Did you know that fabric softners and dryer sheets are toxic?

United States
January 29, 2007 9:19pm CST
Many people do not realize that dryer sheets are loaded with chemicals that are toxic to our bodies. These chemicals have been linked to cancer, Alzheimers disease and many other health problems. You can see the link below to read about the chemicals in dryer sheets. Some healthier alternatives to use for softening your clothes are: adding 1/4 cup of baking soda to the wash, adding 1/4 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle or buying dryer sheets at a health food store that are made with soy. Also, it has been found that dryer sheets take a very, very long time to breakdown in landfills. Check out this link for the chemicals that are left on your clothing by dryer sheets and then absorbed into your skin.: http://www.ghchealth.com/forum/post-325.html
19 people like this
59 responses
@shywolf (4529)
• United States
30 Jan 07
Wow, thanks for your warning! You've just made me feel very greatful that my family has never used dryer sheets that I know of. We definitely haven't had any in years, if we ever did use them. Goodness knows, with as sensitive as my own personal self is to chemicals, I am becoming all too aware of the dangers that we subject ourselves to. Gosh, we even had to change our laundry detergent because the regular kind was irritating my skin. So there is no doubt in my mind that there are a lot of things that we are using as every day things in our households that are full of chemicals that the human body should not be subjected to! :/ Your post doesn't surprise me at all, but I am sad that more people aren't aware of these things. :/
3 people like this
@inked4life (4228)
• United States
30 Jan 07
OMG!! That explains my rash. I ran out of deodorant and have been wiping under my arms with Bounce sheets. I have broken out in a terrible rash but people keep commenting that I smell like a country village sprinkled with lilacs, so there is an upside.
2 people like this
• United States
30 Jan 07
Inked, I absolutely look forward to your posts. You always make my day with your sense of humor. Next time, use your head...don't use Bounce sheets as a deoderant substitute, for God sakes, use your can of Glade air freshner!
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Jan 07
glade air freshener is my toilet paper replacement silly
• United States
30 Jan 07
No, now that is what you were supposed to use the Bounce sheets for! They absorb the cling ons and refresh the smell of the area all in one swipe!
@wenkinnoc (483)
30 Jan 07
practically anything nowadyas is harmful/toxic/poisonous in some small way. But, what are the chances of a person actually ingesting a fabric conditioner, huh? People complain about other people getting caught up trying to make a fortune here, why not the same criticism of people who obssess over their health? Just an idea...
2 people like this
@reinydawn (11651)
• United States
30 Jan 07
It's not just ingesting, but anything that comes in contact with your skin seeps right into your body.
• Canada
30 Jan 07
Everyday there is something new that we use around our house that has chemicals in it that are toxic to our body and can cause health problems . I have quit using so many of the products that I always loved and helped . But I think I am going to start using them again as my house never has that nice clean look it should and apparently there is nothing we can use anymore that is safe . Also my sister brougth up a good point to me yesterday when we were actually having this discussion and she said that if all this stuff was so dangerous they wouldn't be allowed to sell it anymore . So I think I am going to start using them again .
2 people like this
@reinydawn (11651)
• United States
30 Jan 07
They're allowed to put a certain level of toxins in the products we buy every day to use around the house. What is happening though is this small amount in EACH product you use in your house multiplies and becomes a health hazard. Each individual item is ok, but once you use more than one thing you're causing problems. There are alternatives, my husband and I have been swapping out the toxic stuff for more natural stuff (that works!).
@happymommy3 (2014)
• United States
30 Jan 07
Oh my gosh, that's so wierd because just last week my mom told me a crazy incident about fabric softeners. Her, my mom and brother and sister all live in the same apartment and my brother is always boiling potpurri and stuff on the stove all day to make the house smell good and one day she started noticing she wasn't feeling well, nauseus, light headed, than my sister later started acting funny, like she was light headed too and she asked my brother what he was boiling on the stove and he said fabric softeners. So they finally realized it was that and they turned it off and felt totally different after opening the windows and getting all those chemicals out. Thanks for your info!
2 people like this
@7nicole1 (1634)
• Canada
30 Jan 07
Well thanks for the input but until I see something on the news or in the paper about how toxic they are I think Ill just keep using them. God if you want to get technical almost everything we touch or eat has chemicals some worst then this so I dont think its such a big deal. I have never heard of someone dying from fabric softener.
2 people like this
@Trace86 (5043)
• United States
30 Jan 07
I had no idea that they left all those chemicals on your skin. My husband is now addicted to Snuggle fabric softener. I can never catch the rinse cycle and rely on dryer sheets. I suppose they take a long time to break down in the landfill because they are constructed to withstand the heat of the dryer. I will definitely send that link to my husband and ask him to reconsider using so much.
