It sounds impossible, doesn’t it? You wash your laundry to keep your family safe from dirt and germs, but do you really know what’s in those disposable dryer sheets? If you don’t, you’re not alone. Part of the problem is in the packaging. Let’s take a look!
As a general rule, ingredient labels are meant to inform consumers about the contents of a given product. In the case above, there are only two ingredients in addition to the dryer sheet itself. But what exactly is that first one?
Cationic and nonionic softening agents are popular in dryer sheets because they make fabric soft to the touch. Sounds okay, right? Well … the problem with these chemical agents (aside from the fact that consumers have no way of knowing the exact chemical used in a product) is that the chemicals interfere with your body in multiple ways.
First, your pillowy soft clothes, sadly, now have chemical deposits on them. While your clean T-shirt may feel good, your skin may be absorbing some of the chemicals as well. So, if you’ve ever experienced a rash or irritation due to a laundry product, this is the reason.
Next, every minute that you’re wearing those clothes you’re breathing in particles that are imbedded in them. Your nasal passages, throat, and lungs can become irritated by the chemicals … any you may not realize that it’s your laundry that’s making you feel sick.
If you look at the picture above once more, you’ll notice that perfume is listed among the ingredients. Some manufacturers use fragrance as a way to remind you of your childhood, a summer vacation, or a field of flowers. But those scents can also irritate mucosal linings and trigger allergies or other respiratory problems … and not just for the person wearing those jasmine-scented jammies. Since fragrance can be very pervasive, people sitting near someone in poppy-field pants can experience discomfort. Extensive research has even shown that chemicals commonly found in laundry softener can be connected to immune disorders, allergies, asthma, and other neurological and immune conditions.
Luckily, there are an abundance of safe, effective alternatives that work just as well as mass-produced dryer sheets. Woolzies handmade New Zealand wool dryer balls, in particular, are eco-friendly and soften laundry naturally without the use of toxic chemicals. And they last for up to 1,000 loads, so you won’t be adding those toxic dryer sheets to the landfill every week.