I don't know about you, but I spend a lot of time doing laundry, and I do mean ALOT. And it's important to me that my family's clothes come out not only clean, but super soft. Fabric softeners do seem tempting, but I have always wondered what exactly is in those products to make them do the job.

And now I know.

The lastest issue of Wired magazine took a close look at the ingredients in the popular fabric softener, Ultra Downy. And the results were pretty frightening. The primary ingredient that makes clothes so soft? Dihydrogenated tallow dimethyl ammonium chloride, (also known as rendered fat from cattle, sheep, and horses). Toss that in with a bunch of other questionable chemicals like PEG 8000 and Kathon CG and suddenly those clothes don't seem so clean anymore.

Want to get your clothes clean without the fat? Add 1/4 cup vinegar when your clothes are in the rinse cycle. Trust me your clothes will NOT smell like vinegar when they come out. Nor will they be covered in animal fat.

Clean, soft clothes...hold the fat
What's in your favorite fabric softener? You may not want to know.