Health Hack #42: Swap your Dryer Sheets with Wool Dryer Balls
An easy one but one worth repeating. It’s time to make the swap from dryer sheets to wool dryer balls! Here’s why:
Dryer Sheets are toxic for you, the environment & your pets!
- You & Your Family’s Health – Dryer sheets can contain harmful chemicals that stick to clothes, vents into the air, and rub off on your skin. These chemicals are known to cause health problems because they can mimic estrogen and trigger asthma, amongst other things. “In one study, researchers tested five name brand dryer sheets. The findings showed that the dryer sheets emitted 15 endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) and chemicals associated with asthma. Evidence from studies suggests that EDCs can affect developing reproductive and nervous systems, metabolism, and cancer.” [source: https://purelivingspace.com/blogs/safe-laundry/why-you-should-avoid-toxic-dryer-sheets]
Manufacturers aren’t required to disclose ingredients on the label of their products and much like other common personal and household goods, these products aren’t tested for toxicity.
The most concerning chemicals in fabric softeners include methylisothiazolinone, a potent skin allergen, and glutaral, known to trigger asthma and skin allergies. Glutaral (or glutaraldehyde) is also toxic to marine life. And they often contain artificial colors, in which D&C violet 2 has been linked to cancer. [source: https://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2016/05/skip-fabric-softeners]
- The environment – Dryer sheets are single-use and categorically are just wasteful! How many loads of laundry do you do in a day, week or month? And think if you used just 1 sheet per load, how that adds up quickly when it comes to garbage into our landfills. Not mention, it’s made from synthetic fibers which means it doesn’t breakdown in our landfills and it’s laced with ‘fragrance’ which is harmful to the soil. It goes on and on…
- Your pets’ health – let’s face it, our beloved pets get into things around the house sometimes. How many of you have heard or have had a dog eat a sock?! Same goes for dryer sheets, except this is toxic to them on so many levels. Dryer sheets are made from synthetic materials that are not digested. This can result in gastrointestinal obstruction and a blocked GI tract can lead to serious illness, even death. Many GI obstructions need to be removed surgically, which poses even more risk to our dog or cat. Dryer sheets can also cause pet skin irritation, as well as irritations to mucous membranes and their stomach lining. In concentrated amounts, the damage may be serious and can lead to lung damage, central nervous system depression and kidney disease. [source: https://www.thesprucepets.com/dryer-sheets-harmful-to-cats-dogs-2146688]
Safer Alternatives are Available
This part makes me happy because it’s an easy swap and it saves the environment, in addition to the health of you and your family!
Wool Dryer balls, especially when paired with essential oils, dry your clothes faster, soften your clothing and help reduce static.
Just add a few lavender drops (or your favorite oils) to the wool dryer balls. It’s so easy! Plus they last 6-12 months depending on the volume of laundry you do, and you can swap in different essential oils to try out alternative scents.
Ready to buy?
Here is a great review on the best 3 wool dryer balls to buy:
You can also check Amazon – they have everything! And these wool dryer balls are adorable too.
Laundry can become mundane and routine and we sometimes lose sight of easy-to-solve for swaps right in front of us. If you make the swap or have any other tips, please do share!
p.s. I also heard adding a safety pin helps prevent static cling
*image directly sourced from Dr. Axe