I love dryer sheets, but I love wool dryer balls more. Scents are so important to me in this little farmhouse, but non-toxic items are even more important. So when I can replace a toxin and chemical filled product in my house with an all natural one, I do it.
I’m most nostalgic during the fall and winter seasons. Holidays are so important to me, and some years it’s hard to find a balance between carrying out old traditions, and creating new ones of our own. Recently, though, I’ve been trying to find nostalgia in scents. The wood stove starts this for me every single year. The smell of cedar wood burning, or just the essence of smoke rolling down to the ground.
Sometimes it’s not the woodstove. The woodstove nostalgia carries over into sugar cookies, or pies, or turkey or ham — or those scented pine cones everyone loves.
In the spring months, it’s tulips in the farmhouse kitchen or the smell of fresh water in a river bed. Light and airy scents keep us joyful and the sun shines bright and beautiful. I love those smells and just want to take them everywhere with me all year long.
I love scents, period. Candles, wax burners, detergent, dryer sheets. But I found that I was using dryer sheets more often than not. And as many of us know, dryer sheets emit strong harmful chemicals into the air, and essentially, right up your family’s nostrils as they put their clothes on. While you might smell delightful, you might not feel so delightful. Studies have been done that show high amounts of chemicals being released, and some have even speculated that they can be linked to Alzheimers, neurological disorders, and even cancer.
In an effort to reduce our carbon foot print, and to created a healthier living environment, I recently discovered wool dryer balls. And let me tell you, I am absolutely in love with them.
I was strolling through the store a few weeks ago and out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of some wool dryer balls. As with anything, I automatically take my phone out and say to myself, I bet I can find these cheaper on amazon. Yes, of course I can. And I even found organic ones!
So I went home, hit that order button, and in two days I received my 6 organic wool dryer balls. Awesomesauce.
Dryer balls are not only a good alternative to scented dryer sheets, they also naturally soften clothing without leaving behind a residue. I can honestly say that my clothes are the fluffiest they have ever been since using these dryer balls. They are so soft. My towels are actually fluffy again!
Since I already have essential oils (EOs) on hand at all times, the EO part was easy peasy. But it was especially easy for me to choose which EO I wanted to start with. I started with the beloved Cedarwood.
I chose Cedarwood simply because it is uplifting. It also reminds me of my grandparent’s old house in the winter months, or the old cedar chests that my grandma used to keep winter sweaters or old blankets in. When she would pull them out, everything smelled like cedar. Everything. It was lovely. The best part, however, is the cedarwood also promotes a clear mind, relaxation, and focus.
The best thing about dryer balls is that you can switch up the scent whenever you want to. Maybe one day you could do peppermint or clove for the winter months—this also helps rid clothes of any sickness yuckies floating around on clothes. In the spring and summer, you can do tangerine or citrus scents. Don’t forget that EOs are dual purpose as well, not just for scent, but for aromatherapy. While the EOs won’t linger long, the first initial pull on of a shirt can fill your airways with aroma that could bring joy, happiness, peace, relaxation, motivation, or just a cleared mind.
There are blends such as Purify, that are natural cleansing blends, which I highly suggest as well. Purify is an exclusive combination of essential oils that purify and eradicate odors in a natural, safe way. This uplifting blend combines citrus and pine essential oils that leave an airy, fresh scent on surfaces and in the air.
How to Use Wool Dryer Balls
4-6 wool dryer balls
6-8 drops essential oil
- At first, your dryer balls may have a plasticy smell to them from sitting inside of plastic shipping for such a long amount of time. You can simply toss them into the dryer for 20 minutes to release that smell, or you can add the EOs and dry them for a few minutes.
- When you’re ready to dry a load of laundry, simple place 6-8 drops of the essential oil of your choice on one dryer ball. Make sure you space them out all over. Do this for each dryer ball that you choose to put into the dryer. The more dryer balls you use, the more scent you’ll have, and the quicker your clothes will dry. I typically only use 4.
- Set aside.
- As you place your wet laundry into the dryer, layer your dryer balls, with the last ball being place on top of the last article of clothing. This layer helps the dryer balls float throughout the entire load, rather than just around the outer edges.
- Once your laundry is dry, pull out the laundry slowly, and collect the dryer balls as you see them. I place them in a little basket in my laundry room until they are ready to be used again.
Your clothes will not be riddled with scent, but just a light airy scent. You could, of course, add more EO to your liking, but we like to keep it airy.
Essentially, you could use the dryer balls twice in a row. My dryer balls smell just as good during a second use before adding more EOs, but it’s just not as potent on the clothes.
…and that’s it! Easy peasy…done!
Amy K. Fewell is an author, family herbalist, entrepreneur, homesteader, and homemaker. Living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, her and her family live a natural homesteading lifestyle where they promote self-sufficiency and liberty. Amy is the founder of the Homesteaders of America organization and annual events. You can discover more on this website and at homesteadersofamerica.com