Sunday, November 6, 2016

Wool Dryer Balls and Why You Need Them!

As many of you already know about me, several years ago, I started moving my family in the direction of a more "natural" life. What does that mean exactly? I do what I can to reduce the artificial anything and excess chemicals from our life. I try to help us eat better, clean our home and our bodies with fewer chemicals. I am far from perfect, and sometimes you gotta just live life, chemicals and all.

After years of researching these topics, one thing I have learned is, the artificial fragrances we expose ourselves to in all of our everyday cleaning products, beauty products and even candles can cause health problems. I won't drone on and on about it, but it can affect people with asthma and there is even talk about cancer. I think "they" whoever "they" are, thinks everything causes cancer. Better safe that sorry, I think.

 I don't flip out when someone gives me a Yankee Candle as a gift. I actually love Yankee Candle and it has been one of the harder things to give up. I still occasionally have one around the house and light it up a few times a year. It's a process, people!

So, on to my point about the dryer balls. In the process of all this research, I have tried to eliminate the artificial things from our laundry products as well. I have now stopped, but for about 2 years I made our own laundry detergent! I really liked it, but I will admit that sometimes I wondered how clean it got our clothes. 

I use plain white vinegar as our fabric softener in the washing machine. And no, it doesn't not make our clothes smell funny. There is no vinegar smell whatsoever in our clothes.

And when it comes to the dryer, I use these wool dryer balls I got from this Etsy shop
My first set, as pictured on the Etsy Shop

My second set, also as pictured on the Etsy Shop

They come in lots of different sets. I ordered my first set almost 5 years ago and they are still going strong (and remember we are a family of 5 and sometimes 7 and we do A LOT of laundry)! I ordered a second set about 6 months ago because I was missing a few of the original ones. 

My actual dryer balls in my dryer this morning. You can see the pink ones are a little more worn, er...well loved.

They are amazing for several reasons.
-They speed up your drying time! They agitate the clothes more so your clothes dry faster! And they supposedly absorb some of the moisture as well.

-They naturally soften your clothes from the aforementioned agitation.

-They eliminate the need for dryer sheets!

-They are economical. Remember the shortened drying time? And you buy them once and done! Like I said before, I bought my first set 5 years ago and they are still going strong. No more buying dryer sheets regularly with their artificial scents. And myriad of other chemicals you'd rather not be wearing on your clothes.

-Reduction of chemicals!

I do miss that nice smell of clean clothes coming out of the dryer. Most of the time my clean clothes smell like...well, nothing. You can also add any combination of essential oils directly onto your dryer balls to give a scent to your laundry. I like using lemon oil (when I remember to). You can use lavender, or any combination of essential oils you like. The oil will not get on your clothes. I promise! I have done it and no problems!

One more point... you wash your clothes after you buy them and before you wear them that first time, right? Ok, I don't always. I just get so excited to wear something new sometimes. But I should, and most people probably do. Why do we do that? Because we don't want all the gross manufacturing chemicals in them when we wear them. This is the same idea.

Ok, disclaimer. There is one teensy tiny drawback. Those darned things get all wrapped up in your clothes and you have to try to sort them out. As goofy as it sounds as I type this, I have a competition with myself to try to get all the balls back in the dryer so I don't have to take them back after I inevitably find one or more in the laundry as I am folding it. So, look! Think of it as a game to play by yourself every time you fold clothes! See- I just found a way to make laundry fun! Ok...maybe not fun. 

In case you want a bit more information... Here's a YouTube video that talks about the weird chemicals and another alternative to the dryer sheets and these dryer balls. I have never bought this product before and in no way am endorsing it. I have no experience. Just author source for information if you like.

Hope you try them and love them as much as I do!


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