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A Safe Alternative to Toxic Fabric Softeners

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Friends, the topic of fabric softeners drives me absolutely batty.  

VERY smart people have been brainwashed by the fluffy snuggly bears of the fabric softener world (thanks to advertisers) into thinking that they NEED this stuff in their laundry because without it, the laundry would be dull, lifeless, static-y and smelly.

These VERY smart people need to read the WARNINGS ON THE LABELS!! I bet ANY person who uses fabric softeners did not know there are warnings on the boxes and bottles.

My favorite warning is DO NOT use on children’s sleepwear.

toxic fabric softener - ohlardy.com

toxic fabric softener - ohlardy.com

So, why wouldn’t you want to use toxic fabric softeners on children’s sleepwear, or any other piece of laundry that goes through your washer and dryer? C

Check out this laundry list (pardon the pun) of yummy ingredients that are TOXIC to our brains and especially the developing brains of children (source):


This substance was used as an anesthesia in the 1800s up through the early 1900s when its potential for causing fatal cardiac arrhythmia was discovered. A carcinogenic neurotoxin, it is on the EPA's Hazardous Waste list. Inhaling its vapors may cause loss of consciousness, nausea, headache, vomiting, and/or dizziness, drowsiness. It may aggravate disorders of the heart, kidneys or liver. Its effects worsen when subjected to heat.


Causes Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders, meaning problems relating to the brain and spine such as Alzheimer's disease, ADD, dementia, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, seizures, strokes, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Early symptoms of CNS problems include aphasia, blurred vision, disorientation, dizziness, headaches, hunger, memory loss, numbness in face, pain in neck and spine. A-Terpineol also irritates the mucous membranes and, if aspirated into the lungs, can cause respiratory depression, pneumonia or fatal edema.

Benzyl Alcohol

This upper respiratory tract irritant can cause central nervous system (CNS) disorders, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and dramatic drops in blood pressure.

Benzyl Acetate

This substances has been linked to pancreatic cancer. Its vapors can be irritating to eyes and respiratory passages and it can also be absorbed through the skin.


Another fabric softener ingredient which is on the EPA's Hazardous Waste list and linked to CNS disorders.


A chemical known to be harmful if inhaled.

Ethyl Acetate

This substance, which is on the EPA's Hazardous Waste list, can be irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract. It may also cause severe headaches and loss of consciousness, as well as damage to the liver and kidneys.


Another substance on the EPA's Hazardous Waste list. It is easily absorbed through body tissue, causing irritation of eyes, nose and throat. Camphor can also cause dizziness, confusion, nausea, twitching muscles and convulsions.


A narcotic known to cause respiratory problems and CNS disorders. In animal testing, exposure to linalool has resulted in death.


Used in scented products to help the scent last longer, phthlates have been linked to breast cancer and reproductive system problems.


This known carcinogen can cause irritation to eyes and skin.

You may be thinking, “Whaaaat??? Companies wouldn’t sell us something that could be harmful to our health! These aren’t even listed on the label!” Of course they aren’t. The manufacturers are no dummies. Plus, there are no regulations saying that they need to disclose the ingredients that are used in their products.

Just because this isn’t breaking news on the Today Show doesn’t mean that the research isn’t out there. Just do a simple google search on fabric softeners and you will find article after article begging you to stop using these products.

Unless you live under a rock, you are probably aware that environmental toxins are being looked at as causes for memory disorders. I don’t want Alzheimers. Do you?

Even if you don’t believe that, after looking at that list of ingredients, do you STILL want KNOWN CARCINOGENS running through your body and those of your loved ones?

To me, it is not worth the risk. I cringe to think that I washed my children’s clothes in this stuff when they were infants! Their sheets! Their towels! I have forgiven myself and now I know better. My laundry has not suffered since removing fabric softeners from our lives. Our towels are still soft. Our clothes don’t have static. We didn’t die when I threw out the Downy.

In fact, my drying experience IMPROVED when I added these great alternatives to dryer sheets! Wool dryer balls have kept the static away while speeding up the drying time. My dryer doesn’t run as long!

I even use them to add some natural scent to my drying clothes by adding a couple drops of Purification Essential Oil to each ball!

Looking for more options?  Check out these other non-toxic alternatives for dryer sheets!

So, are you ready to ditch the fabric softener? If you need some peer pressure, I would be glad help! Do it! Throw it out! Do it for your health and the health of your family!!! Do you really need another reason?  Get these toxic products out of your home!

Does the thought of removing chemicals from your home seem daunting to you? Don’t sweat it. In just 5 days you can be well on your way to a toxin free home! Grab your 5 easy steps here!

**Quick Tip**

If you have decided to ditch your fabric softener and have since washed your clothes, do you find that they STILL smell like fabric softener?? Yeah, it is nasty stuff – sticks around FOREVER! I have found that if I want to get rid of that fabric softener smell, I have to soak my clothes in Thieves Household Cleaner over night and then run them through the wash. That totally gets rid of it!

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A Safe Alternative to Toxic Fabric Softeners - www.ohlardy.com




  1. These dryer balls can be made by anyone if you have access to sheep wool-either from a local farm or a shearing / fiber event. Just get some felting needles and go to town creating a ball with them- alpaca and llama fiber works well too.

  2. You can make them even easier than that. The more expensive way is to buy wool yarn and roll it into balls. A much cheaper way is to go to your local thrift store and buy old wool sweaters. The uglier and coarser the better they work. Wash and dry it and cut them into strips and roll them into balls. Cover with a little wool roving and put them into an old sock/nylon making knots between each ball. Wash and dry on hot at least 2 times with your favorite laundry soap. This was so cheap and easy. I was able to make at least 4 softball size balls from a sweater that cost me about $4 at the thrift store. Totally affordable!

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