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House Cleaning Blog

What Is a No Waste Alternative to Dryer Sheets?

  Jonathan Teall  |    13 June 2019  |    Laundry Room

Change Your Laundry's Life 

Your clothes will smell great, they'll feel soft, and you'll no longer have to deal with mysterious chemicals in your laundry. On top of all those great perks, you will be producing less waste throughout your weekly routine. Follow this easy, informative guide that details the correct and effective usage of wool dryer balls to replace your old dryer sheets. You'll be removing part of your personal impact on the environment, which works towards our common goal of incorporating environmentally friendly practices into your daily routines.

Our Ultimate Guide to an Efficient Laundry Room will provide you with similar tips that will make your life easier. We love to help you live an easier, healthier life.

Canva - Laundry machine

Why should you make the switch to a healthier, safer product?

You want your clothes to come out of your dryer feeling clean, static free, and smelling great. The usual way to liven up your clothes during the dry cycle is to throw in a handful of dryer sheets. You would assume that these sheets cover your requisites and allow your laundry to feel as clean as you want it to be. However, these dryer sheets may be responsible for irritating your allergies and inflaming your asthma. According to data accumulated by the EWG, both fabric softeners as well as dryer sheets are responsible for creating a layer of chemicals on your clothing known as "quats", technically known as quaternary ammonium compounds. The fragrances that are used to make your favorite dryer sheets smell as good as they do are composed entirely of chemicals - the EWG has identified phthalates and synthetic musks as the primary offenders in the composition of dryer sheets. A study done by the University of Washington in 2010 states that, "on air contaminants from fragranced consumer goods detected between 18 and 20 chemicals in each of four laundry products tested – including the likely human carcinogens acetaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, the developmental toxicants methyl ethyl ketone and chloromethane, and allergens like linalool". These fragrances do not remove any of the actual odors of your clothing; rather, they just cover them up.

How do they work?

Without the help of these dryer balls, your wet laundry will stick together while you're drying it. Wool based dryer balls bounce between the clothes in your dryer which increases the amount of area that the hot air from your dryer gets to directly apply to your laundry. The extra room that is created allows the dryer to evaporate any excess moisture, and suck it out of the dryer before it has the time to slow down your drying cycle. When your clothes stick together while they are drying, it significantly slows down the drying process, and creates an environment where static electricity can build up. 

Canva - Sheep dryer ball

The Process
  1. Purchase a set of wool based dryer balls off of Amazon, or find a nice set in the aisle next to your laundry detergent. It may not be easy to find these in your usual big box store, as the sale of these tends to dramatically cut down on the purchase of dryer sheets.
  2. Select three of these dryer balls per load, and then decide if you want them to simply reduce static and allow your clothes to dry faster; or, do you want them to also make your clothes smell great? If it is the latter, skip step 3 and proceed to step 4.
  3. If you just want them to make your drying cycle more efficient, toss them in your dryer with the clothes and use whatever cycle you normally do?
  4. If you want to jazz up your laundry with your scent of choice, consider adding a few drops of your favorite essential oils to the balls before you include them in your dry cycle.
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