Did you know dryer sheets and most laundry soaps can be some of the biggest offenders of toxins in our home?
Here’s the thing: there’s so much we cannot control, but for the things we can, and use daily, why wouldn’t we do a little research and make safer swaps for our families? At the very least, we should be aware of what is in them!I use two resources in our home to identify how toxic our products are. One is EWG.ORG/SKINDEEPand the other is the Think Dirty APP. Both are apps that you can use to scan barcodes in your home, and see how toxic your current products are. Pretty cool, right?
It can be slightly terrifying when you start scanning your products, but remember: make small changes and do the best you can. Switching out toxic dryer sheets for wool dryer balls was a no-brainer.
Why I use Wool Dryer Balls
The average household contains about 62 toxic chemicals. We’re exposed to them daily, from the phthalates in synthetic fragrances to the noxious fumes in oven cleaners. Ingredients in common household products have been linked to asthma, cancer, reproductive disorders, hormone disruption and neurotoxicity. I am in no way trying to scare you here, but these are facts, and knowledge is power. If you know better, you can do better!
Why are dryer sheets toxic?
Dryer sheets contain fragrance and other chemicals that can trigger asthma and disrupt hormones. With this on your clothes, they rub and absorb into your skin (which is your biggest organ) all day and outgas in your closet. Now in a prefect world, you’d be able to easily choose which products are safe for your family by looking at the labels and ingredients, but did you know manufacturers aren’t required to disclose which ingredients are harmful? It’s super upsetting, hence why I want to spread the word so everyone can be aware of it.
There was recently a study conducted that tested five name brand dryer sheets and it showed that the dryer sheets emitted 15 endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) and chemicals associated with asthma. Evidence from studies suggests that EDCs can affect developing reproductive and nervous systems, metabolism, and cancer. No thank you. Ditching them is such an easy way to avoid the harmful effects.
What are dryer balls?
Wool dryer balls are balls that you toss in your dryer instead of a dryer sheet. You can add essential oils to them for scent if you want, too!
Here are the benefits:
Decrease your energy bill: Using dryer balls allow you to reduce heat settings and speed up drying time from 10-25% depending on the size of the load and how many dryer balls you use. Dryer balls help circulate air in the dryer, allowing the laundry to dry more quickly!
Save you money: Within a few short months wool dryer balls pay for themselves. Dryer balls last much longer and cost much less than using dryer sheets or liquid fabric softener!
Made to last: Dryer balls should last for over 1,000 loads or roughly 3-5 years.
Reduce your carbon footprint
Decrease your exposure to chemicals
Read why I switched my cleaning products and what I use that’s safer here!
Leave your dryer balls in the dryer for your next load!
If you are worried about static cling, add a large safety pin to one or all of your dryer balls. The charged electrons are collected by the balls and the highly conductive metal safety pins. When the pin touches the metal of the dryer, the electrons are discharged into the drum, away from the clothes, and static is reduced. Also, reduce your dryer heat setting and make sure you pull your clothes when they are dry. Already dried clothes tumbling for excessive amounts of time increase the static and your energy costs.
How to Make Wool Dryer Balls with Essential Oils
If you want them scented? Add 3-4 drops of an organic essential oil you love to each ball, and run them on the no heat setting with your laundry for ten minutes.
Which Dryer Balls to Buy
There are definitely organic options I’ve seen on Amazon (like these or these), but I trust my friends at Branch Basics (who I use for Laundry Detergent and Cleaning Supplies), so I get mine there. I trust their products because they don’t contain fillers, are made with 100% premium USA wool that does not unravel and will last for years, they are compostable for organic gardening, they are biodegradable, non-allergenic, and are made with no harmful chemicals!
Discount for you:
My friends at Branch Basics let me give you 15% off starter kit with code LEXI15! The starter set includes one 33 oz. Concentrate, three empty spray bottles, one Foaming Wash bottle, one Laundry bottle, and then I add the oxygen boost and dryer balls to my order.
I was not paid to write this post, though it does contain affiliate links. Here’s my promise to you. While I make a small percentage on sales used through my code, I TRUST this brand. I PERSONALLY use them in my home for my family, and nosuper small amount of commission is worth compromising your trust. So please trust me when I say I would never promote a product that I don’t fully stand behind.
Eating clean isn’t the only part of a healthy lifestyle. Our environment plays a big role too. What we put ON our bodies, what we use in our homes or environments, and even the relationships we keep, are just as important as the food that we put IN our bodies. The same goes for how we treat ourselves. Self-care is essential and setting boundaries within this technological world we live in is needed, though difficult.
I’m going to start this swap series, with this first post of Home Swaps to Try Right Now! These products are changes I’ve made for me and my family in our own home.
With that said, we can do our best to reduce our toxic load, but without driving ourselves too, too crazy. Am I right? Believe me, it’s easy to do that. We now read labels and rid our home of toxic chemicals (as best as we can, not perfect).
Have you read the ingredients in your body wash? Mike was actually the first one out of the two of us to give it a glance. He was horrified! The new body was we are using is extremely gentle and non-drying with a creamy texture! It has rich and nourishing marula and mongongo oils, which are ingredients that help soften and protect skin while sealing in moisture. Mike loves the smell, too!
