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Dryer Balls: A (nearly) Permanent Replacement for Dryer Sheets? October 5, 2012

Filed under: Environment,Green Living,Saving Money,Uncategorized — Katie.Sewell @ 2:46 pm

To me, there is almost nothing better than pulling on a fresh, clean sweatshirt on a fall day and having it smell like clean laundry. I love picking out and trying new dryer sheets. Since we use soapnuts, we do not get a nice, light scent on our clothes the way other, laundry detergent users do, so dryer sheets was my way of filling in that gap.

Well, for the longest time, I had a strange problem. My armpits were itchy (TMI). Turns out, I had a slight perfume allergy. Not enough to break out into hives, but just enough to drive a person mad with itching. When I found out that the only way to rid myself of an embarrassing problem was to use unscented dryer sheets, I was sad. Then when I thought about it, I realized we had changed over our soap to be more environmentally friendly and cost-saving, but we did not do the same with our clothes-drying habit.

What to do?

I did some online research and found out about different brands of PVC-free balls that you can throw into your laundry and it beats and pulls at the fabrics to make them soft without the use of a dryer sheet. I ended up going with Nellie’s. They are, according to the reviews, heavier than the other brands, which makes them more effective at softening your clothes. Also, you can purchase soy wax sticks that go on the inside of the balls. Those wax sticks release a scent so your clothes smell really good.
THEY WORK. Really well. I love them so much, that when we dry any laundry outside (diapers, mainly), we throw them in the dryer for 10-15 minutes with the dryer balls on air dry just to get our clothes to soften up.

Caution: We have had ours for just over a year, and they are falling apart. Overall, they are still cheaper than the dryer sheets we were using, but I may try one of the other brands OR the wool balls that are out there. Nellie’s has a 2-year warranty on their products, but as I have not tried to get my money back yet, I will have to remain neutral on that.

I highly recommend switching to a system like this for anyone wanting to rid themselves of their dryer-sheet habit. Whatever kind you choose, it will save you money AND help keep our planet healthy!

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