Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Really cheap green tip

I've read that your typical dryer sheets contain a lot of toxic chemicals. The alternatives such as natural dryer sheets are very expensive. I've tried dryer balls, but they're also expensive ($10 for 2), and I never found them to work very well at dealing with static cling.

So here's a cheap tip: use aluminum foil as a dryer sheet to reduce static cling. I recycle aluminum foil if it's fairly clean (not used to cover meat, for example) by washing it off and letting it air dry. Then I cut it into sheets that are about the size of your typical dryer sheet and throw it in the dryer with my clothes. Some people recommend rolling the foil into a ball, but I've found it works best if it's flat--it will roll itself into a ball by the time your clothes are done. I then unroll it and use it for the next load. I can reuse the same bit of aluminum foil in the dryer for about five loads, which is great since my municipality doesn't accept aluminum foil for recycling (even though aluminum is one of the most recyclable materials on earth).

The foil, of course, won't provide your clothes with a sweet smell. However, if your laundry detergent was scented, your clothes will retain the scent of the detergent when they're dry. If you used unscented detergent and want a final scent, wet a washcloth and either sprinkle it with a few drops of essential oil (such as lavender), or with a scented hair conditioner, and throw that into your dryer.

Note on line drying: I have a dryer rack in my house, which I use for things I handwash (often, my preschooler's clothes!). However, I haven't taken the plunge toward outdoor line drying yet. I've asked line drying advocates how you prevent pollution, pollen and bird poop from getting on your clothes, and no one has yet answered me. And for those living in urban apartments (which was us in Boston, although not currently), you may not have the space to do it. One of my goals is to save enough to buy an energy saving Spin Dryer from Laundry Alternatives.

1 comment:

  1. Heres an even cheaper tip, air dry your clothes using either a clothesline or a clothes drying rack. They are both inexpensive will save you anywhere from 6-10% on your house hold energy bills and your clothes will have that healthy and natural air dried smell.