Fabric Softener Sales Plummet Because Millennials Won’t Buy It

Proctor & Gamble blames it on Millennials being too dumb to figure out what fabric softener is, but more likely it’s because they’re too smart to pay to coat their clothing in carcinogens and neurotoxins

Fabric softener sales have dropped by around 25 percent over the last decade.

Proctor & Gamble is blaming Millennials for the lost sales, the head of the company saying they “don’t know what the product is for.”

The vice president of Snuggle was a little more honest with herself, saying it was likely because Millennials are more “eco-conscious” than their parents’ generation and don’t want to use too many chemicals in their home.

The liquid product became popular in the 1960s when detergents and washing machines left clothes feeling more stiff. Detergents, washing machines and fabrics have all improved since then, but most importantly, so have Millennials awareness about the toxic chemicals lurking in the now-obsolete product, which include:

  • Alpha Terpineol: can cause central nervous damage and respiratory problems
  • Camphor: causes central nervous disorders, is easily absorbed through skin
  • Chloroform: a carcinogenic neurotoxin preferred by Ted Bundy
  • Benzyl Acetate: linked to pancreatic cancer
  • Benyl Alcohol: respiratory tract irritant
  • Ethanol: on the EPA’s ‘hazardous waste’ list, can cause central nervous system disorders
  • Ethyl Acetate: a narcotic on the EPA’s ‘hazardous waste’ list
  • Limonene: a known carcinogen that irritates eyes and skin
  • Linalool: causes central nervous system disorders and depresses heart activity

For a more natural way to soften your clothes, EcoWatch recommends adding 1/2 cup of baking soda (this one will last the rest of your lifeto the wash cycle and 1/2 cup of white vinegar during the rinse cycle.

Or buy or make some 100% wool dryer balls.

RELATED: Millennial Women Reject the Razor: 1 in 4 Don’t Shave Underarms






93 responses to “Fabric Softener Sales Plummet Because Millennials Won’t Buy It”

  1. Dominique Avatar

    Or just hang your clothes out to dry!! I do this spring thru fall, saves on gas for dryer and electricity! Stops fragrances, too!

    1. Elise Avatar

      Unless you have allergies. Then you might as well roll your clothes and linens in pollen before putting them on.

      1. Connie Avatar

        Yep for sure! I love sheets on the line but might as well go lay in the flower garden if I do!

      2. Jm Avatar

        You can hang then inside. And avoid the pollens.

      3. Darren Avatar

        There are some pretty modern looking and swanky drying racks that can be deployed indoors as well 🙂

    2. Carol Takahashi Avatar

      Hanging clothes out to dry defeats the purpose with all the junk in the air like pollen and dust that’s sticking to your clothes.

      1. Annie Avatar

        I hang mine to dry indoors, don’t even own a dryer.

    3. Joanne Avatar

      Fabric softener is for washing not drying. Maybe you’re confusing it with dryer sheets.

  2. Dee Avatar

    Yel and they wear wrinkled up clothes because they are to lazy to iron. I saw a teller in Citi bank not long ago that waited on me. His shirt looked like he just took it out of the clothes hamper. If I were his boss I would have sent him home. Where is their pride…and hair u der your arm puts.. disgusting

    1. RICK Avatar

      seriously! These are the type of people that call the cops are little girls selling bottled water without a permit.

      1. DA Avatar

        LOL, Luv it Rick

    2. Peter Clarke Avatar
      Peter Clarke


    3. dori Avatar

      omg whatever lady… hair grows under armpits.

    4. Christine Avatar

      And hair under your arms is actually just normal, that’s why it grows there. What is so disgusting about it? Ps women only started shaving their arms and legs fairly recently, and it was because razor manufacturers saw a way to double their sales. There isn’t actually a reason you have to shave.

      1. Ingrid Avatar

        European way, either you smell, or you have to use a ton of deodorant!
        You’re right, it’s natural, you just don’t have friends.

        1. obx Avatar


        2. MHR Avatar

          or you could use organic non gmo corn starch! or just stay clean!

      2. alpha papa Avatar
        alpha papa

        Wrong. women have been removing body hair for millenia. can see you have poor history education

      3. R Avatar

        Except it looks disgusting lol most men find it gross. If you found a man that doesn’t care your fortunate

        1. Lulu Avatar

          Why do we still care what men think?

