No, You Don't Really Need Fabric Softener
Laundry day can be a chore, but there are few things nicer than having fresh, soft, warm laundry, especially on cold days. But what's the best way to keep your laundry soft, fresh, and clean?
We're an apparel brand that proudly uses sustainable materials and plants 10 trees for each item purchased. We want to be the most eco conscious clothing company in the world, and that means helping our customers make their clothing last! The way we wash our clothes has a significant impact on their overall lifespan. So, let's talk fabric softeners. Do we really need them?
What is fabric softener?
Fabric softeners hit the market around the middle of the 20th century. Most laundry soaps on the market today do a good job of keeping our clothing soft, but 5 decades ago, that wasn't really the case. When you washed your clothes, they came out of the dryer stiff, scratchy, and not all that fun to wear.
Fabric softeners don't actually make the fabric itself softer. Instead, they deposit lubricating chemicals on your clothes that make the fabric more slippery. This reduces static cling and make them feel softer.
Are fabric softeners safe?
Fabric softeners have been known to include chemicals like benzyl acetate, which has been linked to pancreatic cancer, as well as benzyl alcohol, which is known to irritate the upper respiratory tract, among others.
Are fabric softeners eco friendly?
Not only are fabric softeners potentially not very good for your health, they're not good for the environment either. Most commercially available fabric softeners contain petroleum-based chemicals as well as palm oil and even animal fat - neither of which are eco friendly or ethical.
Will fabric softeners ruin my clothing?
It is possible that fabric softeners can reduce the lifespan of your clothes and even damage your laundry machines. Fabric softeners have been known to stain whites and leave behind residue in your washer. It's also recommended that you not wash athletic clothing with fabric softeners.
The easy solution to all these problems is to just stop using fabric softeners all together. Most modern laundry soaps contain agents that soften your clothing already. You can also include wool, felt, or even aluminum foil balls in your dryer to help fluff and soften your clothes as they dry.
Conclusion: fabric softener is potentially harmful to your health, the environment, your clothing, and simply isn't necessary.