What is your laundry routine? Once a week with several loads? Small loads all week long? Do you use ‘big name’ detergents and softeners? Have you ever stopped to think about what you are putting into those machines along with your washables?
I love that there is a movement taking shape in our country that promotes eating whole “clean” foods, encourages shopping at farmer’s markets and eliminating processed foods from our lives. Eating this way is going to add years to your life (and quality years at that!). But there is one area that is still not getting as much attention as it deserves… what we put ON our bodies.
Our skin is our largest organ and what we put on it is absorbed into our system. Think about it: nicotine patches help smokers quit smoking, anti-itch creams stop the itching, hormone patches balance women’s hormones. That means lotions, creams and other chemicals that touch our skin can also be absorbed by our body.
What does that have to do with laundry? Lots. The detergents we use in our washing machines infuse our clothes and our skin is exposed as a result. One laundry item in particular has especially toxic effects… dryer sheets. Have you ever seen those lists that tell you all the ‘great ways you can use a dryer sheet” outside of the dryer? Those lists typically say you can use them for eliminating static, as a mosquito repellant, and for keeping household pests like ants and mice at bay. Some people even have an allergic reaction when they wear clothes dried with these softening sheets.
“When people use dryer sheets, they are coating their clothes with a thin film of artificial chemical perfumes. Just like other perfumes, a person’s sensitivity to these perfumes decreases over time to the point where they don’t even notice how potent these artificial fragrance chemicals are. None of this would be interesting if it weren’t for the fact that these fragrance chemicals are extremely toxic. They are known carcinogens. They cause liver damage and cancer in mammals.” (from an article on NaturalNews.com by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger)
So what’s a hard working, clothes washing person supposed to do to eliminate toxic exposure, but still have soft, cling free clothes? Well, some say you can add ¼ cup of vinegar to your washer, others use eco-friendly fabric softeners you add to the wash, but I have discovered and fallen in love with wool dryer balls. They are unscented, but you can add a drop of lavender oil to each to lightly scent your clothes.
Adding 4 to 6 wool dryer balls to each load that goes through the dryer will not only soften and reduce static; it will also shorten your drying time considerably. And for those of you with electric dryers, you will really see a difference in how fast your laundry dries. Dryer balls will save you money at the store and on your utility bill. They will save you time with clothes drying faster and they will save the environment by eliminating the waste of used dryer sheets. And most important: they will reduce toxins being absorbed by your body improving your health… why not give them a try?