    5. Dee sucks Avatar
      Dee sucks

      You can barely type a sentence. Don’t you have a housing market to crash or a pointless war to vote for?

      1. Sass Avatar

        Typical. Keep it classy, Boomer

      2. Laurie t Avatar
        Laurie t

        I don’t agree with her either, but I see no point in degrading people because of their grammar. I think people can hear other sides when there is a civil discussion.

    6. Sass Avatar

      Sad. A young person had a good job, gave you good service, and all you cared about was the wrinkles in their shirt.

      I hope you ironed out your face before you went out in public.

      I can’t wait to see how the world changes meaningfully once all the boomers die off…

      1. Sara Burrows Avatar

        OMG… dying laughing.

        1. Shel Avatar

          Yeah, I agree. Super unprofessional for the author to laugh at a comment like that. I’m a Millennial and it would do all of y’all well to have respect for the generation that raised you. Tactless, classless, assholes.

      2. chris fink Avatar
        chris fink

        Being a boomer I resent that,I am probably sure I stopped using that stuff before millennials as my children are millennials. I wad the one teaching and informing them off the problems. One out of the three took heed. The other two, not really.

      3. Robin Barker Avatar
        Robin Barker

        Now, now. I’m a boomer. We invented hairy legs and armpits, not to mention that our generation thought fluffy pubic hair was a turn-on. I try to wear mostly natural fibers, I recycle (I went to the first Earth Day which we invented), I worked hard for the rights millennial women enjoy, I write my Congress-folks and I VOTE!… Every time!

        1. Shirley Avatar

          Wow. That is cold and heartless. Having a Boomer father who just passed away,I really don’t understand your heartless comment. Not only that,the fact that the author is laughing at the comment and posting her laughter is unprofessional and sad. One thing that will be lost when they “die off”, obviously, is compassion and empathy. I fear what will happen if the GenXers and GenZers don’t make sure you all aren’t able to control everything.

          1. Sue Martin Avatar
            Sue Martin

            Sass, that’s not a kind comment. I too am a baby boomer. But I don’t intend to just die off as you put it. I iron my clothes when necessary, shave my legs and arm pits. I do avoid classifying people, or criticizing people. I mean we all need to follow whatever dress code is required for our workplace. I worked as a RN for 25+ years and I had some uniforms/scrubs thatneede the iron and some that didn’t. I tried to be clean and dressed suitable to my position.

          2. Some Millenial Avatar
            Some Millenial

            Compassion was never a part of the human condition. Darwin has written extensively on this.

      4. Terri Avatar

        Lol…not all boomers are bad! Trust me, after your generation, whatever it is, people will have complaints about it too!

      5. jd Avatar

        Thays a horrible thing to Say. So you care about the planet but not the human race. How selfish. And baby boomers are just products of their time. Times change. Just wait a few years when your grandkids think you’re the problem.

      6. Kari A Ellis Avatar
        Kari A Ellis

        How about caring about your appearance. You have a lot to learn.

      7. Dorothy Avatar

        wow you must be a millennial! You sure sound like one. Baby boomers have brains. We know how to cook with a stove AND a campfire. We also have enough brain cells to not eat tide pods or snort condoms! Oh and we didn’t think we’re entitled to everything. I pity the world. It is screwed the moment millennial’s are in charge.

        1. Tom Avatar

          Every generation has you cretin. And tide pods are not being consumed by millennial s, that’s a Gen Y trait.. much like the majority of actions assumed to be by millennials. Regardless, common sense doesn’t come with age, it’s found in every age group, and is often more likely attributed by a persons upbrining. There are dickhead parents in the 50’s as there are in the 2000’s.

        2. Anna Hogan Avatar
          Anna Hogan

          Maybe you should do your research and learn that snorting condoms and eating tide pods was the responsibility of iGen/GenZ/NOT MILLENIALS. But I understand doing research must be hard since you boomers cant even operate a computer without tue help of a millenial…

          1. DR Avatar

            WT..? They invented the computer. Common courtesy obviously no longer common. Shame.

