I don’t know about you, but I absolutely LOVE the smell of dryer sheets, and especially the way it makes my clothes feel nice and soft. The problem is that those conventional dryer sheets use tons of chemicals to get that wonderful smell, and that’s not a good thing for our health. Not only are we breathing in those chemical vapors masked as “fresh rain” or “soothing lavender”, but they can infuse into our clothes and cause all sorts of allergic skin reactions.
What’s In Those Conventional Dryer Sheets?
Dryer sheets and fabric softener are said to be among the most toxic out of all the household cleaning supplies in a typical home. Both are made with a heavy doses of fragrance, and a ton of toxic chemicals to make those fragrances stick to your clothes. There’s actually a science behind finding the right chemical cocktail called “fragrance substantivity”, which is designed to make fragrances last a long time on your clothes, even through different temperature and humidity conditions.
Chemicals In Conventional Dryer Sheets & Fabric Softeners
Here are just some of the known chemicals in those conventional dryer sheets and softeners:
- Benzyl Acetate: this chemical has been linked to pancreatic cancer.
- Benyl Alcohol: respiratory tract irritant and central nervous system depressant.
- Alpha Terpineol: can cause headaches, central nervous system damage, loss of muscular control, and respiratory problems.
- Chloroform: a known carcinogen and neurotoxin.
- Dichlorobenzene: extremely carcinogenic solvent that is also used to make paint thinners.
- Ethanol: listed on the EPA’s (Environmental Protection Agency) list of “hazardous waste” and linked to central nervous disorders.
- Pentane: very harmful if inhaled and can cause headaches, nausea, drowsiness, and central nervous system depression.
- Limonene: a known carcinogen that irritates the skin and eyes.
- Ethyl Acetate: a narcotic listed on the EPA’s “hazardous waste” list.
- Linalool: causes central nervous system damage and depresses heart activity.
Ready to make your own?
All Natural Dryer Sheets
Once I started using homemade laundry detergent, I stopped adding any dryer sheets with my clothes, but I have to admit, I missed the smell of those chemical laden products. Even if I added in some essential oils to my laundry detergent, my clothes just didn’t have that strong “clean” smell that I loved, and it also didn’t get rid of the static cling. Luckily I did some research and found a super simple recipe to make your own dryer sheets and anti-static dry balls!
Homemade Laundry Dryer Sheets:
Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a good natural alternative that you can purchase when it comes to dryer sheets. Most of the natural ones on the market still contain some form of chemicals that I would just rather not take a chance on. It seems the only way to get all natural dryer sheets is just making them at home, but luckily it’s super easy to do!
What You’ll Need:
- Cloth baby wipes, or any old scraps of cloth will work too.
- Essential Oils of choice
- White Vinegar
- Container or glass jar with lid for storage
How To Make:
- Mix 1 cup of white vinegar with 30+ drops of essential oils of choice. My favorites are Lavender, Rosemary, and Sandalwood.
- Fold up your cloth wipes or scraps and put them into whatever storage container you’ve chosen.
- Only moisten the cloths with a bit of the vinegar mixture at a time, don’t saturate. You can store the extra mix if you don’t use it all.
- Use one cloth per dryer load of laundry. The vinegar will evaporate from the heat, but the essential oil scent will remain.
Anti-Static Wool Dryer Balls
Wool dryer balls are wonderful for removing static cling from your laundry, and they also shorten the amount of time it takes for your clothes to get dry. They are super simple to make at home, but you can also buy them if you’re not into the DIY thing.
- How To Make: Here is my article on how to make your own wool dryer balls.
- Where to Buy: Get a pack of 6 reusable wool dryer balls for a great price here.
Do you use anything to freshen your clothes at home? Share below!