A Great Replacement for Dryer Sheets
Dryer sheets might not be the healthiest or most earth-friendly product for any of us to be using. I grew up using them, so I get it. It was something I was taught to do. It was part of the household laundry routine. I knew they would help with static and make my clothes smell good, so I continued using them even once I left home. But along my journey for living a more natural and earth-friendly life, I found them both wasteful and potentially harmful for me and my family. So, let’s take a look at what these are made of and find a solution to replace them.
First of all, from an environmental perspective, these are single-use, disposable products made from synthetic materials (i.e., plastic). I have heard there are some that are made from a recyclable material, but let’s hold that thought.
Second of all, from a non-toxic perspective, these just don’t make the grade. They work by transferring their coating onto your clothes to make the clothes feel soft. You probably know the difference in the feel between a new dryer sheet and a used one. That stickiness on the new one is the coating that’s going to be transferred to your clothes. Added to it is a synthetic blend of chemicals to create a certain scent (fragrance). Fragrance is a catch all term used by manufacturers to label any chemical added to their product that smells. A company is not required to disclose the chemicals used in their product because their fragrance recipe is considered a trade secret.

Try looking on your box of dryer sheets to see what the ingredients are. I did. They’re not listed. Why? Because companies don’t have to list them.
So, here’s what we know for sure: the product is made of a synthetic material with added fragrance. Those two points alone are enough for me to give them a pass.
What can you do instead? Purchase yourself a set of wool dryer balls. They’re available all over the place. A set of 4 will serve you well for at least a year (or a lot more) and only cost you less than $10. I use 2 per load, so that gives you a couple to spare in case one gets stuck in the previous load.
There are a few tricks to switching over to them. First off, drop the heat setting on your dryer down a notch. Second, drop down the time on the drying cycle. These two steps in combination will reduce the amount of time your clothes rub together AFTER they are dry which is how some of the static builds up. If you’re looking to add in something to make your clothes softer, adding a bit of white vinegar to the fabric softener compartment of your washer can do the trick.
Missing the scent that you got from the dryer sheets? I got you, friend. You have several options:
  1. You can add a couple of drops of essential oils onto the dryer balls that will carry you through.
  2. You can take a damp washcloth, add essential oils, and toss it in the dryer with the clothes.
  3. You can add essential oils into your detergent in the washer. Yep, it works.
At this point, you’re going to be saving money on purchasing those single-use dryer sheets and perhaps improving your health overall by reducing your exposure to fragrance, which in my mind is a good thing.

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