alternatives to tumble dryer sheets

Eco Friendly Alternatives to Tumble Dryer Sheets

alternatives to tumble dryer sheets

Hello!  Let’s talk about eco friendly alternatives to tumble dryer sheets today.

First things first, I try hard not to use my tumble dryer when I don’t need to.  I much prefer line drying my laundry but sometimes when the weather doesn’t play ball then needs must.

Through sheer frugality and through never being convinced that you need yet another product for your laundry, I have never used tumble dryer sheets.  From what I can understand people use them to a) scent their clothes, b) soften their clothes and c) to reduce static cling, so I kind of get why people use them.

The thing is tumble dryer sheets aren’t quite as innocuous as they look.  Those little sheets can contain volatile organic compounds like butane and acetaldehyde, which can cause respiratory irritation, and quaternary ammonium compounds, some of which are linked to conditions such asthma.  Meanwhile the term “fragrance” can hide a huge variety of chemicals which manufacturers don’t have to disclose on account of being classed as trade secrets.  Yet the chemicals used can be toxic or known allergens.

As well as the potential health problems that tumble dryer sheets can cause, there’s also the environmental impact of having to bin the sheet after each use.  Is there an eco friendly alternative?  I like to think so.  If you’re looking to green your laundry, then here are some eco friendly alternatives to tumble dryer sheets that address all of the above.

eco friendly alternatives to tumble dryer sheets

Eco friendly alternatives to tumble dryer sheets

Wool Dryer Balls

I appreciate that wool dryer balls sound like the most hippy-ish thing in the world.  In the interests of research I bought some wool dryer balls from eBay to give them a go, and it turns out I quite like them.  Scent free they soften your clothes as the dryer spins, and help prevent static cling naturally.  And if you do want to scent your clothes, simply add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to the balls before placing in the dryer.

Quick, easy and reusable: what’s not to love?

Apparently the wool dryer balls help your washing dry quicker, but I haven’t noticed a considerable decline in drying time.  You can’t win them all!

Make Your Own Fabric Softener

If you want to soften your clothes the easiest and cheapest way to do this is during the wash cycle.  Here’s a quick guide on how you can make your own fabric conditioner, which softens clothes as well as helping to eliminate static cling.

Scented Fabric Scraps

If you just want to add scent to your laundry, then place a few drops of your favourite essential oil on a scrap of fabric and add to your dryer at the start of the drying cycle.  Natural fabrics work best, so try an old cotton flannel, a bit of muslin, a cotton handkerchief, or something similar.

Other tumble dryer tips

If you want to avoid static cling the best thing to do is to avoid tumble drying polyester and other synthetic fabrics, such as lycra and synthetic fleece.  Natural fabrics, such as cotton, don’t tend to cling as much as polyester.  Meanwhile, polyester tends to dry quite quickly when hung up to dry.

Another top tip is to avoid over-drying your clothes.  Completely dry clothing spinning around in your tumble dryer encourages the formation of static, so try taking your clothes out the dryer 5 minutes before you normally would to see if that helps.

If you do have a problem with static cling that none of the above helps with, some people swear by crumpling up a ball of tin foil and placing that in your tumble dryer along with your clothes.  I have not tried this as I don’t buy tin foil, but it’s certainly something to keep in mind!

Another unusual tip for eco friendly alternatives to tumble dryer sheets that I have seen bandied around is to add a teaspoon of hair conditioner to a scrap of fabric and place that in the dryer alongside your wet clothes.  I haven’t tried this either, but it’s another trick to keep up your sleeves if none of the above work for you!  I would use an eco friendlier brand of conditioner if giving this a go.

Missed anything?  Let me know in the comments below!

the woolroom

Would You Use Wool Bedding?

Sponsored post

Would you use wool bedding?  Or do you associate wool with being a bit itchy?

The people at woolroom got in touch to see if I would be interested testing out their 100% wool bedding set, and I’ll admit I was dubious about using wool on my bed.  Apart from a woolen blanket draped over our duvet to keep us toasty on cold winters nights it was something I had never considered.

