Day 10 of the Plastic Free July challenge, how is it going? here is another tip for reducing plastic at home. Many people love to use fabric softeners to keep their linens soft, static- and wrinkle-free — but at what cost? Store-bought softeners can be damaging to both our health and the planet. So let’s talk about Fabric Softener — Friend or Foe?
Fabric softeners contain toxic, endocrine-disrupting chemicals like phthalates and artificial fragrances. They’re also loaded with preservatives and colors linked to skin irritation and cancer. Eek!
What’s an eco-conscious launderer to do?
Wool balls! When you’re using a dryer, wool or felt balls are a fabulous alternative. Just throw one in with your dryer load. It’ll tumble around, naturally soften your clothes, and reduce static without chemicals. Plus, felt balls last for years.
Another option is to add one cup of white vinegar to your washer’s rinse cycle.
Aside from the obvious environmental and health issues, at a whopping $5 to $9 per bottle, fabric softener can be cost-prohibitive for families on a budget. Luckily, you can appease your wallet, wardrobe, and the environment by making your own.
Homemade Fabric Softener
· 6 cups vinegar
· 1 cup baking soda
· 15 drops of essential oil (I like using Young Living’s lavender, joy, orange, or citrus fresh essential oils)
Mix all ingredients in a mason jar with a lid. Add 1/2 cup per load during the wash cycle. The mixture will keep for at least a couple of weeks.
So you can see how easy it is to swap fabric softer for something plastic free and chemical free and maybe you also ready to swap your laundry detergent too. My favorite options are laundry sheets or soap nuts. Here is also another post about green laundry routines.