How is it that we have come to rely so heavily on putting a sheet of heavily scented paper in our dryer every time we do the laundry? I did a little research and discovered that scented dryer sheets were an invention of the 1970's as a way to deliver fabric softeners more effectively. Today, we know that scented laundry products contain toxic chemicals and even known carcinogens. Don't you wish we had left the dryer sheets behind with the pet rocks and the purple shag carpeting?
Fortunately, there are safer ways to scent, soften & reduce static in your laundry if you so desire:
- Toss a lavender sachet into your dryer. You can easily make your own or buy them on Etsy but I admit to buying them from Trader Joe's occasionally.
- Put a few drops of your favorite essential oil on a reusable cloth in the dryer.
- Add 1/2 cup of baking soda in with your detergent in the wash cycle. Baking soda is a natural water softener.
- Vinegar is also popular for softening laundry. About 1/2 cup in the fabric softener container should do the trick.
- Soak a cotton cloth in your favorite eco-friendly fabric softener. Squeeze out any excess liquid and toss in the dryer.
- Dry synthetic fabrics separately from natural fibers as synthetics tend to create more static cling.
- Throw a dryer ball or a tennis ball into the dryer to help eliminate static. I love these handmade, wool dryer balls from Etsy!*
- Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle. Don't worry, your favorite shirt won't smell like a pickle - the vinegar smell dissipates in the wash!
Do you use dryer sheets or have you come up with an alternative that works for you?
*Brooke from matchstickgirl on Etsy just emailed me and offered a 10% discount on her dryer balls - just use code mindfulmomma at checkout! I'm buying some, how about you?