DIY Chemical-Free Fabric Softener

If you love the feeling of soft clothes and cuddly towels, using fabric softeners in your wash is one way to get your laundry fluffy and fragrant. Fabric softeners are traditionally applied to laundry during the rinse cycle and are designed to stay on your clothing, towels and sheets. This helps to explain why towels are less-absorbent, it’s because of the chemical residue. When these fabrics come into contact with your child’s skin, the chemicals are slowly absorbed into the layers of the skin where they not only can cause skin irritation but also enter Into the bloodstream to circulate through your child’s body.

‘Fragrance’ is also toxic

Fabric softeners often use ‘fragrance’ to mask the smell of the chemicals and fragrance is also toxic. The problem with fragrance is manufacturers are not required to list the chemicals in their fragrance on the product label because its considered an industry secret.

According to the Environmental Working Group, the average fragrance contains about 14 different chemicals, many of which are linked to hormone disruption, asthma, dermatitis and allergic reactions. They also state about 80 percent of these chemicals are not tested for human safety, especially when the chemicals are grouped together. Due to the lack of testing, the long term effects of fragrance are unknown. These chemicals are not only inhaled where they enter the bloodstream via the lungs to circulate though your child’s body, they are also easily absorbed through the layers of the skin where they also enter into the bloodstream to cause harm.

To help reduce your child’s exposure to chemical toxins, try this easy recipe to make chemical-free fabric softener that will leave your laundry soft and fragrant.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
1/4 cup vegetable glycerin 
15 drops essential oils of choice 

METHOD

  • Combine all ingredients in a glass jar and shake to mix together.
  • Add 1/2 cup to your wash as you would your ‘normal’ fabric softener.

FIONA STOCK | THE CHILDREN’S NATUROPATH

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