Fabric Softeners were first invented in the 1950’s to make clothes have less static cling and to smell fresher, but at the time no one knew that there was a flammability risk when using fabric softener. Fabric softener can help with the quality of the fabric and strengthening the fibers, however multiple studies have shown that fabric softener makes cotton have a higher flammability risk. Downy, Snuggle, and homemade fabric softener are all commonly used throughout the United States. Downy Fabric Softener is one of the top five most used fabric softener around the country. United States. One of Downy’s many qualities is their products are scented with aromatherapy scents. Clothes washed with Downy are said to be protected from stretching, fading, and fuzz accumulation. The product labels of many of the Downy products say the product may degrade flame retardant qualities. Although the product label talks about the flammability, the official Downy website does not mention anything about flammability. Downy has an average cost of $0.07 per fluid ounce. Along with Downy, Snuggle is another commonly used fabric softener. Snuggle’s signature symbol is a cute bear named “The Snuggle Bear.” Snuggle says their product slows down wear and tear as well as reduce fading of the fabric. Clothes washed with Snuggle are left softer, fresher, and wrinkle and static cling free. The Snuggle website does not mention anything about the flammability of their products. Snuggle has an average cost of $0.08 per fluid ounce. Homemade fabric softener can be an easy, and cheap option for softening clothes. The most common recipe used to make the softener is warm water, mixed with white vinegar, and hair conditioner. The cost of homemade fabric softener is about $0.01 per fluid ounce. This method is a healthier and more kid-friendly option for families. This homemade method has fewer harmful chemicals than Downy and Snuggle. Many of the effects of this method on the clothes are the same as Downy and Snuggle. Downy and Snuggle share many ingredients, but there are also ingredients that differ from each other. The ingredients that are similar between Downy and Snuggle are ammonium chloride, calcium chloride, and water. Downy also contains pentasodium dtpa (pentetic acid), formic acid, and benzisothiazolinone(a type of preservative). Snuggle contains lactic acid, ethanol, and potassium chloride. Many of the ingredients in both Downy and Snuggle are flammable. Using products with flammable ingredients can be dangerous. Unfortunately, Downy and Snuggle both have flammable ingredients in them, which will make a shirt more flammable after being washed with the softener. The most flammable ingredient in Downy is formic acid. Formic acid molecular formula is HCOOH and it is highly flammable. The most flammable ingredient in Snuggle is ethanol/alcohol. Ethanol’s molecular formula is C2H5OH and it is also highly flammable. None of the ingredients in the homemade fabric softener are flammable. There have been multiple studies on the health factors of fabric softeners. Lots of the ingredients in Downy and Snuggle can be very harmful. For example, ethanol/alcohol can have a very negative effect on the nervous system. Ammonium chloride is mildly acidic, a crystalline salt, and soluble in water. Calcium has a pH level of 6.3, and if inhaled, can cause skin flushing and nausea. All of the ingredients in the homemade softener are safe for the body. When fabric softener was first invented, flammability was never considered a risk but overtime more and more people have discovered that flammability is a big risk. The differences among Downy, Snuggle, and a homemade fabric softener are subtle and can be very hard to see. After doing research, there are many different ingredients among the three softener that may contribute to their flammability. Testing the flammability of fabric softeners is very important because it could mean life or death from fire or burns and you don’t want to risk going up into flames.