My husband is very big on laundry detergent, liquid softener, and dryer sheets. The scent these products leave means clean. And despite directions, if one dryer sheet works well, then four is going to be fan-freakin-tastic. Meanwhile, I am allergic. It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, I get red, itchy hives. While the hives can happen anywhere clothing items with this allergen touch my skin, for some reason, it always happens to the worst areas, my undergarments. So, bras, underwear, you get me? It’s the absolute worst!
the first time it happened, I was five years old, was at a friends house and decided to go into the hot tub. It wasn’t heated, so for a child it was like a fun mini pool. I didn’t have a bathing suit, so I borrowed her bikini. The next day, the hives were only on my privates, in the perfect shape of a bikini. My mom, freaked. I can’t imagine what was going through her mind, having such a horrendous rash on her child’s body, in all the wrong areas. Immediately took me to a doctor who very quickly figured out, it might be, chlorine(but it would’ve been all over, not bikini shaped), and he suggested laundry detergent allergy as I told him I wore my friends bikini. Sure enough, they used a different detergent, then my family used. Mystery solved.
Here, my husband is doing the sweetest thing, cleaning the clothes, but I end up with this disaster. Granted, he (used to) regularly use 3-4 dryer sheets per large dryer load, I started getting the hives, and if he did my laundry following this only used one. Sometimes it still happened. The liquid detergent and the liquid softener aren’t a problem, but the dryer sheets were definitely hive inducing.
We have been using the new wool dryer balls I made, as seen in my earlier post. I put them inside the old dryer sheet box, pretty fancy, I know. I’m working on finding the cute basket they are supposed to be in. No, but seriously….What a huge difference!!!
Clothes are dry, literally in half the time. They come out smelling fresh and the balls are easier to find. We are no longer picking out dryer sheets hidden in pant legs. Have you had that problem with dryer sheets? Playing where’s Waldo, only to find them sticking to clothing like toilet paper to your shoe? Why isn’t everyone using these? They are amazing!
I’ve actually read the spiked plastic version of these dryer balls sold in the big pharmacy/grocery stores are also bad for us in their own way. That they are made with oil based products and that with each use tiny molecular bits fall off into laundry.
I don’t know the particulars about that, I didn’t read it on wiki, but I do know wool is an awesome, renewable resource that’s safe for our planet and drying our clothes. Felted dryer balls last years, and when the time eventually comes should they need to be tossed, they can be safely used as mulch in the garden. They breakdown in the earth quickly and safely. Somehow, I think we all know the plastic/rubber version will not breakdown so quickly.
Let’s face it a felted dryer ball is the safest, greenest, most renewable resource, money saving item, to use in the dryer.
If you are allergic to wool, find another felting fiber, like alpaca. Remember, most wool allergies are caused by the prickle factor when worn close to the skin, so this use of wool, may not cause any reaction. However, rather than risk it, use a different felting fiber. Far be it for me to be the cause of someone else’s hives, use felting material you aren’t allergic to, please. 🙂
Hubby, my biggest critic, absolutely loves them. We no longer use dryer sheets at all, and have had nothing but fantastic results with our laundry. My dryer sheet allergen hives are hopefully gone for good!
3 thoughts on “Update on dryer ball usage in my home”
This is seriously spot-on. As an Environmental Science major, one of my biggest concentrations in school was on the danger of plastic in the environment. Not only does it end up in the ocean (google the Pacific Gyre…. it’s horrifying), but plastic also sucks up all of the toxic chemicals that it comes into contact with. It’s been a couple of years so my memory is foggy on this, but I remember hearing that seafood will someday (soon) be unsafe to eat at this rate because so many fish are eating tiny bits of plastic from the ocean. So when people eat the fish, they are being poisoned by the plastic! Wool is so much more eco-friendly (not to mention a great way to save money).
So, my take on dryer sheets, the Natives in the north hang them beside smoking fish to keep the flies off.. I rub them over plants to keep aphids off. They flee from it. In the dryer they coat the cloth with an acid, as do the liquid fabric softeners in the wash. This acid makes the cloth feel soft because it breaksdown the fibre causing the clothes to wear out faster.
The chemical scent, is developed by these companies to trigger brain cells in an addictive pleasing way. Hence your husbands love of it. Many peeps are highly allergic to it and even the ‘unscented’ is still toxic to the brain. Does keep moths off wool though! I just found you and I love your stuff.
Oh wow!!! That is fascinating to me! What cool alternative uses for dryer sheets.
I am still using these same dryer balls years later which has saved so so much money.
Thank you for the compliment as well as the bonus info very interesting stuff