I know your laundry smells amazing using dryer sheets, but I do not think you realize how many toxins you are putting in your body through your skin by wearing those clothes that have all those chemicals from the dryer sheets. Your laundry can smell amazing without those chemicals, along with saving you money on drying time with the dryer balls. Make a switch with making your own Dryer Sheet or Dryer Wool Balls, and have several different scents along with another layer of disinfectant.
Option 1: Make Dryer Sheets
You make your own dryer sheets. These will not help you on your drying time like the dryer balls, but they will be natural and toxin free. The best part is you can keep reusing them!
- 1/2 cup of vinegar
- 8 drops tea tree essential oil or other essential oil
- Sealable glass container
- Cotton cloths
- Start by cutting your cotton cloths into smaller sections. I used inexpensive dish towels from the dollar store, but old T-shirts or linens would work wonderfully too.
- Mix together the vinegar and essential oil in a small bowl. Vinegar is a natural softener, and the essential oil gives your clothes a gentle, natural scent. Pour the mixture over the cloths until they are dampened but not soaked. Keep in a securely closed container.
- To use, simply remove a couple sheets from the container, squeezing any excess liquid back into the jar, and toss into the dryer. To reduce static cling in clothes, reduce the heat temperature of your dryer. When clothes are dry, simply place the sheet back in the jar for use later.
Option 2: Dryer balls
You can make your own dryer balls, or you can purchase them. If you want to venture out and make them, they are not hard at all. The only critical part is that you get the right things to make them. To see this process with pictures, check out this article How to Make Wool Dryer Balls.
Otherwise, here is how you would go about making your own:
- Skein of 100% wool yarn. DO NOT get wool labeled “superwash” or “machine washable”. You want the thicker and lighter spun type.
- Blunt-tipped needle or crochet hook
- String or cotton/acrylic yarn (to secure the wool ball in the pantyhose)
- Wrap your wool yarn around your first two fingers about 10 times to make a starter for you.
- Pinch the bundle of yarn in the middle and pull out your fingers. Wrap more yarn around the middle of this bundle to tie first section together.
- Wrap yarn around the entire bundle until you have the beginnings of a ball, working and wrapping in both directions.
- Continue wrapping tightly until your ball is the desired size. Usually softball size, but you can do a tennis ball size as well.
- Use a blunt-tipped yarn needle or crochet hook to tuck the end of the thread under several layers of yarn so that it does not unravel. Pull it through and cut the end.
- Repeat these steps until you have four to six balls.
- Once all your balls are done, cut the leg off an old pair of nylons, or use knee-high stockings. Put one ball into the toe of the nylon and tie it off, then add another ball and tie until you have all the balls in the nylon. (Just do not use that wool you have been using to make your balls to tie it off.)
- Throw the entire yarn caterpillar into the wash with a load of towels or jeans.
- Wash in a hot wash cycle with a cold rinse cycle. Dry your yarn caterpillar with your laundry using the hottest dryer setting.
- Remove balls from nylons and check for felting (this means the yarn has “melted” together). Some types of wool yarn will not felt well on the first try. You may need to repeat the washing and drying cycles up to three or four times. You’ll know felting has occurred when you can gently scrape your fingernail over the ball and strands do not separate.
Or just buy some and be done!
Or you can simply purchase dryer balls already made! There are so many companies now offering these. It is best to use four to six per load of laundry. The more you use, the quicker the clothes will dry. For large load use six.
Adding a couple drops of the essential oil of your choice to each ball will give your laundry a light and clean smell without the toxins and chemicals. Certain oils with also add another layer of disinfectant. The oils I like to use are Citrus Bliss blend (for a yummy scent) or a Purify blend of oil (good for deodorizing).