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dryer balls and re-usable dryer sheets  RSS feed

 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Most of the time, I like to line dry clothes and sheets, but once in a while, I still use an electric dryer.

Not that I'm defensive or anything, (ha!), but there might be a case where ALL the sheets will be dirty or in use (you know, for our 15 bunks here) and I might need clean, dry sheets pronto, before bed time. Or all of Paul's overalls will be mucky, and he needs a clean pair before a camera shoot. (Though putting overalls in the dryer is one of the worst forms of noise pollution ever!  )

For NOT using the dryer, we have a rich thread on really saving energy - eliminate the clothes dryer (and an excellent partner to it that I just found today Exists? Indoor clothes drying rack that won't fall apart) though I couldn't find anything on better ways of using a dryer, so here we go.

First, to help with saving energy, fluffing and reducing static, I did buy some lovely wool dryer balls.


(This image is from the maker of the ones I bought, MontanaSolarCreation on estsy.)

Their description says:
What's so great about wool dryer balls? They are a natural, antimicrobial fiber and help reduce drying time at the same time reducing static. It is recommended that you use 3-5 dryer balls per average load of laundry; the more wool dryer balls you have in the dyer, the faster your drying time. By investing in this set of dryer balls, they will save you money over time. 


I think I've heard you can put essential oils on these to help add a lovely scent to your laundry, but Paul does not like scented things, even essential oils, so I've never bothered.

Second, today, I ran across this 33-second video about making your own dryer sheets.

This is HUGE because I think a lot of people don't think laundry is clean unless it is heavily scented or perfumed. And most of the main stream laundry detergents and dryer sheets contain known toxins in those very scents and perfumes (and detergents). Bad stuff. Hormone disruptors and that ilk. Look it up. This thread is NOT to talk about the toxins, but rather for ideas for better, truly cleaner clean laundry!

Here's the video from Thrive Market:



Super easy - used t-shirts for the cloth, vinegar and essential oils.

Anyone else have tricks or techniques they employ when using an electric (or gas) clothes dryer?

 
Gail Vance
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Wool dryer balls are great, but seem to be pricey for what they are-just wads of felted (read-shrunken, abused) wool. I hunted in the thrift stores for an undyed 100% wool sweater. Brought it home and unraveled it. No need to be too compulsive, just try and keep the yarn strands as long as possibly. Wind the yarn up in balls-tightly- and then stuff them in an old nylon stocking or net veggie bag. Tie it tightly around each ball that is in the bag so that each one is encased separately. Now you can do this in the washer (the agitation helps too) or in a pot on the stove. hot water (in the washer) or boiling on the stove. Then into the dryer on hot. Let them bang around in there until dry. Take a look. Can you still see individual yarn? Do it all one more time. It can also help if you have a felting tool to go over the outsied of each ball a little.
 
Hans Quistorff
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ve started using Soap berries.  They serve all three functions. They free dirt from fabric in the wash cycle.  They act as fabric softener in the rinse cycle.  If I don't put the clothes on the line they go into the dryer and act as the anti static as they tumble around in their little bag.  The towels are even soft and almost fluffy when dried on the line in comparison to ones washed with detergent.

I have even been making an extract of them and filling my hand soap pump; cleans hands as well as Basic-H. Better than what came in the pump bottle. Allows me to work pitch off my hands.
Using two bags of soap berries and the extra rinse cycle on grease covered jeans got them usable again.
Source Econuts.com They also have the dryer balls.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Love these tips, Gail and Hans! Keep 'em coming!

In some ways, I've had more money than time, so I enjoyed supporting a local homestead business with my purchase of the wool dryer balls. And now Gail's instructions for making your own sound easy and fun. I've never felted before myself though I do so enjoy felted wool things.

Hans, I'd wondered about leaving the soap nuts in the wash *and* rinse cycles, so it's awesome to hear your positive experience plus even letting them go through the dryer cycle, too!

 
Anne Miller
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I quit using fabric softener and dryer sheets.  I also hang my clothes on the line.  My clothes are soft and smell nice.  I put vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser on the washer.  This would also work if you are using the clothes dryer.
 
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