The Allergy-free, Static-Free Solution
Now Dryer Balls are perhaps the neatest and easiest alternative to dryer sheets or clothes softeners that I've ever seen. Although they don't provide the "nice spring scent" that other laundry products do, they also don't make the people in your house develop hives because of their chemical sensitivities.
Both my son and husband have allergic reactions to certain cleaning chemicals. It's been a long journey determining the worst offenders, but we've realized that laundry products have to be as free of additives, coloring agents, harsh chemicals and other ingredients as humanly possible. When we're not careful, we end up with some unpleasant rashes. So, needless to say, dealing with static cling (especially in the winter time) has been a "sticky" battle.
Enter Dryer Balls. These are distributed throughout North America by a company called Batten Industries out of British Columbia, Canada. I initially came across them in a small health food store, while shopping.
These allergy products look completely unremarkable. Each set is basically a set of blue balls, with rounded "spikes" on each one (think of a porcupine rolled up in a ball, but a lot less prickly). The balls themselves are made of PVC (a type of vinyl resin) plastic. The company literature claims that Dryer Balls are completely non-toxic and allergy-free. In addition, I've found that they don't melt or otherwise damage your clothes, even at high temperatures that you'd think plastic would. Just toss one in your dryer and you forget about it.
In addition to being non-toxic with no added chemicals, the product packaging claims that they: soften fabric naturally; reduce drying time; reduce lint and wrinkles; reduce ironing; and result in less static.
I've been using Dryer Balls now for a couple of weeks, and while I can't say that they do everything they claim (nothing seems to reduce the hassle of ironing creases in supposedly "wrinkle-free" clothes, in my opinion), I have found that they do the most important things:
- Your clothes come out of the dryer completely static-free.
- Dryer time is reduced (which is nice on the pocketbook).
- Clothes are soft.
My only complaint so far is that I have to remember not to scoop out the Dryer Ball with my clothing! But this is a minor inconvenience in exchange for clothes that are virtually static-free and nicely softened.
If you have people in your family with chemical sensitivities or allergies, you might want to keep your eye out for Dryer Balls.