          2. KayC Avatar

            Next year marks my 50th year of working with computers. Taught my daughter and she taught her friends – who were amazed she learned a lot of what she knew from her mother. We can’t classify one person you know as a whole generation. There are variances in every generation.

      8. Tina Avatar

        I wish I had more time to worry about how other people looked. Instead I look for all good in people and don’t let things like that bother me. Maybe she was running late that morning because she had more responsibilities than the person upset about her not ironing.

      9. Bob Avatar

        I’m a boomer and I agree with you. My generation sold out long ago, and left you with a horrible mess.

        1. Kevin Avatar

          Thank you

      10. Shirley Avatar

        Wow. That is cold and heartless. Having a Boomer father who just passed away,I really don’t understand your heartless comment. Not only that,the fact that the author is laughing at the comment and posting her laughter is unprofessional and sad. One thing that will be lost when they “die off”, obviously, is compassion and empathy. I fear what will happen if the GenXers and GenZers don’t make sure you all aren’t able to control everything.

      11. Patrick Coleman Avatar
        Patrick Coleman

        I’m a boomer and we’re all gonna die. and the sooner the better given what we’re handing down. and boomers who don’t admit to that are the ones I hope die first. One thing I like about the younger people today is that they sound just like we did. And they are right. And we did all the nasty stuff some of us lamented. Hopefully they learned to not be liars and hypocrites.

      12. Ali Avatar

        Just think your kids will think about you in the same way

      13. Chris Avatar

        “Once all the bombers die?” Like your grandparents? Jeez. Pretty damn cold blooded

      14. Linda Avatar

        What a jerk. You obviously have some things to learn about people and tolerance, love and forgiveness. SMH

      15. Dee Avatar

        Take a little pride in the way you look when you are in public. It’s atrocious the way some ppl look.

      16. Kevin Avatar

        The boomers are as toxic as the chemicals they drown their clothes in. When you look at the side affects of all the above chemicals it all suddenly makes sense too…

    7. DidoCarthage Avatar

      Jeez, lady. Apparently you had no beef with the guy’s work performance, just his fricken wrinkled shirt. Do you really have nothing more important to pay attention to?

      And shaving the hair off your body for fashion’s sake – oh gee, let’s all resemble prepubescents, because *that’s* sexy – is just gross.

      I’m 70, btw.

    8. Ann Avatar

      “Lady” you’re the disgusting one for putting fellow women down for growing hair where it grows naturally.

    9. Christopher Gillman Avatar
      Christopher Gillman

      Anyone who thinks neat attire is required to do a good job is missing the point of what your service is. If you want pretty things to look at, go buy a magazine. I’m sure you probably don’t think they Photoshop every image that’s printed, either. Sometimes old things need to die.

    10. TWolf Avatar

      I’m glad wrinkled clothes are becoming the standard I’d rather spend my time Sleeping so that when I connect with people I can add to their lives something positive, Not judgments about standards that mean nothing.

    11. Sheena Avatar

      Hair under the armpits is natural. Just like a woman’s period. Not disgusting.

  3. Turt Avatar

    Natural is the safest way to go. But stiff clothes from line drying and lack of space for the lines are a big deterrent, can’t blame anyone for that. And going natural should extend to a person’s choice whether to conform to America’s obsession with hair removal, and let’s be honest, armpit hair phobia really only applies to women. Don’t like it? Shave your own and ignore anyone else’s. Hair is hair and it grows.

  4. Peter Avatar

    I love the “Ethanol” line, yup, the same dangerous chemical found in large quantities in beer, wine, liquor, etc. Neurological effect is known as drunkenness. Gotta learn to read these poorly written articles and use some common sense.

    1. Didier Avatar

      When ingested ethanol is metabolysed by your body and filtered by your liver.

      Not so much when it’s absorbed by your skin.

      1. Catherine Avatar

        Whether it’s inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin, ethanol enters the bloodstream, then is filtered by the liver. People have been rubbing lotions and ointments containing ethanol into their skins almost as long as we’ve been drinking it.

  5. Dee Avatar

    I’ve used vinegar as a rinse when I was making my own detergent powder…but the elastic in my underwear and clothing in general became ruined. There has got to be another diy way???

