Until recently, my organic cotton towels have never been treated with fabric softeners; I have grown accustomed to having towels that give an invigorating, but gentle exfoliation when using them.
One of the main reasons for my aversion to fabric softeners is simply the toxic and un-natural character of them. The purpose of these liquids is to make fabrics softer, less static and easier to iron, this is usually achieved by coating the fibres of the fabric with a chemical compound that lubricates and changes the electrical charge of the fabric. While this may seem fairly harmless, many of the chemicals used in everyday commercial fabric softeners are released over a period of time, are often in contact with our skin, inhaled and have the potential to cause numerous side effects with our health and the environment.
Some of these chemicals commonly found in fabric softeners effect the nervous system, causing headaches, mood swings, memory loss or irritability. Some people may experience skin irritations or rashes, breathing difficulty or eye irritations when using fabric softeners. Many of the chemicals commonly found in fabric softeners are also known carcinogens linked with several forms of cancers.
From an environmental perspective, many of the chemicals found in fabric softeners are derived from petrochemicals and are not biodegradable, therefore causing unnecessary pollutants to be added to our waterways.
Fortunately in Australia, there are now a few companies that produce natural fabric softeners that contain only natural ingredients, natural fragrance and are biodegradable.
Search here to find our range of natural fabric softeners that are free from known carcinogens, phthalates, chloroform, artificial fragrances or any of the other nasties that are found in your regular fabric softeners. Each of the natural fabric softeners that we have in our Down To Earth Organics store has a full ingredient list that allows you to have peace of mind when choosing a natural fabric softener for yourself and your family.
In my household we now treat natural fabric softeners as we do chocolate – it is not something that is deemed as necessary for survival, but it is nice to have on hand for an occasional treat, the best types are always natural and organic.
For more information on the chemicals found in commercially available fabric softeners, read our article: What Chemicals Are in My Fabric Softener?