There’s something that I think we’re all noticing but sadly ignoring about laundry day. I mean of course, when the day comes and it’s time to tackle all of your dirty clothes for the week, each stain having it’s own story, all you wanna do is get it done and go about the rest of your day. Our main priority when doing laundry is making sure our white clothes & linen are separated from the colors so that we don’t end up with pink clothes that were once white because a pink sock got stuck in the mix. That is our focus, not screwing up and being a responsible adult for once. And of course other things like making sure you have enough detergent from last time and whether going on a store-run to pick up more is necessary.
As we throw our clothes in the dryer after they’re done tumbling around in the washer, we toss in a few dryer sheets behind them. Because y’know, that’s the way we’re used to and mom and dad always did it that way. Let’s face it, it’s embedded in our DNA now. When using dryer sheets, do we actually think about or remind ourselves of the purpose that they supposedly have? Dryer sheets are used to make your clothes smell good and makes them feel soft while preventing static. The next time you do laundry, I want you to pick up a dryer sheet and rub it between your fingers. You’re probably feeling an oily residue come off on your fingers, and it’s something that I myself have never noticed before. Dryer sheets have also been known to leave oil or “grease” stains on clothing. Now imagine what’s happening when the oily residue from these dryer sheets come in contact with your skin. You’re drying your pillow cases and bed linens and adding these dryer sheets in with them. The same things you lay your head on.
In September 2018, dermatologists weighed in with Allure about the controversial skin care topic started on Reddit.
“Dryer sheets leave behind a waxy residue on fabric, which can clog pores if your skin comes in contact with the fabric,” Sejal Shah, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, tells Allure. “Dryer sheets also contain a number of chemicals and fragrance, which can cause irritation and inflammation, potentially worsening acne flares.”
So shall we ditch the dryer sheets once and for all? I’d say, why not. After all there are numerous alternatives to dryer sheets that are more natural and safe for your clothing.
Dryer Sheet Alternatives
- Using baking soda during your wash cycle acts as a natural alternative for fabric softener.
- Wool dryer balls. They’re 100% chemical free and can increase fluffiness and reduce static in your laundry.
- Apple cider vinegar! Yes, vinegar can also prevent the static from overpowering your clothes, without leaving the overpowering smell by the way. Just lightly dampen a cloth with the vinegar and throw it in the dryer. Natural and effective.
- Aluminum foil. Folks have said that using this method completely kept them away from dryer sheets and saved them money. Just ball up a piece of aluminum foil and throw it into the dryer. Not only will it keep the static away, but you can reuse the same ball for next time!
- Make your own! Cut up some thin cloths, then add a little apple cider vinegar and essential oils. All affordable and very natural.
- If you really want to go the 100% natural way, air drying your clothes would be your best option.