but laundry was the last thing I switched. I used to love that laundry smell. So much that on bosses day one year, my team bought me an entire box of downy fabric softener in different smells! I even used dryer sheets as mosquito repellent (yeah, that doesn’t work)
I learned that laundry is the #1 toxin in the home. That smell I used to love? Toxic. 🙁
Not only are we exposed to those toxins when we are doing laundry and the house smells, but we wear our clothes all day and those chemicals continue to be inhaled as well as sit on our skin. When you actually examine the ingredients in dryer sheets, its quite frightening.
According to the Environmental Working Group Bounce dryer sheets score a D. Their top concern: Top Scoring Factors: Poor disclosure; May contain ingredients with potential for respiratory effects; nervous system effects; acute aquatic toxicity. http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/5589-BounceDryerSheetsOutdoorFresh
According to the author of The Brain Wash, here are the seven most common chemicals found in dryer sheets and their effect on the central nervous system:
1. Alpha-Terpineol causes central nervous system disorders. Can also cause loss of muscular coordination, central nervous system depression, and headache.
2. Benzyl Alcohol causes central nervous system disorders, headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, central nervous system depression, and, in severe cases, death.
3. Camphor on the US EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Central nervous system stimulant, causes dizziness, confusion, nausea, twitching muscles, and convulsions.
4. Chloroform on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Neurotoxic and carcinogenic.
5. Ethyl Acetate on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Narcotic. May cause headaches and narcosis (stupor).
6. Linalool causes central nervous system disorders. Narcotic. In studies of animals, it caused ataxic gait (loss of muscular coordination), reduced spontaneous motor activity, and depression.
7. Pentane causes headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, and loss of consciousness. Repeated inhalation of vapours causes central nervous system depression.
As a former laundry lover, I can now tell that fake laundry smell and it gives me a headache. Now my brain isn’t used to it, its certain to tell me of its objection when I am around it. I really had no idea.
Wool dryer balls are a way better alternative. Add a couple of drops of essential oils for a lovely smell with benefits! Lavender is great for sheets, Purification is great for towels. Besides being good for your health, they are also good for your wallet! They can actually reduce the drying time, so you save on electric too!
I add about 5 drops of essential oils every 3 loads or so and I have had the balls I use for over 2 years, so they last a while. I have about 10 balls in my dryer and I layer them in between the laundry to reduce static.
If you are looking for laundry soap or fabric softener, I have my own recipes here