When I looked on their website I was intrigued by the claims of better sleep (what parent of young children doesn’t want better sleep?), and the fact that they only use 100% British wool in their bedding.  Without the use of any synthetic chemicals, this makes woolroom products naturally hypoallergenic as well as naturally flame retardant.  The itch factor was also soon resolved when I realised that all of their products are encased in 100% cotton, keeping you itch free.

Needless to say I took woolroom up on their kind offer.  Soon a woolly parcel was winging it’s way to me, comprising of their mattress protector, an all season duvet, and two pillows, and each encased in it’s own individual cotton bag.

the woolroom

The first thing I put on the bed was the wool mattress protector (which has a 100% cotton cover).  We hadn’t been using a mattress protector previously.  I have tried mattress protectors in the past and I found they had a tendency to bunch up or move and they got really annoying to adjust on a regular basis.  The woolroom’s mattress protector is nice and deep, so fits snuggly, and after four week’s trial I can confirm it doesn’t move about.

I wasn’t sure what a mattress protector would do for us, as our new (to us) mattress is pretty amazing.  It’s a standard sprung mattress but is pillow-topped with a memory foam layer.  It is without a doubt the comfiest thing I have ever slept on.  What I hadn’t twigged was that the memory foam was reflecting my body heat, so I quite often woke up in the middle of the night hot and sweaty.  Since using the protector, I feel like I have been waking up less in the night due to being too hot, which I am over the moon about.

woolroom duvet review

The next thing we added to the bed was the all season duvet, which again is in a 100% cotton cover.  The wool duvet is in two parts, one lighter one for summer, and one slightly heavier one for autumn and spring.  When the mercury drops in winter you can combine the two duvets via the poppers on each duvet to make one thick duvet for a toasty night’s sleep.

As we’ve been testing it out in August and September, we have only used the lightest tog duvet so far.  My first impressions were that it felt really thin compared to our old duvet, and it isn’t as fluffy or snuggly as a normal duvet, and I wasn’t sure how it would keep us as warm at night.  However after a couple of nights we were more than used to the lovely wool duvet.  Lovely and light, we’ve found on cooler nights it keeps us warm but not too warm, and seems to help regulate our body temperatures on warmer nights, even though I my partner and I like to sleep at different temperatures.

We have a double bed but my top tip is to size up – so we have a king size duvet to avoid fights over the duvet!

woolroom review

The last thing we added to the bed were the pillows.  woolroom claim you only need one pillow for a good night’s sleep.  My partner normally sleeps with three quite thick pillows, and I normally sleep with two fairly flat pillows so we were a little skeptical.  I found that one pillow was fine (maybe a little flatter than I would prefer), but as suspected, my partner found it too flat for his pillow based needs.  The good thing with woolroom is that you can order extra wool if your pillow is too flat, which we did – I ordered one bag of wool.  I added three quarters of the bag to my partners pillow and a quarter of the bag to my pillow – which did the trick for both of us.

The pillow is incredible – like sleeping on a fluffy cloud.  And if the pillow isn’t fluffy enough you can open up the pillow, and pull the wool apart to add more air pockets into the pillow.  It’s heavenly.  The filling is held in place in a zippered cotton case so there is no way the filling can escape.

All of the products are machine washable, and the place where I appreciate this the most is the pillows.  I have tried to wash pillows before and what has always happened is that the filling bunches up, with no way to adjust it.  With the woolroom pillows, the pillow zips open and you can adjust the filling after washing.

All in all, I love that woolroom products support British farmers, and wool is an environmentally friendly choice over more synthetic options.  Wool is also a more ethical choice to down filled pillows and duvets.  And while our bed was already comfortable, it has made it even more comfortable, and I do feel I have been sleeping better.  And, no word of a lie, the first night after putting all the bedding on the bed, I managed to oversleep for work the next morning.

If you find you don’t agree then woolroom offer a 30 day money back guarantee when you buy a bedding set, so confident they are of the sleep inducing powers of wool.  Now, if woolroom could do something about the small children that wake us in the night or early in the morning then we’d be completely and utterly sorted!

woolroom provided me with a bedding set for the purpose of this review, and compensated my time spent writing this post, but all words and opinions are my own.