I had a question the other day from a reader regarding my opinion on dryer balls. Personally we don’t use them any more as we’ve been using vinegar as our fabric softener, but I know there are many people out there that use the infamous blue spiky dryer balls to fluff up their clothes without using fabric softener. While I do think that they are better for your wallet because you aren’t purchasing fabric softener again, they also have been controversial on just exactly how good they are for you. In fact, a post on TreeHugger claims:
“What the manufacturers fail to mention, however, is that the the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material the supposedly “nontoxic” dryer balls are made of is one of the most poisonous plastics ever created, posing great environmental and health hazards in its manufacture, product life, and disposal.
Kinda scary, right? It’s sad you are trying to save money and the environment by eliminating all those chemicals in our water and plastic fabric softener tubs in landfills or recycling centers but at the same time may be harming your family’s health in the long run. Of course, I’d still rather take the dryer balls over fabric softeners as they seem to irritate my skin with the chemicals being set in my clothing and rubbing against my skin. To each their own. You can’t be a fanatic about everything.
There are a few alternatives if you’re scared of the PVC in dryer balls. You can use tennis balls (which may not be any better), or ideally learn how to make wool dryer balls. Here’s how I made mine.
How to Make Wool Dryer Balls
-Wool yarn (I’m a knitter so I’ve got some extra “scraps” lying around)
-piece of string
2. Stick the yarn ball in an old pantyhose leg and tie the string around the opening so it doesn’t get out and fly around your washing machine. Throw them in with a load of clothing you are washing in hot water. They will felt quicker this way.
3. When they are done washing, you can throw them in the dryer with the clothes and take them out when the clothes are done.
4. Let them dry overnight and then wrap another layer of yarn over the felted wool dryer ball. This helps keep the wool dryer ball tighter. Repeat steps 2 & 3.
And that’s it! How simple is that? If you’re ambitious, you can put a sachet of lavender in the middle of your dryer ball for scent. I like mine plain!
What do you use to soften your clothes? Would you learn how to make dryer balls?