DIY Your Way to a Healthier Laundry Room
By Emily Jansson, Nancy’s Notions guest blogger
Felt some static-reducing, fabric-softening wool dryer balls. It’s a quick craft that can save you a bundle.
These sweet little spheres can reduce allergens in the air and in fabrics, and they help your clothing dry faster. Less time in the dryer means less gas or electric usage, and more money in your pocket. It’s win-win! Plus, they won’t wear out. Make ’em once and that’s all you’ll need.
I read an article in Scientific American the other week about how harmful the chemicals in fabric softeners and dryer sheets can be. It was alarming to learn that dryer sheets especially, are swimming in such baddies as carcinogens, neurotoxins, and respiratory irritants.
The fact that our skin is the largest organ in our bodies should give us all pause on this matter—the clothing we wear acts as a loose compress, filled with whatever good or bad things may be in our laundering routine. Not to mention the irritants that become airborne as they tumble in our dryers.
Bonus: If you’re missing that fresh scent, try spraying your dryer balls liberally with some wardrobe spray you make yourself with natural essential oils. Hop on over to our Dec 2016 blog to learn how.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- One package of wool roving (0.7oz)
- Aluminum foil
- Dish soap (I prefer Seventh Generation for its lack of chemicals)
1. Tear off about an arm’s length of foil and crumble into a tight ball—the more spherical, the better. You want the diameter to be approximately 2″ (add more foil if you need to—it’s not an exact science). Make 3 balls of foil.
2. Fold your piece of roving so it’s divided into thirds. Cut at the folds so that you have three equal(ish) pieces.
3. Tear one of the pieces of roving in half, lengthwise. Wrap it around the foil ball tightly in one direction. You don’t want the edges to stray too far from the ball.
4. Now take the second half of the roving and wrap it tightly in the perpendicular direction. You shouldn’t see any foil at this point.
5. Go to the sink and run some warm water (I like it very warm, but not hot). Pour a little dab of dish soap in your hands, suds it up, and grab the wool-wrapped ball.
6. Wrap your soapy hands around the ball and saturate it under the warm water. Turn the water off. Begin worrying the wool ball from hand to hand like a baseball pitcher. The dish soap should build a nice lather.
7. Keep passing and rolling, worrying the ball back and forth. All you need to get the felting process going are warm water, soap, and agitation. The wool will start to felt and tighten around the foil.
8. When the wool feels secure and tightened around the ball (this will take a few minutes), you can rinse the lather out.
9. Repeat for the other two foil balls. Allow them to air dry on the counter overnight (or you can toss them into the dryer with your next load).
Throw them in your dryer—they can live there forever. No need for dryer sheets or fabric softener ever again!
Thanks to Emily Jansson and the Nancy’s Notions Team for sharing this tutorial!
Bye for now,