The Dangers of Dryer Sheets

Do you know about the toxic danger of fabric softener and dryer sheets?

A simple change in your laundry routine can save money, protect your health, and help the environment, all at the same time.

Fabric softener and dryer sheets may make your clothes feel soft and smell fresh, and they help prevent your socks from sticking to your blouses, as well as that annoying shock you get when you’re done folding laundry and you reach for the doorknob.

What many people might not know is that fabric softeners and dryer sheets are actually really bad for you. Why? Because they contain a lot of chemicals that the EPA has classified as dangerous. And because we use dryer sheets at the end of the laundry process, these chemicals don’t get wiped off our clothes until our skin wipes them off.

And chances are that the staggering 99.8 percent of Americans who use common commercial detergents, fabric softeners, bleaches, and stain removers would think twice if they knew they contained chemicals that could cause cancer and brain damage.

With more and more studies coming out, people are finally starting to get the news: by using these chemical fabric softeners and other chemicals, you are exposing yourself and your family to toxic chemicals that could have dire long-term consequences.

So, let’s look at what these chemicals are, and why they’re bad for you.

The Chemicals In Dryer Sheets

  • ALPHA-TERPINEOL- Causes CNS (Central Nervous System) disorders and is highly irritating to mucus membranes.
  • BENZYL ACETATE- Carcinogenic (linked to pancreatic cancer).
  • BENZYL ALCOHOL- Causes CNS disorders. It is irritating to the upper respiratory tract” causing “headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drop in blood pressure, CNS depression, and death in severe cases due to respiratory failure.
  • CAMPHOR- Causes CNS disorders.
  • CHLOROFORM- Toxic. It is an anesthetic and carcinogenic.
  • ETHYL ACETATE- Narcotic. This product is on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract.
  • LINALOOL- Narcotic. Causes DNS disorder, respiratory disturbances.
  • PENTANE-”Danger-Harmful if inhaled; extremely flammable.

If you’d like to read the original EPA report on these hazardous chemicals (their report covers 31 common household items including, of course, dryer sheets and fabric softener), you can download it here: http://www.exposurescience.org/WNP91

Fabric softeners are made to stay in your clothing for long periods of time. As such, chemicals are slowly released either into the air for you to inhale or onto your skin for you to absorb. Dryer sheets are particularly noxious because they are heated in the dryer and the chemicals are released through dryer vents and out into the environment.


The exposure is so constant that it can be difficult to connect the product with the signs of reactivity it causes.

Health effects from being exposed to the chemicals in fabric softeners  and dryer sheets include:

  • Central nervous system disorders
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Blood pressure reduction
  • Irritation to skin, mucus membranes and respiratory tract
  • Pancreatic cancer

Wool balls in a dryer

Get rid of chemical fabric softeners: Protect your health and the environment  

Instead of using chemical fabric softeners and dryer sheets in your laundry  switch to wool dryer snowballs. What’s a wool dryer snowball? It’s a  round shaped ball made from 100% wool, about the size of a tennis ball.

Being 100% wool is the best part about these balls. Wool does not harbor bacteria.

A set of three wool dryer snowballs in your dryer will shorten drying time by 15-25%. 

Wool Dryer snowballs are made to eliminate static and soften clothes.

They also cut down on ironing, because clothes come out of the dryer less wrinkled

They will help your dryer last longer. Dryer sheets and softeners have chemicals and waxes that can kill a dryer’s heating element. The softeners/dryer sheets cause wax buildup on the lint catcher so  hot moisture is not escaping the dryer, which could burn out the heater.

 Wool dryer balls will keep your laundry clean and toxic free. There are no fragrances or anything synthetic about them.

Reduces Waste: Unlike conventional dryer sheets that must be discarded, just leave the 100% safe wool dryer snowballs right in the dryer for load after load.

To use, simply toss 3-6 snowballs in your  dryer and start. No need to remove them from the dryer, just reuse! Add your favoriteessential oil to these for a wonderful scent of your choice!

We can do a lot to protect our health by making smarter choices in the products we use every day! A simple change in your laundry routine can save money, protect your health, and help the environment, all at the same time.  

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Bringing you a line of natural wool bedding products free from chemicals is my privilege and passion in life!