As part of doing laundry, fabric softener is often used in conjunction with detergent. Be it a liquid softener, dryer sheets, or powder, all do the same job according to Whirlpool. That job is to ensure that clothing is soft to the touch and keeps static at bay. And while this is popular for adults to do with their clothing, baby clothing should be kept out of the mix. This is because fabric softener on babies’ clothes can be a risk to babies.
Parents want their babies ‘clothing to be soft so that there is no irritation to their little ones’ skin. In order to do this, the most gentle and fragrance-free fabric softeners are used. While these chemicals may not cause any problems for adults, the same cannot be said for babies. And because of this, fabric softeners should be taken out of the laundry routine for babies.
Here is why fabric softener should not be used on baby clothes.
Fabric Softener Decomposes Flame Retardant
Before the Consumer Product Safety Commission put into place guidelines that manufacturers had to follow regarding baby and children’s pajamas containing flame retardants, nearly 300 kids were sent to hospitals yearly as a result of their clothes catching on fire, according to The Washington Post. Once the standards were put into place, those numbers dramatically decreased.
As a result of being exposed to the retardant, however, there was concern that babies and children were being exposed to cancer-causing chemicals. As such, tight-fitting pajamas became another way for little ones to remain safe while in their pajamas.
But, for those who still purchase clothing with the retardant in them, fabric softener can decompose the retardant. And because of this, were babies to come into contact with an open flame, the clothing could easily go up in flames. The results of which would be devastating to little ones.
Baby’s Skin Can Become Irritated
Regardless of how natural and free of chemicals fabric softeners claim to be, it is the chemicals in them that make clothes soft and free of static. And unfortunately, when used on babies’ clothing, it can cause a reaction to occur.
According to OnHealth, the chemicals and fragrances in dryer sheets can cause babies’ sensitive skin to become irritated. When this happens, according to the publication, there can be a rash, irritation to the eyes, excessive sneezing, or even a sore throat that they cannot express they have.
Because of this, leaving babies’ clothes free of fabric softener will make them more comfortable in their clothes. They will not have to contend with itching, scratching, and overall, not feeling well all because their clothes were treated with softener.
Alternatives To Fabric Softener For Baby’s Clothes
If parents are going to be willing to give up their fabric softener, then they need an alternative that works just as well. According to SpeedQueensome options that really work to soften clothes that are not fabric softeners include:
- Aluminum foil folded into a ball
- Tennis balls
- Wool dryer balls
- Baking soda and vinegar
- Hair conditioner
Not only are some of these options sustainable but the ones that are not can be natural and free of chemicals. Therefore, it may just be worth giving a substitute to fabric softeners a try to see if they work for babies’ clothing. If they do, then perhaps one of the alternatives can become the new norm and fabric softeners a thing of the past.
Source: Whirlpool, The Washington Post, OnHealth, SpeedQueen