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Are Fabric Softeners and Dryer Sheets Safe to Use?

Are Fabric Softeners and Dryer Sheets Safe to Use?

BedVoyage has been selling luxury bamboo sheet sets since 2010, helping people everywhere to enjoy many glorious nights of sleep on bamboo bedding! Keeping those beautiful sheets in their best condition is what will give you many years of use and enjoyment. When a customer reaches out with ‘what have I done to my bamboo bedding?’ we ask a few questions.  One of the first is to inquire which type of laundry detergent they’re using. We also ask if they’ve used any fabric softeners or dryer sheets. Let’s talk about if  fabric softeners and dryer sheets are safe to use.

Are Fabric Softeners and Dryer Sheets Safe to Use?

Detergents that say ‘tough on stains’ are also tough on your fine linens. They can cause breakdown of the gentle fibers, which leads to pilling and then to tears or holes. Dryer sheets can literally stick to a fabric and coat it, causing it to discolor or become waxy. Fabric softeners also adhere to the fibers, they may make them feel soft but it’s a synthetic softness. Bamboo bed sheets are so incredibly and naturally soft all on their own! Bamboo fibers are super fine and round, like a hair on your head. This creates that amazing hand-feel of silky softness. There’s simply no need to coat them with toxic chemicals to add artificial softness.

Let’s talk about the recommended Do’s and Don’ts for laundering bamboo bedding. This will help you get the most out of your beautiful sheets!

How Do I Wash Bamboo Sheets? 

A gentle eco-friendly liquid detergent is the best at caring for fine bamboo linens. Treat them like you would your favorite blouse or top, and they will stay in great condition for many years. A few detergents that we have found to work amazingly on Bamboo Bed Sheets are: The Laundress Delicate Wash, Ecos, Seventh Generation, Meyer’s Clean Day, and Aspen Clean.

We recommend laundering temperatures of warm water and medium drying. But if you find that it’s taking a bit long to dry, you can increase the heat for the last 10-15 minutes. You can even stop the drying cycle at 45 minutes, pull them out, give a good shake-out, and finish the cycle.  I like to remove my linens the moment the cycle stops, and put them right on the bed. This prevents wrinkling from sitting in the dryer, or fold lines from folding. BedVoyage does not coat their linens with formaldehyde, which is what the cotton industry does. If cotton sheets say ‘wrinkle resistant’ that’s because they’ve been coated them with a formaldehyde stiffer. Not good to sleep on or breathe in!

Do I Need to Wash My Sheets Before Sleeping On Them?

We always recommend laundering before sleeping on bamboo sheets. There are a couple reasons for this, but foremost is that bamboo shrinks the first time you launder. BedVoyage has oversized our linens by 5% to allow for that first-time shrinkage. If you just took the sheets out of the packaging and put them right onto the bed; you’ll think they are too big, or that you bought the wrong size. So please wash first and they’ll fit perfectly! Bamboo sheets do tend to ‘grow’ on the bed during the week while you’re sleeping on them. This is because bamboo linens have a little bit of stretch or give to them. When they get laundered again; they shrink right back to their normal size. We joke that its because Moso bamboo grows up to 3’ per day, and it really just wants to keep growing!

Are Fabric Softeners and Dryer Sheets Safe to Use?

Did you know there are hidden toxins in fabric softeners and dryer sheets? You may not have known that dryer sheets and fabric softeners are considered to be among the most toxic items in your home. Dichlorobenzene is in many dryer sheets, its extremely carcinogenic, and transforms into DDT when exposed to chlorine in your tap water. The reason they put this chemical in dryer sheets is because it poisons the mucous membranes. This is so you literally can’t smell the odors. That doesn’t sound good!

You wouldn’t eat toxins on purpose, right? But did you know that sleeping on bed sheets that are coated with fabric softeners, dryer sheets and perfumes is incredibly toxic? Not only are those chemicals being absorbed into your skin, but you’re also breathing them in for 8 hours while you sleep.

Why are Fabric Softeners and Dryer Sheets Not Good for Me?

Fabric softeners contain a myriad of toxic chemicals: y-methyl ionone, A-terpineol, and methylene chloride, among others that are linked to pancreatic cancer. These chemicals are used to lubricate clothing, to make it appear softer. They literally coat toxic chemicals onto your bedding when you launder, so please consider not using them! Are fabric softeners and dryer sheets safe to use? NO, so we recommend making your own, naturally, see tips below!

Dryer sheets are also one of the top causes of house fires. The stickiness on the dryer sheets can cause a residue in your lint filter and clump up in your vent exhaust pipe. You may be cleaning your lint filter each time you complete a cycle, but not realizing you need to also clean your exhaust pipe at least annually. If you’re driving through a neighborhood, spot where people’s vents are located. If you see fuzz and lint on the side of their house; they’ve not cleaned their exhaust recently. Some studies show that 1 dryer sheet can waft its scent for up to a mile from your home.  This is not good for people who suffer from chemical or scent sensitivities, nor animals breathing it in.

How Can I Naturally Add Scent to My Laundry?

If you want to add a natural scent to your bedding, there are a few ways of doing this without using chemicals. I like to dab a favorite essential oil onto a cotton ball, insert the cotton into a lingerie bag, and toss in the dryer.  It gently scents your sheet, with no coating or discolorations.

Another option is to keep a glass jar of white vinegar with a few drops of essential oil near your laundry care items. You can cut up an old t-shirt or pillowcase into 6” squares and stuff them into the jar. When you put a load in the dryer, just pull 1 square out of the jar and toss into the dryer. No need to wring it out, the vinegar odor disappears while it dries. Just keep putting that same dryer sheet back into the jar and top it off with more vinegar and essential oils as needed.

Do Dryer Balls Work Well on Bamboo Sheets?

The purpose of dryer balls is to bounce about in the dryer, causing your launder to separate so that more air hits the surface of the fabrics. If you feel you must use one, we recommend ones made of wool, not rubber or plastic. The plastic or rubber dryer balls look like dog toys, with bumpy spines that can stick and pull on fabrics. Bamboo fibers are somewhat delicate, and very fine. Its not recommended to use them when drying. If you’re home while the dryer is running, you can always stop the cycle, fluff the fabrics, and keep going!

Sweet Dreams~

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