Fabric softeners, which make your laundry smell clean and fresh, are one of the indispensable cleaning products of every home. However, it is a matter of debate that these products may have negative effects on our health and laundry. Therefore, how about learning more about the harm of fabric softener?
What are softeners and what do they do?
Fabric softeners are cleaning products that make laundry smell nice and feel soft. The main function of fabric softeners is to fluff the fibres of the fabric so that the fabric becomes softer and feels soft to the touch. However, fabric softeners can have some side effects on clothes.
Effect of Fabric Softeners on Clothes
Softeners can reduce the resistance of the garments and create an environment for the growth of residues and moulds left in the machine. Softening products used in sportswear reduce the wicks that increase the mobility of the clothes. They also adversely affect the ability of the clothes to absorb water. Therefore, they should be used with caution on clothes that absorb water, such as towels.
Are Softeners Harmful to Health?
According to research by experts, softeners can adversely affect our health. Chemicals in fabric softeners can affect the respiratory tract and nervous system, causing cells to deform. Some chemicals in fabric softeners have been linked to asthma, pancreatic cancer and damage to the central nervous system. Chemicals in fabric softeners, such as BPA, are also dangerous for the environment.
Softener Use and Environmental Pollution
Softeners, like other detergents, contain petroleum-derived chemicals. These substances both form residues on clothes and cause environmental pollution by mixing into nature with water.
Chemicals Contained in Softeners and Their Effects on Health
Softeners contain many chemicals that adversely affect our health. Here are some of these substances and their effects on health:
- Alpha terpineol: May cause central nervous system damage and respiratory problems.
- Camphor: Although it is useful when used correctly, it may cause inflammation and burning as a result of direct contact with the skin.
- Chloroform: It is a substance that is toxic to the nervous system.
- Benzyl acetate: Associated with pancreatic cancer.
- Benzyl alcohol: Irritating to the respiratory system.
- Ethanol: May cause damage to the central nervous system.
- Ethyl acetate: May cause headache, respiratory and eye irritation, anaemia and liver damage by inhalation.
- Limonene: May have carcinogenic effect by irritating eyes and skin.
- Linalool: May cause diseases of the central nervous system and adversely affect the functioning of the heart.
What Can We Use Instead of Fabric Softeners?
Given the dangers of fabric softeners, you can use safer alternatives to soften your laundry. For example, you can use colourless vinegar or soda to make your laundry soft. These products will protect your body, the environment and your wallet, while not showing fake softening effects.
Although fabric softeners are effective in keeping your laundry smelling nice and soft, these products have negative impacts on health and the environment. Therefore, you should consider replacing fabric softeners with natural alternatives.
This article is designed to provide general information about the dangers of fabric softeners. In case of any health problems, consult a health professional. This information should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a health professional.
As a note at the end of this article, let us emphasise the importance of using cleaning products responsibly. Considering the possible health and environmental impact of products such as fabric softeners, it is always better to opt for healthy and environmentally friendly alternatives when doing your laundry.