People have been moving to a more green, healthy lifestyle, especially over the last decade (and the last few months!). There are a lot of obvious swaps, like the cleaners you use, the food you eat, and the soaps/shampoos you use. But what about dryer sheets? Did you know they have a green alternative?
Wool dryer balls - you may or may not have heard of them. They have been gaining popularity but are still one of the lesser-known green-upgrades. You’re probably wondering why you should be using wool dryer balls and not dryer sheets. What are the pros and cons? We will give you a quick rundown of the pros and cons of wool dryer balls so you can make the best-informed decision for your family.
Wool Dryer Balls
They’re exactly what they sound like - balls of wool. You can order them online but a lot of big box stores are starting to carry them as well. You’ll need a few of them so make sure to get a couple of packs (especially if they’re sold in pairs).
They help dry your laundry more quickly - about 40% faster! This will save you money on your electric/gas bill.
Eco-friendly: most wool dryer balls are made sustainably and of all-natural wool
They can help to reduce static cling, but some people still have issues with static. There is a hack where you pin a safety pin to your wool dryer ball and it will absorb the static (we haven’t tested it ourselves but many people have).
Safe for all types of materials.
Fragrance-free (but you can use essential oils to add a scent).
No chemicals that transfer to your clothes (dryer sheets do that - which is how your clothes still have the scent for sometimes days after you take them out of the dryer).
Great for cloth diapers and other absorbent materials since they don’t leave a film behind that can create a barrier and block absorption (which you definitely don’t want with diapers).
They’re reusable and only need to be replaced once a year or every 1,000 loads. That’s a lot of use!
They work best in small-medium loads, so if you do a lot of large loads of laundry, you may need to split them up.
Can be loud when they’re in your dryer. This depends on the size of the load.
You’re most likely already familiar with dryer sheets so we won’t go into detail on their use. However, we wanted to list a few cons to them that a lot of people aren’t aware of:
Contain various chemicals that can cause irritation or allergic reactions.
One time use (you know this, but we added it so you can think about the environmental impact of single-use dryer sheets).
They leave residue inside your dryer, which can block the screen on the lint catcher, make the dryer less effective over time, and reduce the air circulation.
Can leave behind stains that look like grease on your clothes.
Leaves behind residue to create that long-lasting scent, but this also blocks the fabric’s ability to absorb, which is the opposite of what you want with things like towels and cloth diapers.
In the end, it’s up to you to make the best-informed decision for your family. Dryer sheets can be a perfect fit for you, but we wanted to make you aware of an eco-friendly alternative.
Which do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below!
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