Traditional fabric softeners are made from a cocktail of chemicals, like quaternary ammonium compounds (or Quats), that harm the environment and human skin. They also contribute to water pollution when they wash down the drain, harming aquatic microorganisms.

Try switching to sustainable laundry products like a plant-based fabric softener to avoid these harmful chemicals in your laundry. Here are the best zero-waste options to keep your laundry soft and smell great.


If you’re serious about making eco-conscious changes in your home, your laundry is a great place to start. Traditional fabric softeners contain a cocktail of chemicals that can have a negative impact on the environment, including phthalates and synthetic fragrances.

Ditch them and switch to a natural alternative that cares for the planet, your skin, and your clothes. Natural, plant-based fabric softeners can reduce static cling and help your laundry feel and smell fresh without harmful chemicals.

Gentle on Skin

Many conventional detergents contain chemicals that aren’t good for you or your clothes. They can also be harmful to aquatic ecosystems, where they can contribute to the formation of dead zones. They often contain phosphates, which can cause algae blooms that negatively impact marine life.

Plant-based cleaners are free of these chemicals, which’re gentle on your clothes and skin. They’re also safe to use in high-efficiency washing machines.

Natural Scent

Unlike traditional fabric softeners that are loaded with artificial fragrances and chemicals that can trigger allergies, green laundry products offer a natural scent that harmonizes your laundry routine with eco-conscious living. They also reduce static cling and enhance absorbency.

Most traditional fabric softeners are made with petrochemicals that come from crude oil, which is not renewable and contributes to climate change. Plus, when these chemicals are washed down the drain, they can pollute our water supply and create dead zones in bodies of water.


Traditional fabric softeners can be packed with toxic chemicals that are harmful to the environment and your health. Some common ingredients include quaternary ammonium compounds (Quats) that can cause skin and respiratory irritation, phthalates known as hormone disruptors, and artificial fragrances that may trigger allergies.

Avoid these substances by switching to an eco-friendly option. These plant-based formulas help reduce static cling, soften fabrics, and eliminate odors. They also work without plastic, which cuts down on waste in your laundry room and landfills.


Many traditional fabric softeners contain chemicals that are harmful to animals and the environment. They are often filled with ingredients like methylisothiazolinone (which can cause skin allergies and respiratory issues) and glutaraldehyde (which is toxic to marine life).

Using plant-based fabric softeners is a great way to avoid these harsh chemicals. The best part is that they are cruelty-free!

You can find several Leaping Bunny-certified, cruelty-free, and Peta-approved options.