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Natural Cleaning

Home and Garden, Natural Cleaning

Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Tumble Dryer Sheets

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.  However, 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.

What’s Wrong With Tumble Drier Sheets?

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.  They also contain quaternary ammonium compounds, some of which are linked to conditions such as asthma.  Meanwhile, the term “fragrance” can hide a huge variety of chemicals that 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.  Single-use is not the way to go.

eco friendly alternatives to tumble dryer sheets

Eco-friendly alternatives to tumble dryer sheets

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.

Wool Dryer Balls

I appreciate that wool dryer balls sound like the most hippy-ish thing in the world.  So, in the interests of research, I bought some wool dryer balls* to give them a go.  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 them in the dryer.

Quick, easy, and reusable.  What’s not to love?

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

Dryer Eggs

I also have some knobbly dryer eggs* from Eco Egg, that apparently have been scientifically proven to reduce tumble drying time by up to 28%.  I haven’t tested this claim (life’s too short!).  However, some people have claimed they do significantly reduce drying time.  The eggs also reduce static cling and eliminate the need for a fabric conditioner.

The eggs come with essential oil scent sticks that you insert into the middle of the egg.  You can then replace this when the scent wears off.  The good news is you can use them without the scent sticks if you are scent averse or don’t want the added expense of buying scent refills.

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.  Then simply add them 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.  Therefore, 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, then some people swear by tin foil.  Yes!  Apparently, crumpling up a ball of tin foil and placing that in your tumble dryer along with your clothes may help.  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.  You then 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 hair conditioner if giving this a go.

Missed anything?  Let me know in the comments below!

Health & Beauty, Home and Garden, Life & Style, Natural Cleaning

How To Naturally Clean Makeup Brushes

homemade makeup brush cleaner

Does your makeup brush need a good clean? Let me show you how to naturally clean makeup brushes with this homemade eco-friendly cleaning solution. Made in seconds with simple sustainable ingredients, your brushes and skin will love it!

I’ll admit I didn’t even own a makeup brush until last year.  I used to just apply makeup with my fingers because I felt I never wore enough makeup to justify buying fancy tools.  My makeup bag literally consists of four items.  And also, who doesn’t like finger painting?!  

Then I bought a makeup brush last year. Notice, singular – I’ve not gotten carried away with myself! After that, I wondered what on earth I’d been doing all these years.  It’s so much easier applying makeup with a makeup brush.

Then I found out you actually need to clean your makeup brushes…

Do You Need to Clean Makeup Brushes?

how to clean makeup brushes the natural way with liquid castile soap

The thing about makeup brushes is that whilst they do make applying makeup so much easier, they do need regular cleaning.  This is to help keep your skin clean and healthy.  Without cleaning your brush, you’re just brushing dirt and bacteria around your face.  Which, let’s face it, isn’t so appealing.

I wanted to know how to clean makeup brushes. As such, I’ve been trying out a few different methods to make a DIY makeup brush cleaner and have decided that this natural makeup brush cleaner solution is a) by far the simplest and b) by far the best.  When it comes to cleaning makeup brushes, no one wants to be messing about with lots of different ingredients.  Therefore, I think it’s best to keep it simple.

How to Naturally Clean Makeup Brushes

The main ingredient I use to clean my makeup brushes is Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap*.  I use this in lots and lots of different ways around my home, and always have a bottle in my bathroom cupboard.  It’s a little on the pricier side of things, but you only ever use it diluted.  Therefore it does work out at incredibly great value.  

The thing about Dr. Bronner’s is that it’s certified organic and made with only pure plant oils, so there are no nasties in it whatsoever.  It’s also incredibly gentle on your best makeup brushes.

Here are the steps you need to clean your makeup brushes:

Ingredients

You will need:

Cleaning Instructions

Add the liquid castile soap to the lukewarm water and stir to combine. It’s important to use lukewarm water as too hot water may melt the glue that holds the bristles of your makeup brush in place.

Next, place the bristles in the soapy solution and swirl a few times to loosen the old makeup.

Keep going until the brush looks clean, and then rinse in some clean lukewarm water.

If you want to ensure all the soap has been removed, then next dip your brush bristles in a small jar of white vinegar. White vinegar is amazing at cutting through soap, leaving your brush super clean. Once your brush is dry it won’t smell of vinegar, as the vinegar dries without an odour.  Trust me!

Whether you rinse your brush in water or vinegar, next you need to mould the brush back into shape, and then leave it to dry on a flannel.

Viola, naturally clean makeup brushes with very little effort!

homemade makeup brush cleaner

One last top tip, don’t leave your brush sitting in water.  You only want your brush to be in soapy water for as long as it takes to clean your brush.  It doesn’t need to steep for any length of time, otherwise, it may damage the metal and/or wooden components of your makeup brush, shortening its lifespan.

natural makeup brush cleaner recipe

ps: check out my guide to zero-waste and plastic-free makeup if you are looking to upgrade your makeup supplies.