For the Environment
Dryer sheets are a single-use product. They are usually made from thin polyester that's covered in fabric softener and fragrance chemicals. And unfortunately, the wispy polyester is not recyclable.
Although there are a couple of natural brands whose dryer sheets are made from unbleached paper, the essential oil that is used also renders the sheets un-recyclable.
Additionally, most brands of dryer sheets are not biodegradable or compostable. And, they can contain harmful chemicals.
For your Health
Those soft little sheets that smell so, so good at first glance may seem totally harmless. But, if we take a closer look, we will find that most brands of dryer sheets contain harmful chemicals.
Fragrance Chemicals: usually the companies do not specifically disclose which fragrance chemicals are used, but many of them are known allergens - like limonene and linalool - and some of them are also considered toxins.
Acetone: a chemical that is found in common dryer sheets, and can cause nervous system effects like headaches or dizziness.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): In a 2011 study published in the journal Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health, researchers discovered that dryer vents emitted more than 25 volatile organic compounds, which have been linked to migraines, skin problems, and respiratory illnesses, including asthma.
According to that same study, VOCs emitted from dryer vents after using popular brands of laundry detergent and scented dryer sheets included chemicals like acetaldehyde and benzene, which are considered carcinogenic.
We also cannot always be sure what is in the dryer sheets that we buy at the store, because companies are not required by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to disclose the ingredients used on their product labels (source).
Switch to Save Money
The best and most convenient alternative to dryer sheets that we've found are wool dryer balls.
Although there are some more natural options for dryer sheets out there, which should be less harmful to your health and are supposedly compostable, by switching to wool dryer balls you will save a lot more money in the long-term.
Wool dryer balls will last for 1,000 loads of laundry, so you will be able to use the same dryer balls over and over again for years to come, and you won't be running to the store buying box after box of dryer sheets for whenever you run out.
Our Dryer Balls are handmade from 100% natural sheep wool, and they have the same non-static and softening qualities as traditional dryer sheets. Just toss them in the dryer like you would a disposable dryer sheet, but without any of the chemicals or waste!
Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to your dryer balls to give your clothes a signature scent! We've found that the dryer ball + essential oil gives a stronger and longer-lasting scent to our clothes compared to traditional dryer sheets.