    1. Christine Mitchell Avatar
      Christine Mitchell

      Wool dryer balls and dōTERRA Lavender Essential oil! I no longer have asthmatic coughing fits! Makes my laundry so soft!

      1. Rosie Posie Avatar
        Rosie Posie

        Yes! My method as well. I am in love with Dryer Balls (except when I open a running dryer and they start flying out!) :0)

  6. Loki Avatar

    More like they are too lazy to go downstairs and add it at the right time- or too dim figure out when to add it in…

    1. Deanna Avatar

      I am also too lazy to coat my newborn male child’s mangled genitalia in petroleum, inject my perfectly healthy pre-schoolers with mercury, and coat my hairy armpits with Alzheimers disease. I refuse to work for the man because my crunchy granola ass built a multi million dollar wellness biz while playing on social media also. But some day maybe I will shape up and become a pharmacy-junkie Walmart greeter with Snuggle flavored poison seeping into my pores. Pray for my generation.

      1. SysB Avatar

        Deanna, you go girl. I totally love your attitude.

        Yours, From a baby-boomer who made her living as a pioneering, free-lancing health practitioner and teacher for 40 years

  7. Lisa Avatar

    As soon as I saw you were spelling Procter & Gamble wrong, I quit reading.

  8. Dee Neely Avatar
    Dee Neely

    I am 82 and smarter than most, because of the fact that if plain soap, water and baking soda doesn’t work then it ain’t worth keeping for church services. Might as well use it for working out in the garden…..

  9. Elise Avatar

    My Boomer mother always taught me to avoid using fabric softener. It wears down the fibers of fabric, which is why it is soft, so clothes and towels don’t last as long.

    These chemicals also cause skin allergies and are polluting our rivers and lakes through waste water.

    FTR, I’m in my 30s, have never bought fabric softener, and iron my clothes daily with military precision. (I also sew.)

  10. Nate Avatar

    Yeah, Snopes has debunked all this crap. None of the major brands use any of these chemicals.

    1. Deanna Avatar

      Enjoy your Kool Aid, which is also 100% pure and natural, squeezed from the Kool Aid man’s fabric softener laced pants.

    2. V Avatar

      Snopes is a fraud, by the way.

    3. Ms Anne Thrope Avatar
      Ms Anne Thrope

      There is no article on Snopes about fabric softeners.

  11. Bethany Avatar

    Thank you. All you need is baking soda and it helps stains and makes your clothes smell great! I’ve never used fabric softener, bc theirs no need for it!

  12. Diane Avatar

    It’s not just Millennials to notice the crap chemicals put into products that are so unnecessary. I have scent sensitivities and both Generations are disrespectful at work. Even though they have been told the health risks related to sensitivities to these perfumed products they just don’t give a damn. Laundry products coming through the dryer vents from the neighbors cause me to go indoors. I can barely breathe when their dryer is running. Please people stop thinking about just yourself in the moment and think about the better good of all. We are not only polluting our bodies by absorbing all this garbage we are polluting the environment, the air!

    1. Danielle Avatar

      OMG, Diane, I can’t stand the fragrances that permeate our neighborhood either! I’ve never coughed (nor could I unless I was sick), but whenever I smell that crap, I do. Do people honestly think they smell good???

  13. Erynn Avatar

    Here, let me rewrite that headline for you :

    Adults under 35 too poor for eco-unfriendly frivolities such as fabric softner, fabric softner one of the latest casualties of the failing economy.

    1. Suzi Avatar

      Oh, really because in case you haven’t noticed our economy has been improving. Since President Trump’s took office. More women and minorities are moving forward. Not stuck in welfare system. Read more you really need to update your information. I’m not a hater at all just telling the truth. Please no haters reply I won’t read hate.

