Karmic Recycling Tip of the Week: Fire Your Dryer Sheet

I stopped using dryer sheets in my laundry a few months ago. The box ran out and I just didn’t buy any more. I’d come to wonder what kind of chemically substance those sheets were coated with, and even though I used the frangrance-free ones, I didn’t like the idea of coating my clothes with whatever it was. In addition there was the fact that every load of laundry  meant something else to throw away.

Dryer balls, a dryer sheet alternative

Then I remembered why I used them in the first place; without them my laundry was kind of scratchy and, well, hard. But I hadn’t gotten around to researching any environmentally friendly alternatives.

My sister must have been reading my mind, because in with my Christmas presents this year were Dryer Balls, an environmentally friendly alternative to dryer sheets.

Dryer balls are handmade by The Cutting Edge in Novato, California, out of felted wool. You just keep them in your dryer and dry your clothes as you normally would. The wool wicks moisture from your clothes, cutting drying time, thus reducing static.

The website claims it will reduce drying time by 25%. I can’t claim one way or the other if this is true, but after using Dryer Balls in all my laundry for a month, I will say that it has reduced the static I was getting in my clothes after I stopped using the dryer sheets. My clothes dryer has an automatic sensor in it rather than a timer for the dryer cycle, and I usually use the “Less Dry” setting anyway, so it is quite likely that the dryer balls are reducing the time it takes to dry the clothes, thus reducing the chance of static from over-drying.

Plus they are cheerful and fun, and anything that puts some fun into a dull chore like doing laundry is a plus in my book. So if you are ready to ditch your dryer sheets, check out Dryer Balls from The Cutting Edge, and let me know what you think.

7 Responses to Karmic Recycling Tip of the Week: Fire Your Dryer Sheet
  1. Bob
    January 27, 2012 | 2:14 pm

    Louise, they look familiar as we have some too. We do use them on occasion, but then we never, or hardly ever, used dryer sheets.

    A totally unrelated comment: In Canada, if you have pills you want to get rid of, take them to your nearest pharmacy and they will take care of the disposal. Last time I was at Walgreens, the pharmacist told me that Canada had the right idea but all Nevada could offer for suggestion was to dump them in with your trash, preferably with something noxious such as kitty litter. Of course, this is probably better then dumping them in the toilet, but I wonder how CA handles this problem.

    • louise
      January 28, 2012 | 4:00 pm

      That is interesting about the Canadian drug disposal system. I’ll have to look into that. I have heard of special collection days locally where certain pharmacies will take back medicines, but it is sporadic.

  2. Crotchety Mama
    January 27, 2012 | 4:05 pm

    Wouldn’t touch a dryer sheet personally! :D Actually, learned about a year ago that the deposit they leave on clothes is also left on the lint filter. This is bad since it can be a cause of dryer fires. Whew. Apparently it builds up and cuts air flow and overheats your unit. Weird, huh?

    • louise
      January 28, 2012 | 4:02 pm

      Wow, that’s another good reason not to use them. I always clean out my lint filter before drying the next load (and there are uses for that lint that I will blog about in a future post), but I think there is also an internal lint trap in the dryer that might be the one that can get clogged up as you mention.

  3. Toni Seymour
    February 1, 2012 | 6:36 am

    I always wondered why my towels quit absorbing water. After a bath/shower I was literally just pushing the water around on my skin. Then several of my customers who purchased the dryer balls said this was because the dryer sheets put a coating on stuff in the dryer so that eventually towels quit absorbing. I’ve used my dryer balls now for 4 years and they look and work the same as when they were new. I think they last forever.

    • louise
      February 1, 2012 | 12:01 pm

      That’s interesting, Toni, and good to know they last so long. I love the fun color combinations you use with them. People might need more than one pair just to mix things up a little in the color scheme :-)

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