Tip Tuesday - Do You Know What's in Your Dryer Sheets?!

Do you use dryer sheets or fabric softener?  You may want to rethink that decision after reading this.  I haven't used dryer sheets in over a year and I never used fabric softener (mainly because I was too lazy to add it to the wash).  Why did I ditch the dryer sheets?  Well there's a few reasons...

1.  Fragrances - I have mild asthma and usually it's kept in check fairly easily.  But an attack can be brought on just by a smell or scent.  Strong perfumes or colognes will start me coughing in a matter of moments and same goes for dryer sheets and detergents too.  Not to mention that fragrances can contain 10's to 100's of chemicals, most of which are trade secrets and are known to be allergens and toxic.

2.  Toxic Chemicals - In order for you to enjoy long lasting fresh smelling clothes, dryer sheets are coated with a slew of noxious chemicals.  They coat your clothes when heated the dryer covering them in a toxic film.  And how lovely is this...your sweet smelling clothes then transfer those nasty compounds to your skin throughout the day and then they are absorbed into your bloodstream.  Ewwww!  No thanks!  And not only do they pollute your body, when you're dryer is running all those horrible substances are venting outside into the environment and adding to our pollution problem.  Check out this list of some of those awful chemicals that your dryer sheets are dispensing:
  • Benzyl acetate:Linked to pancreatic cancer
  • Benzyl Alcohol:Upper respiratory tract irritant
  • Ethanol:On the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Hazardous Waste list and can cause central nervous system disorders
  • Limonene:Known carcinogen
  • A-Terpineol:Can cause respiratory problems, including fatal edema, and central nervous system damage
  • Ethyl Acetate:A narcotic on the EPA's Hazardous Waste list
  • Camphor:Causes central nervous system disorders
  • Chloroform:Neurotoxic, anaesthetic and carcinogenic
  • Linalool:A narcotic that causes central nervous system disorders
  • Pentane:A chemical known to be harmful if inhaled

Wool Dryer balls by RubyJune
3.  Wasteful -apart from being completely toxic and disgusting , dryer sheets are disposable and generate entirely too much waste.  And add to the fact that they really don't do a very good job and they just end up in the landfill; I would say they are a waste of time, resources and money.  Why not opt for a more eco-friendly solution for drying your clothes?
  •  I love hanging my clothes on the line.  A breezy day is great for softening your clothes and the smell is divine.  
  • Weather not cooperating? Why not use an indoor drying rack?  Awesome in the winter to add a little extra humidity to your home. 
  •  And what about vinegar? Add some to the rinse cycle to soften fabric and eliminate cling.
  • Woolly Balls...do you have any?  I do!  And I make them too! Wool dryer balls are a natural, eco-friendly way to eliminate static, soften your clothes and improve your dryer's efficiency.  Bonus!

So scrap the softener...ditch the dryer sheets.  Your body and your wallet will thank you!

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photo credit: mysza831 via photopin cc


  1. I stopped using those dryer sheets a few years ago when my daughter was a baby with sensitive skin. Good idea on the options, although we don't really notice the lack.

  2. We love wool dryer balls too! One thing I love about them especially is they decrease the drying time (and thus use less electricity). Everyone in our family is getting some for Christmas because they're all trying to save money :) They don't realize it's good the environment too.

  3. I think I'm doing a Handmade for the Holidays for Christmas so everyone will be getting some wooly balls too! Like it or lump it! :)

  4. I stopped using them ages ago ... I don't use the liquid fabric softeners either. I've found that adding vinegar to the rinse cycle softens the clothing. It also helps remove static cling in the winter. Thanks for a terrific post!


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