That great “clean” smell on fresh laundry can come with an unwanted cost, as most commercial fabric softeners contain many toxins. Care2.com has a list of 8 toxins that could be lurking in your fabric softener. (By the way, a great natural fabric softener is simply 1/2 cup of baking soda added to the water in your washing machine.)
I had been using those blue, (supposedly) non-toxic PVC dryer balls, but the hard plastic spines were rough on clothes, and I didn’t notice a decrease in drying time, let alone static, and was still using synthetic dryer sheets along side of them. Wool dryer balls bounce around in your dryer, separating the clothes, eliminating static, and dramatically cutting down on drying time.
When I first learned about wool dryer balls, I went out and bought a skein of 100% wool yarn and set out to make my own. In a nutshell, you make tightly-wound balls of yarn and felt them by washing and drying them inside a nylon stocking (see photo to right). I followed the twice-felting directions at GoodMama to make mine. It cost me $10 in yarn and about an hour on each ball (I made 4).
My fingers were seriously cramped and chafed after tightly winding & felting these balls over the course of a week. I am happy with what I made, but I wanted to have more than four dryer balls (to cut back on drying time even more). I didn’t think my fingers could make any more balls, so I bought a set of four natural wool dryer balls for $14 (pictured on left). Definitely worth the extra $4 to not have to spend a week making them!
Since using my new dryer balls over the past couple of weeks, my laundry gets done faster and I have no static or worry of any toxins or chemical residue on my clothes.
What do you do to to make your laundry process more natural?