Do you use dryer sheets in your laundry? If you are among the majority of Americans who do, have you ever heard about wool dryer balls?
What you may not know about dryer sheets
Commercial dryer sheets are often made of wispy polyester sheet that's been coated in fabric softening chemicals and usually also fragrance chemicals.
While I haven't been able to find any evidence clearly supporting the widespread belief that dryer sheets have harmful chemicals that can cause serious health problems, the added chemicals to commercial can cause skin irritation.
In addition, people who have asthma or are sensitive to strong smells can also be negatively affected by commercial dryer sheets.
Plus, commercial dryer sheets add a film to your linens that cause towels (and cloth diapers, for that matter) to be less absorbent. That film also gets caught in your dryer lint trap, which can contribute to fire hazards.
What are good alternatives?
There are other commercial options on the market. Brands such as Seventh Generation, The Honest Company, and Mrs. Meyer's produce green (eco-friendly) fabric softeners.
Another option is to use wool dryer balls.
Wool dryer balls look a little like large white tennis balls. They are durable and not prone to unraveling. You can use one set of wool dryer balls in hundreds (possibly thousands) of loads of laundry.
Further, they are made from wool, a natural and renewable resource.
Wool dryer balls are an economical and safe choice for use in your laundry!
How do wool dryer balls work?
Think about how laundry works in a dryer. A load of wet towels will flop around and stick together for a long before the layers become dry enough to separate and allow warm air to circulate. Think added time, energy and money here.
Instead, what if you have six wool dryer balls bouncing around among those towels. They quickly make their way in between the layers of fabric, helping the towels separate so that the warm air can circulate efficiently right away. At the same time, the wool material helps to draw the moisture away from your laundry load.
Because wool dryer balls get in between layers of fabric and draw out moisture, you save time, money and energy on each load of laundry. Woohoo – yay for saving money!
How to use wool dryer balls
Because they need room to bounce with your wet laundry, dryer balls work best when used with loads that aren't full. Wool dryer balls need room to do their job, so you’ll find that two medium-size loads will dry better and faster than one huge load will.
Want to add fragrance? Here's how.
For those of you who love having a pleasant fragrance in your laundry, you can still accomplish this with a healthier option: essential oil. Simply drop a few drops (think about 5 drops) onto your dryer balls before using them in the laundry. You'll notice the fragrance in your laundry, although, it's likely to be more subtle than the fragrance you get from commercial dryer sheets. If you want a stronger fragrance, simply add a few more drops of essential oil.
One major reason people (especially in the drier areas) use dryer sheets is to help reduce static electricity. Believe me…I understand! I admit that one of my pet peeves is having clothes cling to my body.
Dryer balls do help with static electricity to some extent. However, because they help dry laundry loads faster than people are used to, loads often are over-dried, causing static electricity.
Here are 2 tips for tackling the static electricity problem:
- pin a small safety pin to one of the dryer balls to reduce static
- spray the dryer balls with water until they are moderately damp (not dripping water) – they are denser than the laundry and will dry slower than the laundry. They increase the humidity in the dryer, thus reducing the creation of static electricity while not increasing dry time.
Let's recap – the breakdown on wool dryer balls:
- Commercial dryer sheets contain chemicals and perfumes that can irritate the skin and anyone with sensitivities to strong odors.
- Commercial dryer sheets are generally thrown away after one use and can be expensive. Wool dryer balls can be used hundreds (or thousands) or times, saving hundreds of dollars of time.
- Wool dryer balls decrease drying time, saving you money on utility bills.
- Dryer sheets add a film to your towels and cloth diapers, reducing absorbency and softness. Wool dryer balls do not.
- 100% wool dryer balls increase fluffiness and reduce wrinkles and static (when used the right way) as laundry loads dry.
- Dryer balls help to naturally soften clothes.
- Dryer balls are made from a natural, renewable resource.
If you haven't tried wool dryer balls before, I hope you'll give them a try!
You can even get your own set for only $3 when you sign up for MightNest's MightyFix program – each month you'll get a new product for your home to help you go green and eliminate plastic and other harmful materials!
Try the MightyFix for only $3 with promo code DRYERBALL3 and get 3 Dryer Balls as your first month
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