The dirty truth behind dryer sheets

Written by
Stephanie Emenecker
on April 22, 2020

Even if you have just gotten started with a more natural lifestyle, you have more than likely already run across the hazards of dryer sheets.  They seem to be the unanimous item to ditch ASAP.  It is easy to locate the friends that have yet to ditch them though – you can smell their clothing coming into the room.  So, what is the allure?  Why are these little sheets of floral fragrance that unstick our clothing so criticized?  And if the claims stack up, what do we use instead?

For years we were marketed to.  “Fresh laundry smelling” clothing with cute stuffed animals.  If your clothes didn’t SMELL clean, were they really clean?  The nose to brain connection began to form and Pavlov’s theory kicked in and whalla! A marketer’s dream.  It’s an easy connection to make really. Suddenly you NEED this to ensure you smell fresh and clean.  You NEED it to stop static cling.  You NEED dryer sheets.  At least that was the message until researchers noticed an increasing number of people complaining of physical irritation from the dryer emissions.  They started digging into what was really going on with these common consumer items.  They unearthed the presence of chemicals that triggered reproductive toxicity in animals and identified ammonium compounds which can trigger asthma attacks. In one mice study, fabric softening products triggered limited airflow and pulmonary irritation in the animals.  Acetone found in the sheets can trigger dizzy spells and headaches.

The quick Hassle-Free verdict: No dancing around this topic, toss them in the trash. Now. Visit me in The Hassle-Free Family this week where I will share four healthy alternatives for you to try, instantly replacing a known toxin in your home.  Need more info?  Keep on reading.

Researcher Anne Steinemann, PhD, has conducted a number of experiments looking at chemicals detected in dryers and released in dryer vents.  Seven hazardous air pollutants and 25 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were detected.  Those included acetaldehyde and benzene that are known to be unsafe at any level.  Acetaldehyde is a common ingredient used in fake fragrance blends.  This seems to be a common theme… how “fragrance” is the perfect spot for many manufacturers of personal products to hide toxins.  The same goes for dryer sheets.  Acetaldehyde is “potentially carcinogenic to humans” and regulated for outdoor use yet is still a free-for-all when it comes to home use.  

In her 2016 study she found 12.5 percent of people blamed health issues on laundry products and the carcinogens emitted by dryer vents.  Ailments like respiratory issues, runny nose, asthma attacks, migraines, skin issues, etc.  We wear clothing laced with these highly concentrated chemicals all day long!!

Here are a handful of studies on the subject:

What do I use instead? My clothes get clingy!

Like I mentioned before, I am not going to leave you hanging on this one. I am going to share FOUR options for you to try right away with products you can find in you home! Join us at The Hassle-Free Family as we dig into this and more hot topics to help you and your family make better decisions for your health and well being.

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Stephanie Emenecker
Written By

Momma. Stepmom. Believer in good.
Everyday try to leave people better than how you found them. If it doesn't feel better, rub essential oils on it.

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