@greengal (4288)
• United States
31 Jan 07
Oh my God, I had no idea about this! Gosh and to think we've all been using these drying sheets for so long. I think I should adopt the baking soda or the vinegar tip. Hopw both don't damage the washer or dryer in any way. Thanks for the valuable info crazynurse.
1 person likes this
@greengal (4288)
• United States
31 Jan 07
I tried the link but it doesn't have the related info..would you mind looking into it and providing the correct link..thanks!
• United States
30 Jan 07
Oh yeah...not to mention the water most people bathe in, the washing detergent, dishwashing liquid - not to mention the chemicals that you ingest from your food everyday. There's a company called Mrs. Meyer's that has a bunch of non-toxic, environmentally safe cleansers that are also great to check out.
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Jan 07
Oh thanks for another link to healthy and safer alternatives!
@vhansen (2036)
• United States
30 Jan 07
I got an emailseveral months ago warning that dryer sheets leave a film on your dryer's lint screen.This in time builds up and blocks the air flow causing your dryer to over heat and burn out.I was a bit sceptical at this but went and took the screen out,wiped the lint off it and put it under warm running water like the eamail said.Only a trickle came through! I washed it with soap and hot water till it ran through easily.I now do this every couple months.After reading all the other bad stuff these things cause I'll no longer use the regular ones.The healthy ones are more expensive but my family's worth it.
• United States
30 Jan 07
Yes, they do leave a chemical film. Part of the purpose of one of the chemicals is to shed water! They are just not worth it to me, I would rather have a healthy family than so static free clothes!
@AskAlly (3628)
• Canada
30 Jan 07
I don't understand why people buy this stuff. I have added baking soda to the wash for years. Companies keep comming up with all these "fresh scents" "spring breeze" "vanilla" "lavender", they sure sound good, but they are all chemical! There is nothing natural about them at all!www.nontoxic.com/nontoxic/askdoctor.html www.idealbite.com these are 2 good sites to check out!
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Jan 07
Oh Ally, I love those sites. Thank you so very much. Yes, there are more and more children coming down with asthma, allergies etc, and I am certain that a lot of the time it is secondary to the toxins in their home and environment. Seems years ago asthma was not nearly as prevelent as today, and back then our parents used just plain detergent..all these scents were unheard of! Clothes were dried outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine!
• United States
30 Jan 07
thanks for the tips! wow...baking soda is a wonder product! LOL someone posted on here the other day about pouring it and boiling vinegar down the drain to clean the drains and now this with the wash. And, baking soda is SOOO cheap! Thanks.
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Jan 07
Oh yes, there are thousands of uses for baking soda. Well actually there are thousands of uses for vinegar too! There are plenty of natural alternatives to all of these toxic chemicals with which we are being bombarded.
@xXmeganxX (4423)
30 Jan 07
omg, i always use fabric softener every time i wash clothes, i don't use them dryer sheets tho, they seem dodgy, lol, i hope i don't get anything over using that, i will check out the link, thanks! :O)
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Jan 07
you are welcome. There are great natural alternatives!
@puppers (185)
• United States
31 Jan 07
Thank You so much I never knew that and I have been using Dryer Sheets for Years I am glad you posted this and thanks so much for the Link!
1 person likes this
@carmella (496)
• United States
31 Jan 07
That is scary. I'm beginning to think there is nothing that is not full of chemicals anymore. And I wonder why I am always fighting my allergies, LOL
1 person likes this
@cielo05 (597)
• Philippines
31 Jan 07
I have been using fabric softener for years,I wasn't aware of this. Thanks for the info.
@babystar1 (4236)
• United States
31 Jan 07
Thanks for telling me that, I did not no that dryer sheets are loaded with chemicals that are toxic. I been using dryer sheets for ever.I am going to start using the baking soda and the vinegar.
1 person likes this
@jbrowsin66 (1322)
• United States
31 Jan 07
I just recently came across this information and was very surprised by it! Is this something new? Thanks for the information and making the public aware.
1 person likes this
@onabreak2 (1162)
• United States
31 Jan 07
I don't use them a lot because they also make your clothes thin after you use them a lot. I basically use them for static cling. A home remedy for getting stuck on food in pans is to throw a dryer sheet in the pan with some water and it will loosen the dried on or burnt on or stuck on food. Since you have to clean the pan out good after you do this I guess it can't harm anything. Really seems like everything we use anymore can cause some kind of harm.
@venshida (4839)
• United States
31 Jan 07
Unreal, I use fabric softners all the time. I never thought it was a health risk. I know baking soda is wonderful, but I never use it as a fabric softner.