We all know that there are a lot of chemicals and toxins out there in (and on) the products that you use in your everyday life. Items such as detergents, air fresheners, soaps and cleaning supplies all have been known to emit VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds).
VOC’s are chemicals used to manufacture and maintain building materials, cleaning products and personal care products….they are volatile because they can evaporate into the air at room temperature. We are exposed to chemicals everyday through skin absorption, inhalation and ingestion. It’s scary to think about and even more frightening to actually do something about it.
I really wanted to make my own dryer sheet “alternatives” due to the things I’ve heard about chemicals in traditional fabric softner sheets that are emitted into the air from the vents when you run your drying cycle.
The chemicals emitted can cause long-term health effects (hazardous air pollutants and carcinogens! No thanks!) So why not do something about it? You won’t be able to find any of the VOC’s listed on the dryer sheets ingredient list, but DO look out for the ingredient “fragrance” which companies can legal label….and can contain up to 200 chemicals! Also, the ingredients in dryer sheets can coat your clothing for up to multiple washes with residue of chemicals that come in contact with your skin all day long.
If you have to use dryer sheets, at least look for “fragrance-free” or “hypoallergenic”. An even better alternative would be to buy or make your own wool dryer balls. The concept behind these are that they contain no toxic chemicals, they soften your clothes and will cut down on the drying cycle (therefore saving you money on your electric bill!) It’s ideal to have 4-6 wool dryer balls to use in the dryer…and if you want to add some “fragrance”, I suggest Essential Oils as they are organic and won’t emit VOC’s!
Here’s how to make your own wool dryer balls:
-Acrylic Yarn or Floss
-Essential Oil (if wanted for fragrance)
Wrap the yarn around your hand about 10 times, then wrap it around the other way 10 times.
Keep wrapping the wool around in different directions about 5 times each until your wool ball is about the size of a tennis ball or baseball.
It took me 2 skeins to make 4 wool balls. Each one took about 10 minutes to make. Once finished, you will put each ball into the pantyhose, tied apart from each other with acrylic yarn or dental floss (Not wool, since it will felt).
You will put the pantyhose into your regular loads of laundry (give it 3-4 cycles ) on hot heat and even throwing them into the dryer to make the wool balls felt. You will know they are ready when you dont see the individual string fibers anymore. The wool will felt and not separate from the ball.
Throw all of the dryer balls into your load and you’re ready to go! You can also add a few drops of essential oil to each wool ball if you’d like a hint of fragrance. I recommend Young Living Essential Oils.
Stay tuned for my next “Little Changes” topic!