I first started using dryer balls because I was going more natural with my cleaning products, and figured buying a set of them would save me money in the long run. Plus, the scent of dryer sheets was just way too overpowering for me. I've realized over the past several years that strong artificial scents can trigger headaches and even nausea for me, so I've switched to fragrance-free as much as possible. We now use scent-free and dye-free laundry detergent in addition to dryer balls (Seventh Generation Free & Clear is what we usually use. We've also used Costco's Kirkland Free & Clear.)
Dryer sheets can contain compounds that may cause asthma symptoms and skin reactions, plus artificial fragrances, which are among the world's top 5 allergens. (Source)
Those flowery scents that are added to laundry detergent, fabric softener and dryer sheets contain artificial scents that are made up of hundreds of chemicals. (Don't even get me started on the marketing ploy that is special laundry detergent that is for baby clothes. I'm looking at you, Dreft. [insert eye roll])
Look, I know it's nice to have good-smelling clothes, but there are other ways to make yourself smell good, like... soap. Hair products. Lotion. Deodorant. You know, all that other stuff you use on a daily basis anyway! :)
What's so great about dryer balls?
Well, as I already mentioned, they are inexpensive, and will save money in the long run because you can use them for years without having to replace them.
In addition to that, they soften your laundry naturally, reduce static and help prevent wrinkles. (aka, everything a dryer sheet does) They also do not have a slimy film like dryer sheets that can cause build-up in your dryer, and can actually help reduce drying time.
PLASTIC VS. WOOL
Full disclosure: I haven't used wool dryer balls before. I've only used plastic ones. From what I can tell, the differences between these are pretty minor, but there are a few to mention here. (Here is a good article with a long list of comparables.)
- Wool: you can add a few drops of essential oils to add a light scent to your laundry. If you really want to have scented clothes, you might want to go with wool.
- Wool: may last a little bit longer than the plastic version
- Wool: completely chemical free and sustainable
- Plastic: may contain PVC, which is a chemical in plastic, and are not as environmentally friendly
Ok, I think I just convinced myself I should switch to wool now that I've seen these comparisons. I'm not sure if I didn't know about the wool option when I got mine, but I think I'll be getting wool next!
Here are a few options to get started with if you want to give dryer balls a go!
Do you use dryer balls already? Which brand do you like?