Why I took the sheets out of my dryer…

Recently, I got rid of all of the fabric dryer sheets that I use in drying clothes and other fabrics that we use in our house.  Why did I do this?  I did it because I have heard that there is cancer causing chemicals in dryer sheets. Plus, I was trying to save a buck.  There have been small studies that have shown a link between anything that is on your skin being absorbed into your bloodstream. That’s scary to me. So why choose wool dryer balls to aid in your laundering?

Wool dryer balls are made from a natural fabric and when you have enough balls in your dryer it does an excellent job of decreasing drying time.  I have an older dryer and the low heat setting that I use to dry my diapers took an hour and a half to do their job.  After using four wool dryer balls, my drying time has been cut down to a third of what it was before!  That’s saving me more money and helping the planet. To get the best performance out of your dryer balls you should purchase four or more.  The dryer balls bounce through your clothes as they dry, fluffing and separating the clothes which is how they cut down on the drying time.

The downside to the dryer balls for me is that they don’t prevent static.  I live in Minnesota so the winter creates a very dry and static friendly environment.  Even though that’s the case, it’s not that bad.  I simply give my clothes a shake and their not so clingy.  I also forgot a few times that I had the balls in my dryer so every now and then I’d hear this thudding noise coming from my basement.  Initially I’d be a little scared, thinking that perhaps someone was doing something outside my house.  Before I jumped to get my broom (a natural weapon of self-defense) I quickly remembered that I had put the balls in the dryer!

I don’t know if you do this but if you want to wash your pillows the dryer balls are excellent in fluffing them!  I’ve read articles that suggest putting tennis balls in the dryer to fluff your pillows.  Replace the tennis balls with your dryer balls and you have a natural drying aid.

I made this switch about three months ago; it’s safe to say that all of our clothes have been dryer sheet free for 90 days. The proof that there may be something to this? My son’s eczema prone skin has really cleared up. The way I look at it is this: if dryer sheets don’t cause cancer or any other ailments what’s the harm in discontinuing their use in your home? You’ll save money and produce less waste. If they do in fact cause harm to our body then I guess I’m eliminating one source of harm. Plus, why not make a potential change to make these sweet faces’ lives a little better? Do you use wool dryer balls? How many do you have?

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Elizabeth "Bert" Anderson is a stay-at-home mom of three living outside of the Twin Cities in Rogers. She's the author behind the blog First Time Mom, where she honestly chronicles the peaks and valleys of parenting. Even though she has more than one child, Bert maintains that whether you have one child or five, there's a first time for everything. She's a lover of cloth diapers, pop culture, healthy living and fitness.

Posted in Dryer Sheets, Laundry
  • Christine

    We switched too — it helped with our static a lot too at first. We have 8 wool balls. I contacted the maker (wooly rounds) about the static and they said you can “re-set” them, so to speak, by running them in a wash cycle once. It supposedly helps with the static. I admit, I’ve not been brave enough to try this yet :

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00306403628807860305 FirstTimeMom MN

      Oh interesting! I haven’t heard that before. Something to look into though. Maybe I’ll be the guinea pig!

  • ChainedAngel

    Funny. I have been thinking of getting wool dryer balls for a couple years now. Not for the static prevention but for saving dryer time.
    And now, after reading this post, the 674th post I’ve read about them, I’m off to buy some. Thanks, Mama!

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00306403628807860305 FirstTimeMom MN

      Do it! It really won’t harm your clothes so why not just join in on the party?

  • Ajoy44

    I heard about this a couple of weeks ago and figured out how to make my own. It is super easy and a lot cheaper than buying the wool balls. I love them! I used 8 with my cloth diapers and it cut the static (maybe because the wool balls were a little wet still from making them) and it only took 30 mins to dry everything! Also, I’ve heard if you miss the added scent of the laundry sheets that you can add essential oils to the balls and they will lightly scent your clothes.

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16393216206792886886 The FTM

      Oo! How’d you do it? I have been amazed by how fast things dry with them.

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