      1. Lexey Avatar

        Suzi, I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but the economy has only improved for about 20% of the US. Yes, the stock market is doing well and unemployment is pretty low, but wages continue to stagnate, the average person works two jobs to afford their bills each month, and millions of people go without healthcare because we can’t afford it and none of our jobs will schedule us for enough hours to offer it. People will say, “Then quit and find a new job that will,” but those jobs aren’t hiring. The only jobs hiring are customer service jobs with part-time opportunities and minimum wage to start. None of this was Trump’s doing. The unemployment rate and the stock market were improving for years before he took office; these couple of years have been residual. He’s made some legislative decisions that influenced the stock markets, but lmnostly because they are just SO BAD for consumers. Things like slashing regulations on dangerous chemicals used in agriculture, or increasing our dependence on fossil fuels. These aren’t good things, but stock markets react well to them. They give the illusion of doing well.

        And for women and minorities? We’ve made some defiant steps, sure. And Trump probably influenced some of it, but not in the way that you’re thinking. We realized that if we want to effect change, we had to get our hands dirty. For years we believed we had an administration that had our best interests at heart, but now we clearly don’t. The reaction is that women and minorities are more politically active and demand to be treated with the same respect straight white men get by default.

      2. You suck Avatar
        You suck

        Too bad. How is taking away abortion and birth control “women moving forward”?
        The only reason at all women or minorities are moving forward is literally because of millennials. This is not trump’s doing. Literally nothing is trumps doing, the unemployment rate has been decreasing since Obama first took office, and I’m sure anything else Trump has claimed have also probably been decreasing for a decade.

      3. matt Avatar

        Trump being one of the biggest haters on the planet! Well done you!

  14. Sandy Brink Avatar
    Sandy Brink

    Fabric softeners also clog your dryer lint trap and make it run less efficiently…take the trap out, clean lint out then run it under water and watch the water barely seep through…

    1. Janet Avatar

      It’s the dryer sheets that clog the screen of your dryer. Not liquid fabric softener. And if the screens are not cleaned on a regular basis they could create a fire hazard.

  15. Hugh C. Pero Avatar

    Thank you so much for the advice for water softener work. It is very much essential for us to know for fabric softener sales plummet .thanks for sharing.

  16. ChrisR Avatar

    I’m kind of amazed by the article. Not because of the decline in sales but the rampant chemophobia in it. Limonene is the major component of the oils in citrus fruits – obviously you need to stop eating citrus. Linalool is found in high concentrations in cinnamon and lavender. Have to stop using those. Ethanol – well, that is a serious toxin that also happens to be a lot of fun but I guess we need to stop drinking beer and wine. The oil in rosemary leaves in 10-20% camphor so no more rosemary. Alpha terpinol is the most abundant aroma constituent of lapsang souchong tea so no more tea… Etc etc etc

  17. Candace Avatar

    I have workout shirts and pants that say specifically on the label not to use any type of fabric softener because it wears out the fabric and makes it less effective at wicking sweat away when you’re at the gym or out running. I don’t use it. I have it in my house because others who live there use it, but fabric softener doesn’t really work well at keeping my clothes nice and soft.

  18. Christine Wallis Avatar
    Christine Wallis

    It’s time ALL of the generations stop generalizing about each other! EVERY generation has enlightened, proactive, conscientious citizens; and EVERY generation has self-absorbed, ‘entitled’ brats who care about nothing but using and abusing.

    1. Lexey S Jost Avatar
      Lexey S Jost

      Well said, Christine!

  19. Piara Avatar

    Maybe it does not taste as good as soap.

  20. Lisa Avatar

    Besides all the toxins that are in detergents now, dryer sheets are the worse!’ I can’t even walk down the aisle at the grocery store any more, it’s awful, I’m glad I made the switch and believe me, it’s not because i don’t know how to use it, I’m 48 and never use it a day in my life, start taking a more natural approach thee these items, everyone is better of in the long run, including our planet ✌Out!

  21. jrosekonungrinn Avatar

    Nobody wants a gross, stinky coating of fabric softener touching them.

  22. Jenna K Avatar
    Jenna K

    Welp , I am 32 and I use fabric softner but only specific brands and types. Most of what is on the shelf in stores are tested on animals and I will not use products of any sort that are not cruelty free. At this point you practically cant buy anything in the stores anymore that doesnt cause cancer or harm you in some way. So it is not that millenials are ignorant and do not know how to use. Maybe it is more the fact that many are seeing the dangers that a lot of todays products pose.

  23. Lynne boike Avatar

    We all got to die of something.

  24. Darren Avatar