For of all, the Environmental Working Group does not recommend using fabric softeners for a number of reasons… here is an excerpt from an article of theirs…

“Using fabric softeners sounds like a no-brainer. These common laundry products promise soft, fresh-smelling clothes, free of static and wrinkles, along with less stretching, fading and pilling.

“But in-wash fabric softeners and heat-activated dryer sheets pack a powerful combination of chemicals that can harm your health, damage the environment and pollute the air, both inside and outside your home.

“EWG recommends skipping fabric softeners entirely. Here are the worst chemicals to watch for in your laundry basket – and what to use instead.

“Quats”

Quaternary ammonium compounds make clothes feel soft and wearable right out of the wash, but they’re known to trigger asthma and may be toxic to our reproductive systems.

Check labels and product websites for these ingredients: distearyldimonium chloride, diethyl ester dimethyl ammonium chloride, variants of hydroxyethyl methyl ammonium methyl sulfate or the vague terms “biodegradable fabric softening agents” and “cationic surfactant.” Avoid them all.

Fragrance

There are more than 3,000 fragrance ingredients in common household products – and scarcely any way to know what they are.

Your fabric softener may contain phthalates, which disperse the scent; synthetic musks such as galaxolide, which accumulate in the body; and much more. Fragrance mixes can cause allergies, skin irritations such as dermatitis, difficulty breathing and potential reproductive harm. Research indicates that scents also cause irritation when vented outdoors, especially for asthmatics and those sensitive to chemicals. Not worth it.

Preservatives and Colours

Like fragrance, the terms “preservatives” and “colours” or “colourants” on an ingredient label may refer to any number of chemicals. The most worrisome preservatives in fabric softeners include methylisothiazolinone, a potent skin allergen, and glutaral, known to trigger asthma and skin allergies. Glutaral (or glutaraldehyde) is also toxic to marine life.

Among artificial colours, D&C violet 2 has been linked to cancer. Others may contain impurities that can cause cancer.

So skip fabric softeners and conditioners in any form – pellets, crystals, bars or single-dose packs. You won’t notice the difference."

What can you use instead?

Try adding half a cup of distilled white vinegar together with your favourite Laundrette Fragrance (it's hypoallergenic, cruelty free, antibactierial and made without SLS and phthalates) to your washing machine during the rinse cycle.a