Is fabric softener bad for clothes and the environment?

Is fabric softener bad for clothes and the environment?

Fabric softener is considered bad for clothes and the environment for several reasons:

  1. Decreased absorbency: Fabric softeners can coat the fibers of the fabric and reduce its absorbency, making towels and clothing less effective at drying.
  2. Damage to clothing: Fabric softeners can break down the fibers in clothing over time, causing them to become weak and prone to stretching, shrinking, and tearing.
  3. Environmental impact: Fabric softeners contain chemicals that can have negative effects on the environment. Some of these chemicals, such as benzyl acetate and ethyl acetate, are known to be harmful to aquatic life and can persist in the environment for long periods of time.
  4. Allergic reactions: Some people may be allergic to the fragrances used in fabric softeners, which can cause skin irritation, respiratory problems, and other health issues.

Given these concerns, many people choose to avoid using fabric softeners and instead opt for alternatives such as vinegar or baking soda to soften their clothes. Additionally, using a high-quality detergent and washing in cold water can help to keep clothes soft and reduce the need for fabric softeners.



Image credit: Sarah Brown

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