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August 15, 2008

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Fern

Funny, I had the same experience - getting to the bottom of a (seemingly) lifetime supply from Costco and vowing not to use them again. Only I've found that our white loads - which are about half socks - are impossible without them. I was planning to buy dryer balls - available here: http://www.nelliesallnatural.com/ - when I get to the bottom of my current Last Ever box of fabric softener sheets. But I'm going to look for the static eliminator instead - the dryer balls are about $20! Thanks for the tip.

Suzanne S

I got those blue dryer balls from GAIAM about a year ago - they sort of look like dog chew toys. They seem to work as advertised, they shorten the time in dryer and everything comes out soft. I'd recommend those as another option

tammy

I do buy the method dye free fragrance free dryer sheets and only use them on clothing loads about every other time when stuff starts to feel kinda stiff. I love them. If they weren't so expensive I'd probably use them more often. I can usually cut them in half though and get double the quanity.

Green Girlfriend

I use the Mrs. Meyers dryer sheets. Yes slightly costlier..however I only use them in the winter months. I have been addind a few drops of tea tree oil to my front loading washer this summer and the clothes come out smelling fabulous ( a tip from a fellow green girlfriend)...and then of course line drying them. Another benefit of summer in New England ...I get to use my clothes line.
So like I said the Meyers is more expensive but they are fablulous and worth the extra cash during the winter months.

Natalie

Depending on what type of laundry detergent you use, fabric softner might not be needed. I recently switched to Country Save laundry detergent and a fabric softner is not needed. Clothes come out of the washer very soft and remain that way in the dryer. I have just switched to this new detergent the beginning of August and have not had any problems with static electricity to date but will see if that continues once the dry, winter months come upon us. I have also heard that people who use Charlies Soap laundry detergent do not need fabric softner either.

Putting a 1/2 cup of vinegar in your laundry's rinse cycle works as a fabric softner, and it does not make your clothes smell like vinegar either.

I have on occasion put a couple of tennis balls in my dryer to help separate the clothes while drying so this helps with the static electricity issue.

Mindful Momma

Lots of great tips here - thanks everyone for chiming in!

I need to try the vinegar. I keep hearing that it doesn't smell and I find that so hard to believe! I think that's what's keeping me from trying it...but now I will! I think I'll try the tennis ball too!

Big GUM

We stopped using dryer sheets over 3 years ago when we began laundering cloth diapers. The dryer sheets cause the diapers to repel liquid and you can't have that! LOL
We switched to a Downy ball of white vinegar in most loads (just toss this in when you load the washer, no waiting to catch the rinse cycle) and that works quite well. Even better is combining this with a few dryer balls (we use 4 of the blue nubby ones). Lastly, dry items a little bit less. Over-drying will cause static cling no matter what you do.

rebecca

Vinegar user here, too mainly with towels, because it cuts the soap residue. I find it doesn't do anything for static, but, a crumpled ball of aluminum foil in the dryer stops static.

Summer

I did not know that about the animal fat!

Keri

How about NOT using dryer sheets or anything? I haven't used them in YEARS and have managed to remain static-free using the lowest heat setting on our dryer.

Victoria

That is such a funny blog... I have kept trying to break the habit of dryer sheets. I buy the natural "good" kind, then my boyfriend (he tries so hard!) goes shopping and comes back with 4 boxes of Arm and Hammer... I usually do use white vinegar in the rinse cycle, and was surprised by how good it really did. Then in line at the store one day some lady told me, "Oh honey, that is all my mother ever used...". So, my boyfriend is going shopping tonight and I did notice that he had dryer sheets circled in an ad... He just tries so hard, it's hard to tell him "STOP!!!". One day I vow no more!

Polka Dot Mommy

I keep a jar/bottle filled with 50% water, 25% baking soda, 25% vinegar and several drops of eucalyptus oil (tea tree or other essential oil works great). (Basic recipe 4 cups water, 2 cups baking soda, 2 cups white vinegar).

Then put about 2 oz in the final rinse... those Downy balls work great for this!

For those times I *must* have a dryer sheet, I use Method or Mrs. Meyer. If you simply want to freshen up the dryer load... toss in a microfiber cloth (used for EVERYTHING!) dampened with water/essential oil. Your clothing will smell great.

