Disadvantages Of Fabric Softeners

898 Words4 Pages
According to Heather at The Greenest Dollar (2008), there are many reasons as to why many moms and dads out there are looking into alternative methods of getting their clothes clean, fresh, and non-staticy fresh from the dryer. First of all, she says the copious amounts of chemicals in fabric softener sheets are a huge leading cause of many cancers now a days. But among all the different claims of why fabric softener sheets are bad for you and your children, the most common one is the question of, will these small polyester sheets that are meant to go in your dryer cause that very machine to burst into flames? This is the question that was asked to CustumorReports.org. There answer was simple, no. In this email, the very concerned reader writes…show more content…
They are a popular alternative to air or line drying, which leaves fabrics stiff and rough. There are two kinds of fabric softeners--liquid and dryer sheets. The textile industry developed fabric softeners during the early 20th century. Back then, the dyeing of cotton fibers left them feeling rough and hard. In the early 1900s, mixtures known as cotton softeners were developed to improve the feel of these fibers after dyeing. Dryer sheets came along in the 1970s to make laundering and softening clothes a little easier. They rely on oils and chemicals to coat the surface of the fabric and remain on it to make it feel lubricated, smoother, and softer. Now, fabric softeners contain chemicals and additives that get rid of static cling as well. Silicone, oils, water and substances that are called "emulsifiers” are contained in fabric softeners. Later, fragrance and color were added to the fabric…show more content…
Dryer sheets are safer because they don’t coat the fabric like the liquid fabric softeners. They merely rub off lightly on fabrics, creating a static-free textile. The larger the surface area of the textile, the greater its flammability potential. Fuzzy cloth, such as flannel, terry cloth or fleece, is more vulnerable to flames when treated with fabric softener. Most vulnerable is cotton flannel, cotton fleece and cotton terry cloth. Materials that are woven, like wool or rayon, have a smaller surface area and are not as vulnerable to flame when treated with fabric softeners. The fuzzy surfaces supply more oxygen than the flatter surfaces, thus creating an ideal climate for flammability. Chris Morrisson from HowStuffWorks gave us a little bit of insight into how the fabric sheets work, in slightly simpler terms. If you rub a dryer sheet between your fingers, you might notice a slightly tacky feeling. "that's the surfactant, a compound that contains a positive charge and a fatty molecule such as a quaternary ammonium salt or silicone oil.As the surfactant heats up during the drying cycle, the fatty substance coats your clothes, making them more pleasant to the touch, and the positive atoms prevent

    More about Disadvantages Of Fabric Softeners

      Open Document