Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Laundry woes...the next installment

Some of you were quite shocked by yesterday's post. I'm with you there! But what now?

First of all, if you're the activist type (even ever-so-slightly), file an official complaint.
  • Visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website or call 1-800-638-2772 to voice your concerns.
  • Call the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission at 1-301-504-0424 to request a report about fabric softeners. Due to the Freedom of Information Act, these reports must be available to you. You can request the following:
    • reports from the Emergency Room
    • consumer complaints
    • death certificate reports
    • in-depth investigations
  • Call the manufacturers directly.
    • Proctor and Gamble (Downy and Bounce)  1-800-543-1745
    • Lever Brothers (Snuggle)  1-800-598-5005
    • Seventh Generation  1-802-658-3773
Surprised to see Seventh Generation on the list? I hated to add it. But the fact is, their fabric softener and dryer sheets contain Linalool, the narcotic I mentioned in yesterday's blog with connections to a variety of CNS disorders and respiratory problems. Seventh Generation is a company who cares. Your call might make the difference.

Okay, other than being a mini-activist, here are some practical options, and one that is perhaps not so practical. We'll start with that one first, as it's directed only at people who have an excess of cash on hand. Here it is: replace all of your family's clothing and linens with natural fibers, which are resistant to static cling. Simple enough.

For the rest of us who can't quite afford that --
  • PVC-free dryer balls. Dryer balls are supposed to eliminate static cling, reduce drying time by 25%, and reduce wrinkles. They also fluff your laundry as it dries.
    • True Green2 is no longer offering their free dryer balls, but you can still order them at a reasonable price. Just click on the link above to be taken directly to their site. I, personally, like the dryer balls I got from them. The spikes are large enough with dull edges to not cause the tearing of clothing that I've heard complaints about with other dryer balls. And if you're wondering about the old tennis ball trick, stay away from that option. Tennis balls are full of dyes that can come off onto your laundry while in the dryer.
    • Another manufacturer of PVC-free dryer balls is Nellie's. Check out their website for a nice array of natural products. I love their tins, by the way.
  • Remove clothing from the dryer while still a bit damp and hang on line or on drying racks. Do not overdry!
  • And, of course, there's that old-fashioned solution: hang your clothing right from the washing machine onto the line and let the good ol' sun and wind perform their duties!
  • To soften fabric in the washer, add 1/4 cup baking soda to the wash cycle or 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar to the rinse cycle.
  • The vinegar will work to eliminate static cling as well. As will 1/4 cup of Borax added to the wash cycle.
***CAUTION: Do not add both bleach and vinegar to the same load, as this mixture can cause toxic fumes!

Look for natural fabric softeners and dryer sheets. Write down all the toxic chemicals listed in yesterday's post and carry them with you to the natural foods store. Or visit a company's website to view the list of ingredients in their fabric softener. That's how I came upon the info about Seventh Generation.

If you get dressed and discover the static cling getting the best of you, I heard you can put a safety pin on the inside seam of your pants or on the hem of your skirt and this should do the trick. If any of you have natural remedies to this problem that work for you, please post a comment and share your tips with the rest of us.

That's it for now, as I hope to lead you down paths of chemical-free existences (well, at least as chemical-free as possible!). All these modern conveniences...who knew they'd kill us someday?

Keeping it green,


Photo is a glimpse of Heather Desuta's backyard. Thanks for the photo, Heather!


  1. Hi, Hana,

    Yes, it is I, your sister, finally taking time to peruse your site- KUDOS- great stuff- great writing- great information- keep up the good work!


  2. Yea, Carolyn!

    Thanks for reading and then taking the time to post a comment. Much appreciated!


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