4th Step towards Sustainability: Dryer Balls

Today’s step starts a section on healthier, more sustainable cleaning. I’ll continue to focus on small changes that most can make with little effort. If you really want to go all out, you could make all your own cleaning supplies! There are a ton of great recipes online. However, if you’re not quite ready to take that step, let’s start with something small.

Dryer Balls


Here you see my first attempt at making dryer balls. So far, I haven’t been particularly successful. You can buy dryer balls (which I might if I can’t figure it out). You can find them at conventional home goods stores as well as eco-stores and of course, Etsy.com.  You toss one, two, or more in the dryer with your clothes and it works to fluff your clothes, speed up drying time, and keep your clothes soft. Choose dryer balls made with natural materials like wool. Wicker is okay, but try to avoid plastic.
Here’s How It Helps: This helps out in a lot of different ways. First, there aren’t any chemicals. Some of them have essential oils for scent, but otherwise, they’re chem-free. Secondly, you use them more than once. Sure, there are ways to reuse used dryer sheets, but generally speaking they get used once then they get tossed in the trash, and where does it go from there? That’s right- landfills.  Dryer balls last for months before they start to break down. Even then you can reuse them by adding a new layer of wool or use them as pet toys!
Here’s How To Do It: Buy or make a few dryer balls. Then use them in your laundry. It’s really about that simple. It might take some time to get used to using them, but once you get into the habit, you can just stop buying dryer sheets.
Cost: Dryer balls cost about $4-10 each depending upon size, material, and whether or not it has any scented oils. You can make about three the size of the one above for one bundle of wool that runs about $6. 
So there you have it. One very simple step towards a more sustainable lifestyle. If dryer balls aren’t for you,  stay tuned for tomorrow’s sustainable laundry tip.
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