Laundry is a necessary evil that eats up a decent chunk of time when you factor in all the minutes you spend washing, drying and folding clothes. It’s also kind of mind blowing how many products are required to properly wash and dry each load: the cost of detergent, fabric softener and boxes of dryer sheets adds up quickly, and these items aren’t exactly the most sustainable. Luckily, there are many green cleaning substitutions you can make in your laundry room that not only lessen your carbon footprint but also make the chore less of a hassle — the easiest being to swap dryer sheets for dryer balls.
Doing laundry isn’t so bad when it’s just you and your partner, but those loads will only multiply as you start to grow your family. Dryer balls, which are typically made from wool or a spiky plastic material, cut down the time you spend waiting for your clothes to dry by anywhere from 10 to 25 percent, which means a lower energy bill. Dryer balls also separate clothes and reduce static sans the alarming amount of toxic chemicals emitted from dryer sheets, so they’re a safer option for your family and an eco-friendly option for Mother Earth. Interested in making the switch? Get started with any of the best dryer balls and you’ll never look back.
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1. Smart Sheep Wool Dryer Balls
To the mama who’s constantly stuffing her washing machine to the maximum fill line, Smart Sheep’s Wool Dryer Balls are for you. Each extra-large ball is made from 100 percent pure New Zealand wool and without chemicals or synthetics (a plus for little ones and others with sensitive skin). They come fragrance-free, but you can add essential oils like soothing lavender and tea tree for a natural, fresh scent.
They’re also reusable and stay fresh for up to 1,000 loads of laundry, lasting approximately two to four years (now how’s that for penny pinching?). Add three balls to small or medium loads and five to six balls for large and extra-large batches to soften, fluff and de-wrinkle your clothing items, towels, bedding and more. The more balls, the less time you’ll need to dry your clothes.
2. Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls
These dryer balls from Friendsheep are absolutely adorable, not to mention a great way to entice your little ones on the subject of chores. These little penguins are going to be your best pals when it comes time to do laundry as they’re made from pure organic New Zealand wool, are hypoallergenic, and free of chemicals and fragrances. Plus, they’re reusable and can be dropped into more than 1,000 loads of laundry.
So how do they work? Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls absorb moisture in your dryer and, through bouncing around your load, help to separate your clothes and sheets, making room for more air and heat to circulate through them. In doing so, dry time is reduced by 20 to 40 percent, therefore reducing the amount of energy expelled by your machine. And don’t worry about the black-and-white color scheme of Friendsheep’s Cool Friends: they’re safe to use on dark, color and white loads without the risk of bleeding.
3. Handy Laundry Wool Dryer Balls
Handy Laundry’s Wool Dryer Balls come in their own miniature laundry bag so they have an upper-hand from the get-go. But aside from their own storage satchel, the dryer balls are also made from 100 percent premium New Zealand wool and can take the place of both dryer sheets and liquid fabric softener.
Throwing these balls in alongside your load will cut drying time down by 25 percent, and if you’d like to add some scent to your clothing, towels and delicates, just add a few drops of essential oils to the balls for a crisp, fresh scent.