Chemicals in dryer sheets? — Not for us!

Concerned about chemicals in dryer sheets, we try an alternative

It’s been a quiet few days blog-wise here at Pretired.org World Headquarters. Unfortunately that’s because I’ve been incredibly busy lately. Between my part-time consulting gig, my basement project, dealing with the sale of my fourplex and a teething baby there hasn’t been much time for reading or writing. But since it’s nice, quiet holiday week, I thought I’d drop a quick post just to keep the site alive. (Although weirdly the site traffic has kept increasing even though I haven’t written in a few days. Go figure — maybe I should write less since that apparently makes the site grow!) 

PurEcoSheet - no more chemicals in dryer sheets for us!

PurEcoSheet – no more chemicals in dryer sheets for us!

When I became a semi-pretired stay-at-home Dad one of the biggest adjustments was spending a lot more quality time in the laundry room. Despite their small size, babies generate a LOT of laundry. And the tonnage increased recently when we dropped our overpriced diaper service for diapers we wash ourselves at home. (Yes, I still owe you a post on how the wash-at-home diapers work.)

Even before the diaper piles started growing, we (mostly my wife) started looking around for ways to eliminate toxic chemicals from our home. We’d been concerned about chemicals in dryer sheets for some time, but hadn’t done much about it besides buying the “greener” version at the store. That is until Pretired Baby came along.

Now regular dryer sheets really aren’t that expensive, but anytime you’re using a product for a matter of minutes before it hits the trash, it’s super annoying. And, of course, regular dryer sheets work by depositing a waxy, positively-charged coating to your clothes. This keeps them from sticking together and can also leave a fakey “fresh” smell behind. Do we know what these chemicals are doing to our health? No, we do not. And, of course, by far the worst thing about dryer sheets is you’re always just about out of them at the worst times. You know you are too busy to get to the store when you start using dryer sheets a second time hoping maybe there’s a little bit of coating left on it.

I’d never even considered that there might be an alternative out there, but fortunately there is one.

They’re called PurEcoSheets, and they’re a reusable, chemical-free dryer sheet. No more chemicals in dryer sheets for us! Read more about the PurEcoSheet Reusable Chemical-Free Dryer Sheets on Amazon (yes, that is an affiliate link).

When you see them, the first thing you think is “no way this is going to work!” Weird thing is they DO work. So far I haven’t really noticed any difference in any type of clothing. Even towels come out basically static-free. I’m sure if you were washing a couple fleece jackets, you might need a bit more power and I could see needing an occasional dryer sheet in the heart of winter, but overall, we’re loving the product and it should pay for itself in a few months.

They basically work just like regular dryer sheets, except they’re reusable. You simply toss both of them in to the dryer with your clothes and that’s it. You can just leave them in your dryer so they’re all set for the next load, or you can wash them with your laundry and move them to the dryer at the same time.

So far we’re pretty happy with them. If I come across any disadvantages or issues, I’ll post an update here. I’ll be very interested to see how well they work when we get some dry, winter weather. But if they can’t keep up with the static at that point, we still have some old dryer sheets to use up!

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16 Thoughts on “Chemicals in dryer sheets? — Not for us!

  1. Steve on July 3, 2013 at 2:05 pm said:

    How about just not using dryer sheets?

    • Pretired Nick on July 3, 2013 at 2:14 pm said:

      Sure, if you want to electrocute yourself on my socks! Seriously that can be a good option, but it’s obviously not going to work for everyone.

  2. Yep, dryer sheets be gone! I don’t use any at all Nicholas, but then again you’ve seen what my shirts look like too. Actually, I’ve started using a steam fluff option on my dryer and that seems to do the trick. Folks no longer ask me if I slept in that shirt.
    Tom | Tall Clover Farm recently posted…My Five Favorite Jam Recipes, for NowMy Profile

    • Pretired Nick on July 3, 2013 at 2:55 pm said:

      Heh, yeah, they’re certainly a lot less necessary if you don’t have a day job!
      That reminds me, when are you going to write me up a guest post?

  3. Hey, that’s pretty awesome. I’ll have to forward this post to the missus.
    When I was single, I never used dryer sheets. :)
    Joe recently posted…How much does Jack Reacher’s Financial Independence cost?My Profile

  4. Nathan on July 5, 2013 at 12:48 am said:

    Hmmm, you sure you need a dryer let alone dryer sheets ? Best way to get “line dried freshness and no static cling” is…. dry them on a line :)

    I found the dryer part of the combined washer / dryers we used to buy were so prone to breakage I just gave up with them. There’s only so many hours you can spend in the guts of your white goods before you doubt their utility.

    Also I noticed that any slight staining left on white diapers and tops ‘bleaches’ out completely in sunlight and air.

    Now if you’d written a post titled “Concerned about chemicals in laundry: we’ve ditched the washing machine” that would have been baaad assssss (but nuts) !

    • Pretired Nick on July 5, 2013 at 8:11 am said:

      Yeah, this is the most important point of all, Nathan. By far the best way to save money on your laundry is to not use your dryer AT ALL. But here at Pretired.org, we live in the real world and most people in the U.S. and Canada use a dryer. That said, though, I do still owe the world a post on how I dropped my electricity cost by replacing the bendable dryer vent hose with smooth metal venting.

  5. Lots of dryer sheets also have insulation particles in them too – eewww!!! Hang drying our clothes has eliminated the use for most dryer sheets with us, but we do put a half of a Melaleuca dryer sheet in with our towels, which we’re told is better quality and less chemicals….
    Laurie @thefrugalfarmer recently posted…June Recap – Happy 6 month Anniversary and the Three-Legged GoatMy Profile

    • Pretired Nick on July 5, 2013 at 8:13 am said:

      Wow, insulation? Gross! We actually do a fair amount of air-drying of our clothes, but it’s not always practical. Especially here in the winter when the humidity is too high to ever let things dry out.

  6. “Despite their small size, babies generate a LOT of laundry.” Ain’t that the truth! We have three little ones and they create so much more laundry than the two of us. We had to switch to a green laundry detergent when we had the kids because our oldest kept getting rashes. We’ve used dryer sheets from time to time, but not with any real consistency. I’ll have to let my wife know about these.
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted…In the Blink of an EyeMy Profile

    • Pretired Nick on July 8, 2013 at 6:27 am said:

      That’s too bad about the rashes! Makes you wonder what the detergent is doing to adults as well. We’ve been using green detergent for years as well. We finally found a brand that works well and is about the same price.

  7. I’ll try the dryer sheets. Might I recommend you try soap nuts! They are great in the washer.

    • Pretired Nick on August 4, 2013 at 5:42 am said:

      I haven’t tried them yet, but I’ve heard they work well. I guess I should give them a try one of these days!

  8. Pingback: Dryer heats up but won't spin? Here's how to fix it for $5 | Pretired.org

  9. Pingback: How we saved money with reusable cloth diapers | Pretired.org

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