I am always looking for alternatives to items that get used everyday in households. One of those is dryer sheets. Many people love the smell of dryers sheets and the reduction in clingyness of clothes. Some people don’t realize that dryer sheets are basically a piece of polyester with lots of toxic chemicals and fragrances on them.
Fragrances can include tens to hundreds of different chemicals, some of which are toxic, and many of which are known allergens, like limonene and linalool. All fragrance chemicals are usually kept secret from consumers. Dryer sheets can contain volatile organic compounds like acetaldehyde and butane, which can cause respiratory irritation. Quats, a fabric softener chemical, is often part of a family of chemicals called quaternary ammonium compounds, many of which are linked to asthma. Acetone, used in dryer sheets, can cause nervous system effects like headaches or dizziness.
If you are like me I really don’t want all those things around my family. But there is an alternative…wool dryer balls! Dryer balls don’t contain toxic chemicals, they last for hundreds of loads, get rid of static cling and wrinkles, soften clothes, and they actually save time and energy by cutting down on drying time. They can be easily made by buying 100% wool yarn and winding up your own. They took me about 15 minutes each and cost me about $2.50 each. Pretty great deal if you ask me!
But what about the lovely scent that dryer sheets give my clothes?
Add natural and safe fragrance to your laundry by putting a drop of lavender, peppermint, purification, or another oil that you love the smell of on each wool ball and you’ll have great smelling clothes for your next three loads! If you’re worried about cling, you can add a tablespoon of vinegar to the rinse cycle, this helps the wrinkles disappear in the dryer. Some also swear by adding ½ cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle.
Here is the tutorial that I followed.