A natural deodorant that works, and I’ve tried them ALL! No aluminum for me, please and thank you! Primally Pure deodorant will keep you smelling fresh all day long while also pampering your pits with good-for-you ingredients (like tallow from grass-fed cows and organic + fair trade coconut oil) that are pure and natural enough to eat!
Primally Pure deodorant is not an antiperspirant – sweat is a HEALTHY and NORMAL part of being human! And since this product doesn’t contain any of the toxic chemicals found in conventional deodorants, it won’t interfere with your body’s natural and necessary detoxification process (also known as sweating). IMPORTANT INFO: Adjusting to 100% natural deodorant may take some time – be patient! 🙂 The good news? Primally Pure deodorant has a cumulative effect – the longer you use it, the better it works!
On occasion I’ll whip out the heavy duty stuff if it’s URGENT, but for everyday cleaning, this REALLY does the job! Branch Basics multi-purpose concentrated cleaner makes cleaning simple, sustainable, safe and affordable. Just dilute with water and you’re all set to effectively tackle every room in the house and your laundry too! Branch basics is my preferred, I don’t know how it works so well, but it really does! I also heard Norwex cloths are great.
Many of the sunscreens you’re probably most familiar with are known as chemical sunblocks. These products actually absorb into your skin, ultimately absorbing UV rays so they can be converted into heat and released from your body. Active ingredients in these sunscreens typically include avobenzone, octinoxate, and oxybenzone. Think about it for a sec — if these chemical sunscreens are to work properly, those chemicals need to be fully absorbed into your body. Do you want your skin absorbing anything that you can’t even pronounce? No, thanks.
I used to use coconut oil, but sometimes that clogs up my pores. Before that, I used whatever junk I could find in the drugstore. I am LOVING Beautycounter’s new eye make-up remover. Just a quick shake activates this innovative dual-phase formula to completely erase long-wear and waterproof makeup. Made without mineral oil or silicones, it uses the power of coconut and macadamia oils to break down pigments and cornflower extract to soothe delicate skin. Safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers, too!
A light scent to spruce up the house when I’m not diffusing essential oils (see below). It doesn’t last super long, but adds a touch of freshness when needed. It’s made with a nontoxic formula is family, food, and pet safe. It has natural antibacterial properties and adds scent while removing odor!
Conventional Make-Up —> Beautycounter Make-Up
I’ve switched over most of my make-up to Beautycounter at this point, and aside from them being high-performing safer products, they have helped clear my skin so much in the past year!
What we put ON our body is so important. Our skin is our biggest organ! Primally Pure’s natural body butter only contains ingredients that are safe enough to eat – high quality ingredients that work to restore the skin (your body’s largest organ) to a healthy and nourished state!
*10% off with code LEXI
Tampons —> Lunette (I prefer this over the Diva Cup)
Sounds gross, right? I thought so too, until I tried it! A period cup is a non toxic (made from silicone), eco-friendly, affordable, and sustainable alternative to tampons and pads. You fold the cup up a certain way and insert the cup inside of your vagina (as you would a tampon), and it collects your uterus lining. You simply rinse it out every 12 hours and re-insert it, making it extremely sustainable and stress-free!
This was actually one of the first big swaps I made. I ditched the crap in the Crest toothpaste for this fabulous one! It works great. Brush your way to a brighter smile and fresher breath with this exclusive blend of Bamboo Stem Fiber and Baking Soda that helps fight stains. Sea Salt and Zinc Citrate help reduce plaque, while pure Wintergreen and Australian Tea Tree Oils freshen breath with a burst of minty flavor.
Instead of an aerosol can, often used for dry shampoo that uses butane and fragrance, this dry shampoo comes in a shaker bottle, is easy to apply, and it REALLY WORKS! There is an option for dark hair or light, so it doesn’t make your hair that ashy gray color. Simply shake a bit onto your scalp/roots of your hair, rub it into the hair, and you’re good to go with fresh looking, and feeling hair!
Instead of burning candles that are a combination of toxic ingredients, I’ve started diffusing essential oils in a diffuser! The house smells great. Favorite combo: Lavender and Eucalyptus! Buy candles? Opt for safer alternatives, like those that use a cotton or paper wick, and are either unscented or scented with essential oils, and look for ones that don’t contain any paraffin! Note: I don’t have a particular essential oil company that I love, I just try them all out!
I’ve always hated the thought of spraying chemical bug spray ALL over my body. Primally Pure’s NEW all-natural insect repellent is made with nourishing + non-toxic ingredients. It’s free of DEET and full of organic ingredients that bugs can’t stand!
Plastic —> Glass
I am really trying to reduce the use of plastic in our home. A few major swaps I’ve made are:
Did you know? Fragrance is being referred to as the new second-hand smoke? Ew. It’s only human to seek out pleasant smells and to try to eliminate unattractive scents from our environments. However, the immediate and long-term effects of synthetic fragrance exposure is hazardous to our health
This took me forever to say goodbye to my Coco Chanel! I finally found a safer perfume I like! I use PHLUR’s Hanami. No BHT, harmful fragrance, Parabens, phthalates.
Beautycounter: Band of Beauty Membership (think Amazon Prime). 10% Product Credit, free shipping over $100, + a gift upon sign up. For $29/year — no auto renew, nothing weird! Add it while shopping here.
Disclosure: There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi’s Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my disclosure policy for more info!
What safer home swaps have you made? I’d love to hear yours!