Are you working out ways to save money, but you don’t want to give up using fabric softener? Considering the effects of commercial fabric softener, you might just be looking for a less toxic alternative. We’ve got the answers for making your own homemade fabric softener.
What are the ingredients of fabric softener?
According to Choice, commercial fabric softeners contain:
• Conditioning agents made up of “silicone or ammonia-based fatty, lubricating compounds” which forms the waterproof coating on your washing.
• Emulsifiers “disperse the fatty, oily conditioning agent through the rinse water so that it can actually get onto your clothes instead of just floating on the top.”
• Fragrance concocted of chemical blends which “is a closely guarded secret, so you’ve really got no way of knowing what you’ll be wearing against your skin”.
Why is fabric softener bad for clothes?
Fabric softener adds a waterproof layer of chemicals to your washing to make your clothes feel softer and smell fresher. Because this layer is waterproof, your washing won’t be as efficiently cleaned because the detergent cannot be absorbed.
Your towels will gradually become less absorbent due to the waterproof layer, and your clothes will not be able to soak up any perspiration.
Why fabric softener is bad for you
According to Scientific American, commercial fabric softeners “contain chemicals known to be toxic to people after sustained exposure”.
Due to the fatty content of fabric softener, the fire retardant properties of your clothes can be reduced, so never use commercial fabric softener on your children’s PJs.
Is liquid fabric softener bad for your washer?
The chemicals used in fabric softener are derived from petroleum products and contain some animal fat. Continued use of this mixture will cause damage to your plumbing and your washer, especially if it’s a front-loader.
What is a natural alternative to fabric softener?
• Baking soda naturally cleans and removes odors from your washing. It ensures that the washing water is not too alkaline and not too acidic, making the water softer and enabling the detergent to do its job.
Add half a cup of baking soda either with the detergent or at the start of the rinse cycle.
• White vinegar contains acetic acid. This is a natural disinfectant that will remove the bacteria from your wash. Keep in mind that, according to Consumer Reports, prolonged use of vinegar in your washing machine can cause damage.
Add half a cup of white vinegar just before the rinse cycle.
• Alumininum foil attracts and absorbs static electricity; it seems like a strange thing to throw into your dryer, but it works! Throw a few balls of foil in, and they’ll take care of the static cling.
Roll foil up tightly to about the size of a tennis ball. Something for you or the kids to do in front of the TV! These foil balls are totally reusable until they start to disintegrate.
Do we really need fabric softener?
I personally don’t use fabric softener at all, and my clothes are soft enough. Try a wash without it and see what you think. It might take a couple of washes to remove the chemicals that have been added to your clothes with previous uses of commercial fabric softener.
How to store homemade fabric softener
Store your homemade fabric softener in a glass jar or bottle that seals securely. Keep it up and out of reach of kids and pets. Even though the ingredients are natural, it wouldn’t be a good idea to ingest it.
Homemade baking soda fabric softener
Homemade fabric softener with hair conditioner
Homemade fabric softener with essential oils
If you think you’re going to miss it, you can even get an essential oil that smells like Downy!