What the toxins in your laundry are doing to you

Do you love that fresh laundry smell that comes straight out of the dryer? You know, that warm cozy feeling of scooping an arm full of clean laundry with the promise of a fresh linen scent. I loved it! I especially loved Downy’s Lavender Serenity. I didn’t just use my dryer sheets for the laundry in my dryer. I would put them in my pillow cases, in my purse, in my car and in my underwear and sock drawers. The scent was completely intoxicating and was like crack to me. I wanted to smell it on everything I touched.  I had no idea that for all these years, I was putting a layer of toxins onto my clothes, sheets, towels and into the air I was breathing.

My sense of smell was compromised because everything around me smelled so strongly of toxic fragrances. It wasn’t just my dryer sheets, it was lotions, body sprays, febreeze, air freshners, etc… I used to load up on the toxins overtime, repeatedly spraying myself with perfumes because I thought I couldn’t smell them anymore. I don’t use anything that is an artificial fragrant/softener anymore. I stick to all organic or therapeutic grade essential oils that not only smell amazing but have tremendous health benefits!

Thanks to a couple of generous friends, Dawn Powell and Claudia Powner, I was able to sample mutliple Doterra essential oils and experience their many benefits. I love them! Thank you, ladies! 🙂

Here’s the chemical dirty dozen that contribute to the linen freshness I loved so much (this list does not include fragrance chemicals):

  1. Alpha Terpineol – Can cause headaches, loss of muscular control, central nervous damage and respiratory problems.
  2. Benzyl Acetate – Has been linked to pancreatic cancer.
  3. Benyl Alcohol – Respiratory tract irritant, central nervous system depressant, death.
  4. Camphor – Causes central nervous system disorders, confusion, very easily absorbed through the skin.
  5. Biodegradeble Cationic Softners – Makes clothes fully and static free & build up in the body and over time damage the nervous system.
  6. Chloroform – A known carcinogenic neurotoxin.
  7. Dichlorobenzene – Extremely carcinogenic solvent used to make paint thinners.
  8. Ethanol – On the EPA’s “hazardous wastes” list.
  9. Ethyl Acetate – A narcotic on the EPA’s “hazardous wastes” list.
  10. Limonene – A known carcinogen that irritates the eyes and skin.
  11. Linalool – Causes central nervous disorders, reduces spontaneous motor activity and depresses heart activity.
  12. Pentane – Harmful if inhaled, can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, loss of consciousness and central nervous system depression.

All of the lingering residues and scents will enter your body through skin contact. Most of these chemicals directly effect the nervous system and endocrine system and most definitely can contribute to the development of chronic illnesses. With the consistent contact with these chemicals 24/7, your body is given a chemical dose of poisons around the clock. And unfortunately people will not even notice the effects that it has taken because they’re so accustomed to it. Think of a smoker that smokes a pack a day, not noticing the harmful effects that they’re causing to their body because it’s such a normal habitual thing that they’re doing daily.

Unless you plan on line drying your clothes in the sweet sunshine, you’re probably stuck tossing your wet clothes into the dryer. So what do I use to soften my clothes, eliminate static and still make everything smell good? Organic wool dryer balls!

balls

Wool dryer balls decrease drying time without the harmful chemicals found in commercial fabric softeners and dryer sheets. Not only can they save you money on your utility bills, they last for hundreds of loads. The dryer balls are about the size of tennis balls (slightly larger if you get the XL size) and they bounce around in the dryer, separating your clothes. This allows more hot air to circulate through your garments. As they tumble, the balls fluff up your laundry, reduce wrinkles and bounce against your laundry to make if softer. The wool felt design can also absorb moisture coming off of your clothes, which helps reduce your drying time even further.

There are also plastic dryer balls out there but I personally would not use them. I have a grudge against anything plastic in my home due to the toxic fumes that plastic emits. And the thought of heated, nearly melting plastic touching my clothes (then being on my skin) is a turn off! Same goes for tennis balls. I don’t know what went into the process of manufacturing them but I’m sure that they’re full of chemicals. Big NO for me!

I use Vita wool balls that are made with 100% organic New Zealand wool.  I just add all 4 of my dryer balls into my dryer load. You might need a couple more if you’re drying a heavier load. I also like to add a few drops of my favorite essential oils to each of the balls to add a beneficial and natural fragrance to my clothes/sheets.

I like to use orange scents like bergamot to my clothes. Bergamot is a powerful antibacterial, analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic and has soothing effects. It’s also a great natural bug repellent! For my sheets and bath towels, I like to combine lavender with something like eucalyptus or peppermint to have a nice relaxing scent when I get into bed or out of the shower. Then lastly, for my dish towels and cloth napkins, I’ll throw a few drops of thieves oil to promote a healthy immune system. 🙂

bergamot

Let the essential oils have some time to soak into the wool balls before putting them into the dryer. The scent will last longer that way. I’ve also considered purchasing more wool dryer balls for the different oils that I like to use. I don’t want all of the scents combining together overtime as I use them.

*Just a tip: Be cautious opening the dryer door if you have a dog. If one of the balls falls out and rolls across the floor in front of Lassie, you’re dryer ball just became the new fetch ball.*

So, if you haven’t already tried, get some balls! :p

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