Do you use a cloths dryer sometimes (or always!)?
Do you ever use dryer sheets with it, or fabric softener? If so, I suggest you stop! And here’s why:
Did you know that dryer sheets coat your clothes with chemicals? That’s how they leave them scented! Unfortunately, not only can those chemicals be toxic to you, gradually building up in your body as they are absorbed through your skin (or being an immediate skin irritant for some people), fabric softeners and dryer sheets also cause wax buildup on the lint catcher so hot moisture cannot escape the dryer, which could burn out the heater.
So what chemicals are we talking about? Well, for starters if they are fragranced they most likely contain phthalates, which are endocrin disruptors. Other nasties can include Ethyl Acetate, which is on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list, Chloroform (!), Alpha-Terpineol and others. Because these chemicals are heated and then pushed out of the dryer as vapours, as well as embedded in your clothes, you can get a double dose of the nasties.
Luckily, there is something else you can use instead, that will do the same job, while reducing your drying time (and therefore power use & cost) by 25%! Use wool dryer balls! Wool dryer balls lift and separate your washing in the dryer, and negate the need for dryer sheets or fabric softener and often even ironing, leaving your clothes soft and less wrinkled. You can even use them with essential oils, for whichever fresh scent you love.
They also help reduce static, will last for *ages* if made well, and are biodegradable.
But are you wondering what they even are? 🙂
These are large, felted wool balls that you put in your clothes dryer to reduce the time it takes to dry your clothes or towels, and to reduce the wrinkles. You need 3-6 dryer balls for good effect, and they will separate out your washing and soften it. When the load is dry, take out one or two dryer balls and sprinkle on a few drops of your favourite essential oil, then put the dryer back on cool for a few minutes, to scent your cloths. (Adding the essential oils at the end on a cool cycle prevents damage to the delicate oils, so they can have the most beneficial effect).
Where do you get them from? Well, you can make them yourself (see video below) or you can buy 100% New Zealand wool dryer balls from me! Yes, Norwex make these lovely dryer balls, which they sell in sets of three. They call them “Fluff and Tumble dryer balls” and they are guaranteed for 2 years or 1000 uses. I don’t know about you, but I think it would take me about 20 years to use them that many times, but then Canberra gets a lot of good sun, and I mostly use the cloths line. I suspect the 1000 uses is based on countries where drying in the sun is less common.
The Norwex dryer balls are awesome, and quite large. I made some myself once but they weren’t nearly as big and solid – which I realise now is why they didn’t seem to make as much difference to my drying as I expected. I also didn’t realise you needed so many. Three is good for a normal load, or six for a large load (I only made two).
HOWEVER, you can also make them yourself, and here is a video from my lovely (and funny) friend Renee to show you how:
How to Make Wool Dryer Balls
In summary, if you use a clothes dryer, you should be using wool dryer balls as well! You can either make them or buy them, or get them free in your spending spree when you host a party! (If you want to buy them and you’re not in Australia just go to Norwex.com to find your closest consultant).
So tell me, have you used wool dryer balls? Did you make them yourself? Do you notice a difference?