Cheers!
Jamie

Jess

You know my husband and I were looking at our dryer sheets from Costco the other day and wondered when we will ever get through them both. We have barely made a dent in the first box. I really like your alternatives, especially when it is from Trader Joe's. Lavender is a big deal around here. We have an annual lavender festival! Anyway I wanted to tell you that I am now hooked on Emerita. It is sooo nice. I've bought a bunch of their products now! All thanks to your giveaway.

Teri

Excellent tips and dialogue here. I love your blog! I have recently converted to the dog-toy looking dryer balls and like them.

If you get a chance, check out my local blog re: green living - www.cvillebettyblog.blogspot.com

Best,
Teri (aka better world betty)

Abbi

In the summer I like to dry my clothes on the line and then we don't need to use anything.

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting

I would LOVE to find a good scented natural alternative. We've used Allen's Naturally, Borax, Calgon and those dryer balls forever, but there is NO SCENT and I'd really love something natural. Was considering making my own dryer sachets or something..

Mindful Momma

Lisa: I'm with you on the scent. Clothes just don't seem clean to me unless they have a little bit of scent. That's why I've been using the lavender dryer sachets from Trader Joe's. It's just lavender in a bag - it's a nice, light, natural scent. You could also put a few drops of lavender essential oil on a washcloth and throw that in the dryer. Good luck!

Suzanne B. (Crunchy Green Mom)

I was just standing at my dryer lamenting this fact the other day!

I love this idea.. I think I might have to follow suit and blog about this as well!!!

Thanks a ton for the amazing ideas!

Lisa

I'm a bit late chiming in, but I too have been trying to find a way to stop using dryer sheets and fabric softener. I also just recently read that dryer sheets are made from animal fat (yuck!!) and that fabric softener actually adds a layer of gunk (don't know how else to describe it) that *attracts* dirt. So it probably is a gimmick that the manufacturers have made us believe that we *need*, when a few drops of essential oil do the trick. I think I am going to try the aluminum foil ball before I invest in other items. I have about 3 dryer sheets left from my 2 or 3 year old stash... (What's with everyone stocking up on dryer sheets?? Like there's going to be a run on them!!! LOL) I have also heard about white vinegar, but I have a front load machine with an automatic dispenser. Maybe if I put it in where the fabric softener would go? Any suggestions??

Mindful Momma

Lisa,
I have a front loader washer as well. I've started putting vinegar in the fabric softener slot - about 1/3 to 1/2 a cup. I have to admit that I can't really tell if it softens the clothes or not but I do have a sense that it helps with the cleaning. If anything it helps keep the washing machine fresh, huh? I had a hard time believing that my clothes would not smell like vinegar - but they don't!!

Condo Blues

I use tennis balls in the dryer. They cut down on the static electricity and my clothes are soft.

n-vi-ro girl

we really have to understand how dangerous laundry detergants, fabric softeners, shampoos, conditioners, household cleaners, soaps, hair dye's, body sprays and body washes ect...really are. We use them almost every day and even when we think we are being earth friendly, that bounce sheet you used three days ago, the shampoo that is still in your hair and so on....are still working their way into your body, contaminating it with neurotoxic tolene, styrene, benzyl acetate, ethanol, chloroform, camphors, phenol, thymol, trimethylbenzene, styrene. These are some of the things to watch for when buying products for health and bueaty. So much for health because most of these I have mentioned effect our health by having various cancer causing carcigens and can cause brain damage through contact with the skin or inhalation. I heard this years ago and it has been proven over and over. This is just what it does to you and not what it does to our atmosphere when heated in the dryer or when drained into our oceans. So come on girls, we have to do it for ourselves and our kids. So what if we don't smell fragrant. Look for alternatives. They are all over the internet. 1/2 cup vinegar in rinse cycle. Two balls of aluminum foil in the dryer. If you don't have a means to a clothes line that is. Buy seventh generation everything if you don't want to make your own everything. You go girls, change our world one girl at a time.

jaydeeyou@hotmail.com

We sell hand knitted dryer sheets in our etsy shop
http://www.etsy.com/shop/StagnantGypsy

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