Healthier Home

Non-Toxic Laundry: Dryer Balls


Although they make your clothes feel soft and smell “fresh”, fabric softeners and dryer sheets are some of the most toxic products. They add toxic chemicals to your laundry and, consequently, your body. Our skin is our largest organ and has a transdermal effect, so what we put on our body is just as important as what we put in it, which chemicals like these that stay on your clothes and have contact with your skin the majority of the day will have some effect on your health. Since fabric softeners are designed to stay on your clothes for extended periods of time, such chemicals can seep out gradually and be inhaled or absorbed directly through the skin. 

According to Scientific American, some of the most harmful ingredients in dryer sheets and liquid fabric softeners include: 
-benzyl acetate (linked to pancreatic cancer)
-benzyl alcohol (an upper respiratory tract irritant)
-ethanol (linked to central nervous system disorders)
-chloroform (a neurotoxin and carcinogen)
-limonene (carcinogen)
-surfactant nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPE) (reproductive problems)

The benefits of using dryer balls:
-natural/non-toxic
-reusable, can last up to 1,000 loads (once they start to unravel its time to replace)
-helps separate the clothes while in the dryer allows additional air flow through to dry clothes faster
-helps reduce wrinkles and static of clothing
-save you money on fabric softener and dryer sheets
-eco-friendly/biodegradeable 

How to use:
-use 2-3 dryer balls depending on size of load (they will work more efficiently with small to medium loads allowing the balls to bounce around and do their job) You will need more for larger loads

Most dryer balls are made of wool or bamboo fibers (these are the ones that you want to look for to purchase)

If you are looking for an added scent to your laundry, after the load is completely dried, take out the dyer balls and apply a desired amount of essential oil to each ball. Toss the dryer balls back into the dryer and run the load on “Air Fluff” for 10 minutes (no heat), so that the delicate essential oil is not damaged. 

I have created a list of recommendations of non-toxic laundry products with pictures of a few of my favorites here. Seventh Generation Free & Clear Laundry Detergent is my most used detergent as it is the most economic of the non-toxic brands and does a great job!

Medical Products

Patch Strips

Shortly after our son Anthony was diagnosed with cancer, I tried searching for natural products to use on him to reduce the amount of toxins he would be exposed to. In doing so I came across Patch Strips

Anthony’s skin became so sensitive after radiation and one of the few things he dislikes is having to peel off bandages. He goes through enough pain with his procedures, removing a bandage shouldn’t have to be one of them. A cancer patient goes through hundreds of bandages during their course of treatment. Some even develop a sensitivity to them because of the the chemicals and materials they are made from. 

Going beyond just skin sensitivity is the important health care aspect of what we are actually exposing ourselves to. Our skin is the largest organ on our body. A lot of people don’t realize that what we put on our body is just as important as what we put in it!

Because Anthony’s skin became sensitive shortly after the start of treatment with radiation and one of the few things he has disliked is having to remove bandages off his skin, I went on a hunt for what could be best for his skin. He has gone through enough pain with his procedures, removing a bandage shouldn’t have to be one of them. Because he his implanted port is accessed routinely, he gets a bandage placed at least once every week. Upon conducting my search for something that could be not only sensitive to my son’s skin but also ideally made from non-toxic material I came across Patch Strips.Not only are they natural and safe for our skin but also the environment! Needless to say it was love at first try!

One of the things that I have tried to eliminate from our lives as much as possible is plastic. Most bandages out on the market are made from plastic.The adhesive portion of a bandage is usually made from a type of plastic, either PVC (polyvinyl chloride-the most toxic plastic for both our personal health and environment), polyethylene, or polyurethane. Our skin is the largest organ of our body, so what we put on it is just as important as what we put in it. If we are so concerned as to what we eat to maintain our health, what we put on our skin should be just as important. Even more so if we are covering an open wound, we have now lost that protective layer of skin and are at an increased risk of infection or perhaps an easier source of having toxic chemicals absorbed into our bodies.

Patch Strips was created by a dad on a mission to prevent nasty skin reactions that his son would get while using traditional band-aids. Once he discovered the array of chemicals that even goes into making a band-aid he wanted to create a natural alternative. Patch Strips are made from 100% organic bamboo fiber, aloe vera, coconut oil or activated charcoal. Not only is their product safe for our skin but also the environment! Their product is completely compostable from the bandage to the packaging itself. 


You can order a sample pack here of their natural bamboo or activated charcoal bandage if you would like to test them out prior to comitting to purchasing an entire tube. But I promise you, you will love them just as much as we do!