Tag Archives | chemicals

Dryer Sheets & Fabric Softner – A Household Toxin

I’ve written about changes I’ve made around the house after Isabella experienced her first eczema outbreak.  Two household items that needed immediate action were my laundry detergent and dryer sheets.  These are the top recommendations when talking to a doctor about what can trigger an atopic eczema outbreak.  It was initially hard for me to part with my Bounce dryer sheets because of years enjoying that smell, but after researching just how harmful dryer sheets are, I’m happy to have eliminated them from my house.  Not only are they a skin irritant…they are actually toxic!  Parents need to think of these sheets as rubbing chemicals on their family’s clothes.  

I never stopped to think what, other than the scent from the Bounce sheets, was being left as residue on our clothes.  I shudder to think Continue Reading →

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How Hard Is Your Water? Find Out And Save Money!

I read an interesting article at our local Ecology Centre that describes how you can save money if you know the category your city’s water falls into:   Soft, Medium, or Hard.   If your water is soft, you can use 1/2 the recommended amount of laundry detergent and still have your clothes clean.

Why?  The target water category that detergent is developed for is medium to hard water.  The water in our city (Vancouver’s Lower Mainland) is categorized as ‘very soft’.  A few Canadian cities marked as having moderate to hard water are Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax.   Regina is listed as having very hard water.   Because cleaning product manufacturers’ typically recommend amounts based on moderate hardness, we having ‘soft’ water can use much less detergents, starting at 1/2 the recommended amount and adjusting from there.  

The chemical that produces a ‘sudsy’ action in cleaners is called  surfactants.   All detergents, personal/home care cleaning products, even toothpaste contain surfactants…they can be found in anything that produces suds and they increase the level of cleaning power.    Laundry detergents contain the highest level of surfactants.   When the amount of laundry detergent is overused to wash clothes, excess surfactants  get released  after treatment.   This can have a negative impact on fish and other aquatic life.   While saving money for your family is a bonus with reducing your amount of detergent, think of this action as one more way to help our local ecosystem.

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