Way back when, when I was cloth diapering J1, we used Tide and fabric softener sheets for everything.  Including his cloth diapers.  I didn’t use the fabric sheets in his diapers, mostly because he had very sensitive skin.  In fact, up until he was almost a year old, I used Ivory Snow on all his clothes.  Never had build up in the diapers, they never smelled, and I can’t recall ever having absorbancy issues with them.

Fast forward 8 or so years and I was diapering M.  I used either Nature Clean or Sunlight for her diapers, and Purex for all our laundry.  I also put a fabric softener sheet in every load going into the dryer and liquid fabric softener in our regular laundry.  Well.  Her diapers SMELLED BAD!!!!  They were so gross.

So I started researching and the first thing I came across was that I shouldn’t be using fabric softener.  Not just in her diapers but everything!  Did you know that fabric softener sheets coat your dryer!  I actually read that it could take a couple of loads without the sheets to rid the dryer of the coating.  This coating was covering her diapers, making them less absorbent and making them harder to clean.

This got me thinking.  If those little, innocent looking sheets were coating my dryer and then in turn coating fabric in another load, what was it doing to our skin?  J and D both have very sensitive skin and my skin is pretty temperamental.  So we gave ourselves a week to try cutting out fabric softener out of our lives.

You know what?!?!  Our skin stopped itching and M’s diapers stopped smelling.  And our clothes were still soft!  We don’t need the fabric softener!  In the winter and I know I’ll be hanging the load of laundry up inside, I will sometimes throw some vinegar in the rinse cycle, but the stiffness is nothing 10-15 min. in the dryer can’t fix.

I know what you’re thinking….what about static?  If you’re putting the clothes in the dryer and they are coming out full of static, chances are you’re OVERDRYING your laundry!  If you hang up your laundry, you shouldn’t have issues with static.  If you still feel the need to dry your laundry in the dryer for a full cycle, get some dryer balls.  I’ve seen them at the dollar stores.  Or you can buy more expensive plastic or wool ones.  Just know you will need more than two.  Four to six should cut it.

Yes, our laundry doesn’t smell like a field of flowers or newly fallen dew.  (You know, yours doesn’t either!)  But it’s just as soft as yours!  And with all the Scent Free places now and so many people sensitive to scents (this author included), that extra step is unnecessary.  We don’t have static, our laundry is not wrinkly, and it doesn’t smell dirty.  We’re used to it know and can still smell a scent.

I want to share this link to let you know what’s in your friend the fabric softener bottle/sheet.  Just so you know.

After all these years of no softener, we don’t miss it at all.  In fact, when I walk by someone who uses it, or by a house that has the dryer running and I can smell the softener, it’s too much.  Makes me ill.

So here’s another link that you can try if you really feel the need to add to your wash routine.  But it’s really unnecessary.  So save the money that you used to spend on crap for your wash and go out and buy some natural fibre clothing!