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6 Natural Alternatives to Toxic Fabric Softeners

6 Natural Alternatives to Toxic Fabric Softeners

According to the Allergy and Environmental Health Association, both liquid and dryer sheet fabric softeners are “the most toxic product produced for daily household use.”  Most of the popular brands of fabric softeners contain many neurotoxins (substances that are toxic to the brain and nervous system) and other types of toxins.  Read my article 8 Toxins Lurking in Your Fabric Softener to learn more.

So, you’re ready to forego commercial fabric softeners but you still want soft clothes.  What are your options?  Well, here are my 6 suggestions to detox your laundry:

1.  Add a 1/2 cup of baking soda to the water in your washing machine and let it dissolve prior to adding your clothes.  This is my preferred method since the baking soda acts as a water softener and helps makes clothes super soft.

2.  Some people toss tennis balls or other rubber balls into the dryer with clothes.  I’m not a huge fan of this method since the heat of the dryer can cause the rubber to off-gas onto your clothing.  If you have an allergy to latex, this is definitely not the method for you.  Plus, I wouldn’t choose this method if you’re drying delicate clothing items.

3.  Adding a cup of vinegar to the wash water can also soften clothes but I don’t find this method as effective as the baking soda technique.

4.  To help with static, there’s the aluminum foil ball technique.  Tightly scrunch a piece of foil to form a ball.  Throw it in with clothes in the dryer.  There is some possible concern with increasing your exposure to aluminum (which has been linked to some brain disorders).  It can also snag delicate clothes.

5.  Try to keep synthetic fabrics out of the dryer since they are the culprits when it comes to static.  Natural fibers like cotton, bamboo, hemp, and linen are best dried on their own.

6.  And, of course there are natural fabric softeners available in most health food stores.  I must admit, though, that I don’t find them necessary.  I try to purchase clothing made of natural fibers as much as possible and find my clothes are soft regardless whether they go through the dryer (free of fabric softeners) or are hung to dry.

As you can see, there are plenty of options when you want soft clothes and to be free of toxins.

Related: Clean Clothes, Happier Planet

Read more: Blogs, Allergies, Bed & Bath, Children, General Health, Mental Wellness, Michelle Schoffro Cook, Non-Toxic Cleaning, , , , , , , ,

Michelle Schoffro Cook

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Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 15-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine, whose works include: 60 Seconds to Slim, Weekend Wonder Detox, Healing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme Cure. Subscribe to her free e-magazine World's Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.

422 comments

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4:42PM PDT on Jun 18, 2013

Add a capful of Avon Skin So Soft Original Bath Oil to wash water of clothes...acts as a fabric softener and keeps the bugs off clothes.

http://shop.avon.com/product.aspx?pf_id=45288&level2_id=303&pdept_id=335&dept_id=0

1:49PM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

I too use homemade laundry soap. I rinse with cider vinegar and then dry in the backyard on a line. Towels are very rough, but we have gotten accustomed to the feeling. I tell the family that it is a form of exfoliation. :)

8:19PM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

Angie H, I have noticed the same. I usually will just throw the towels and other clothes in the dryer for a short 2-5mins and they will soften up.

8:08PM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

I make my own detergent for washing , but am finding that, with hanging them to dry , they are super stiff . The detergent already calls for baking soda ( castile soap , salt and water ) , is vinegar a viable option for a softener ?

8:22AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

While I love drying clothes the old fashioned way on clothes lines as I have done much of my life this is no longer practical living in an apartment, nor is there room to attach clothes to the ceiling via pulleys since the ceiling is stucco and it is unlikely management would be thrilled about attaching stuff to the ceilings.

Baking soda sounds good and there are likely other alternatives out there as well.

9:55PM PDT on Jul 3, 2012

Thanks will try the baking soda!

4:07PM PDT on Jul 1, 2012

thanks

5:32PM PDT on May 13, 2012

Thanks

1:01PM PDT on Mar 22, 2012

I caution you NOT to use baking soda (even diluted) on any kind of floor, or in bathtub/shower - it is EXTREMELY slippery and could be very dangerous.

12:59PM PDT on Mar 22, 2012

If we add the baking soda to the rinse cycle, will it rinse cleanly off the clothes, or is it best to add it at the beginning of the wash cycle? Thanks - great tip!

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