The Toxic Chemicals Hiding in Your Laundry

The Toxic Chemicals Hiding in Your Laundry
Fabric softeners and dryer sheets are commonly used to soften clothes and leave it smelling fresh. However, it’s important to know what chemicals are in the products that you use on your clothing. Learn about the ingredients found in these household products and why it may be time to switch to safer, non-toxic laundry alternatives.

The Dangers of Laundry Softeners

Why are liquid softeners and dryer sheets so dangerous? The common expression, “a little goes a long way,” applies here. Using just a little amount of these products in your laundry loads doesn’t change the fact that they contain toxic ingredients that can be harmful to your body.

Ingredients in Fabric Softeners

What’s really in your everyday laundry-softening products? They are filled with toxins that make their way into our bodies through inhalation or direct absorption. Below are just some of the chemicals found in fabric softeners and dryer sheets:

  • Benzyl Acetate (Linked to pancreatic cancer)
  • Benzyl Alcohol (Upper respiratory tract irritant)
  • Ethanol (On the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list and can cause central nervous system disorders)
  • Limonene (Known carcinogen)
  • A-Terpineol (Can cause respiratory problems)
  • Ethyl Acetate (A narcotic on the EPA's Hazardous Waste list)

Do you ever wonder why the laundry aisle smells so strong? The heavy fragrances in these products are used to cover up the pungent chemicals we’d smell otherwise. Worse still, these heavily scented fragrances also contain harmful chemicals. Have we convinced you to ditch the laundry softeners yet? 

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a nonprofit organization focused on improving public health safety and environmentalism. When ranking 212 fabric softener products based on the safety and environmental impact of their ingredientsthe EWG gave 73.1 percent of products a D or F rating. This should be a clear sign that it’s time to switch to safer laundry alternatives.

How Chemicals Enter the Body

How do laundry softeners work? As mentioned above, both kinds of products contain equally harmful ingredients, however, the chemicals enter our bodies a little differently.

According to Scientific American, the chemicals in fabric softeners can gradually escape your clothes after washing and be inhaled or absorbed directly through the skin. While both products are harmful to your health, liquid fabric softeners are somewhat safer than dryer sheets. The chemicals in dryer sheets get released into the air once heated and can pose a respiratory health risk even to those outside of your home.

We understand the desire to have fresh-smelling clothing that is both soft and free of wrinkles and static cling, but at what cost?

Healthier Laundry Alternatives

After learning about the harmful toxins that laundry-softening products are filled with, you may be wondering how to switch to a safer alternative. It’s easier than you think.

Non-Toxic Laundry Solutions

A natural alternative to fabric softeners and dryer sheets is our wool dryer balls. This set can be used to soften your clothing and help to prevent excess wrinkles and static.

How can you keep your laundry smelling fresh without using scented dryer sheets or softeners? We have another solution. You can use Fontana wool dryer balls with our essential oilsjust sprinkle your favorite scent onto the dryer balls for safe, pleasant-smelling laundry.

Our dryer balls are available in packs of three. They are natural, hypoallergenic, and made from 100% New Zealand Wool.

In addition to protecting yourself, you’re also helping the environment by switching to non-toxic laundry alternatives. Each dryer ball can be reused for 1,000+ loads of laundry. Sounds like a win-win!

Fontana’s Ingredient Transparency

At Fontana, we’re proud to let you know what ingredients we use in our products. Always look for companies that disclose all ingredients to help keep yourself and your family members safe. Seals to look for include: EWG Verified, MADE SAFE®, and certified organic. 

It’s smart to read product packaging carefully, especially when it comes to the ingredients in cleaning supplies and other fragranced products. Our essential oils are made from natural, non-toxic ingredients, just like our candles.


Protect Yourself and the Planet

By ditching the traditional fabric softeners and single-use dryer sheets, you’re helping more than just yourself. Save your body from the harmful chemicals found in these products while reducing the need to restock! Your one-time purchase of Fontana’s wool dryer balls will last you for 1,000+ laundry loads.



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