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Natural Fabric Softener

Natural Fabric Softener

Fabric softeners stir up quite a bit of debate as they seem to create as many problems as they solve

Vinegar is very effective at stripping the detergents and any lingering smells out of your clothes. This easy recipe is gentle on the skin and potentially your health.

  1. Pour vinegar into glass bottle.
  2. Add 10/12 drops of your favourite essential oil like Lavender. (If your objective in using a softener is to remove laundry soap and other smells completely from your clothes, don't add essential oils.)

Add 1/4 of a cup per wash or whatever fits into your rinse slot. 

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Science Notes

Fabric softener work by coating or impregnating your fibre in chemicals which are released over time to perform functions such as making clothes smell lovely, fabric smoother, ironing easier and preventing buildup of static electricity. 

Whatever you choose to wash or dry your clothes in will inevitably come into contact with your skin and are either inhaled or directly absorbed.

Chemicals potentially include benzyl alcohol, benzyl acetate, ethanol, pentane and formaldehyde, amongst others. These chemicals are variously linked to different cancers or are neuro-stimulants linked to headaches, dizziness, mood swings and the like.

Related Tip

One by product of the way commercial fabric softeners work is to reduce water absorption. Because of this, if you choose to use commercial products, don't use them on towels, flannels or anything that might be required to absorb water like the armpit of your cotton t-shirt.