Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Nobody should use throwaway dryer sheets because there is an alternative

I don't usually plug products in this blog, however I am making an exception. Today I am going to recommend that everybody cease using traditional throw-away dryer sheets or any form of fabric softener, and instead use Static Eliminator reusable dryer sheets or a similar product.

We bought some five years ago, and they are simply brilliant; they utterly eliminate the need for fabric softener. You just leave two of them in your dryer at all times and you absolutely never get any static cling.The picture below shows them in our dryer. They seem to last forever (we wash them once every year or so). I estimate they have been through the dryer well over a thousand times doing all the wash for our family of five.

What is wrong with traditional dryer sheets with fabric softener?

  • They may contain hazardous chemicals (see this post and this post). I haven't independently verified that, but whether or not it is true, why take the risk when there is an alternative that works just as well. The comments about toxic ethanol in some posts are obviously absurd (alcohol will evaporate in any dryer), but the other ingredients seem to be legitimate things to avoid, especially for those with sensitivities.
  • Why pay the money when you don't have to?
  • Why buy throw-away products that add to landfills?

All you have to agree with is any one of the above three points, to make the decision to move to reusable dryer sheets.

Of course, the greenest of my friends will say, "if you care that much, just hang your laundry outside." Modern life in sometimes-wet and often-frigid Canada, with three kids, lots of hard work to do, and wood smoke and many outdoor allergens to avoid that get into clothes left to dry, makes that a non-starter unfortunately.

My point is this: there is a big industry out there promoting a product that is absolutely unnecessary. Just say no! Incidentally, we purchase ours online from a local Ottawa store.

One thing I find interesting is that most people who complain about dryer sheets don't seem to even know about the alternative. For example this post doesn't mention the Static Eliminator product or other reusable sheets. There is, however, a mention of reusable sheets in this article from How Stuff Works. Unfortunately they don't cite anyone testifying to their effectiveness.

If you want to encourage others to use reusable dryer sheets, refer them to this post: Five years and counting, with no static cling (except for the odd time when we forgot to put the reusable sheets in the dryer).

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