Laundry, you either love it or hate it. Finish a load of wash, throw it in the dryer, and in go these little white sheets for softness.
Dryer sheets were something I never thought twice about. We’d use anywhere from 2-5 in every load of laundry. In fact, I used them for more than the dryer. Stinky trash can? Dryer sheets. Stinky car? Dryer sheets.
That was until I found out that dryer sheets are one of the MOST toxic products we use in our household… and I am not “just being dramatic”.
What’s the deal with dryer sheets?
Currently the Consumer Product Safety Commission does not require dryer sheet manufacturers to list actual ingredients, including chemicals used in fragrance blends. Even if there are ingredients on the box, they typically aren’t all listed. So what’s the result?
That box of Bounce dryer sheets or generic brand fresh scent dryer sheets are full of arcinogens, hazardous pollutants, and endocrine disruptors. Endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) are chemicals that can alter hormonal signaling and have potential effects on developing reproductive and nervous systems, metabolism, and cancer (Colborn et al. 1993).
In a 2016 study, it was found that 12.5 % of the population reported health problems from the scent of laundry products.
Fragranced products have been associated with a range of adverse health effects, such as migraine headaches, asthma attacks, respiratory difficulties, neurological problems, mucosal symptoms, and contact dermatitis.
Some other facts about those innocent sheets of floral sunshine –
Forty-four percent of scented laundry products tested spewed at least one carcinogenic hazardous air pollutant. Some of these include acetaldehyde, 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde.
In a study focusing on hormone disruptors and asthma triggers in everyday products, Silent Spring Institute researchers found dryer sheets contained some of the highest concentrations of harmful fragrance chemicals.
Even those free and clear dryer sheets can have toxic chemicals lingering. Because remember, companies are not required to list ALL ingredients on the packaging for dryer sheets.
If you’ve been following along for the last several months, you know that I am obsessed with finding hormone/endocrine disruptors to eliminate in our home. After all of the research, I had to find an alternative to these sheets of softness.
So what’s the alternative?
Wool dryer balls! Wool dryer balls are just that, balls of wool. They are a natural fiber alternative to both dryer sheets and rubber dryer balls.
Dryer balls work by separating laundry in the dryer so that air can circulate more evenly and efficiently. The dryer balls find their way in-between the articles you put in the dryer to dry. They work by separating and moving through the fabrics with their weight.
That space dryer balls make between the fabrics can actually save you time. You can decrease your drying time by about 30-50% because the space created by the dryer balls allows for more air to circulate through the load. Savings on electricity AND reducing your exposures to toxins? I will take it!
The wool dryer balls natural soften the fabrics in your load, reduce wrinkles, and naturally reduce the static cling in your laundry.
Wool dryer balls can be used for about 1,500+ laundry loads, which means you will save money by not buying those boxes of disposable dryer sheets.
Missing your April Showers and Lavender Fields scents? Scenting your dryer balls is simple and natural, too. Using 100% essential oils on the outside wool is a great way to add a fresh scent to your load. My personal favorite is lemon, but you can use lavender, orange, or even pine.
Dryer balls are not only a great, non-toxic addition to your laundry, they will save you money in the long run. They are fairly inexpensive too! Which is something I LOVE!
Here is where you can find wool dryer balls without breaking the bank:
I LOVE our wool dryer balls. I simply throw them in to the dryer with each load of laundry. When I am unloading the load, I take them out, and throw them back in the dryer for the next load. They’re really that simple!
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