Why should we worry about conventional dryer sheets. These unrecyclable petroleum-derived “sheets” are saturated with hormone-disrupting synthetic fragrances. The chemicals used in fabric softeners are very pungent and strong smelling - so strong that they require the use of heavy fragrances ( 50 times as much fragrance) just to cover up the smells. They are made to stay in your clothing for long periods of time, which means that the chemicals are slowly released either into the air for you to inhale or onto your skin for you to absorb. Even choosing “unscented” products is dangerous, as most companies use a masking fragrance to cover up the original fragrance, which unfortunately makes them doubly toxic.
There are also many chemicals found in our sweet-smelling fabric softeners and dryer sheets that can cause serious health effects such as:
- Central nervous system disorders
- Blood pressure reduction
- Irritation to skin, mucus membranes and respiratory tract
- Pancreatic cancer
- Asthma symptoms
There is also no regulation on these chemicals, since the contents are treated as trade secrets by the manufacturers and companies are not required to list everything.
The truth is, most of us won’t feel the effects of these chemicals today, however they can affect you gradually over time, and infants and children whose systems are still developing, are particularly at risk.
Not only is this laundry solution seriously smart, it is also awesomely eco-friendly. For only pennies, you'll have dryer sheets that can be used over and over and over again. What makes these dryer sheets better than their store-bought counterparts is they can be personalized with your favorite scent and are free of any toxic additives. Along with leaving your clothes feeling soft and fresh, they'll smell clean and ready for wear. And once you try them, you'll wonder why you never made them from scratch in the first place.
Homemade All Natural Dryer Sheets
1/2 cup of organic vinegar (the smell will not transfer to your clothes)
8 drops tea tree or other essential oil
1. Start by cutting your cotton cloths into smaller sections. You can use inexpensive dish towels from the dollar store, but old tee shirts or linens would work wonderfully too.
2. Mix together the vinegar and essential oil in a small bowl. Vinegar is a natural softener, and the essential oil gives your clothes a gentle, natural scent. Pour the mixture over the cloths until they are dampened but not soaked. Keep in a securely closed container.
3. To use, simply remove a sheet from the container, squeezing any excess liquid back into the jar, and toss into the dryer. To reduce static cling in clothes, reduce the heat temperature of your dryer. When clothes are dry, simply place the sheet back in the jar for use later.
I welcome your comments and suggestions - Thank You!