Staff Member: Mary Kihslinger - Silent Generation - Toledo, Ohio
When is the last time you saw laundry hanging outside on a clothesline to dry? If you drive through the countryside around places like Shipshewana, Indiana, you will see the laundry of Amish families flapping in the breeze. I have noticed that Monday seems to be the preferred laundry day! I’m old enough to remember my grandmother and mother drying their laundry outside. I used to do this maybe 30 years ago. There is nothing like the smell of air dried sheets.
Thousands of products appeal to us today with promises of freshening our laundry with scented detergent and dryer sheets. Unfortunately, many of these products come at a big cost to the environment. They use plastics and chemicals that continue to pollute the planet. Some cause allergic reactions for us and our family members.
My purpose in writing this article is to encourage you to try some products that I have found useful in the laundry room. I will write about two of them although there are many more out there.
I have been using eco-friendly laundry detergent for years but since it comes in a plastic bottle, I wondered if some of the newer laundry sheets/strips would do the job. There are also detergent pods or pacs available to take the place of plastic containers. I have not tried these. I am using “Tru Earth” strips at this time. Some of the other brands to investigate are Breezeo, LG Lucky Fiji, Ecosa, Beyond, Sheets and ECOSNext. As you look at the product ingredients and reviews, consider the following:
- scented or not - consumer reviews - package recyclable - hypoallergenic - works in all machines - paraben free - phosphate free - removes tough stains
- produced in the US - price
I must admit that the “Tru Earth” brand is pricey but they work well for me. There are coupons and subscriptions available to offset the cost of many of these brands including “Tru Earth”. Stores are beginning to carry more earth friendly detergents.
The laundry is washed. Now to get it dried with a fresh scent and make it soft as a baby’s bottom! I have just the thing and I LOVE it. Dryer balls! These organic, wool balls do everything they are advertised to do. I bought mine from a vendor at our farmer’s market and have been using them for about a year. The good ones are hypoallergenic and environmentally friendly. They also result in quicker drying times, fewer wrinkles and lint, and increase the overall softness of fabrics. The good ones last for 1000+ loads. There are no perfumes or dyes but you do have the option of adding a drop or two of a favorite essential oil.
A geek review on Amazon lists the following brands: Longest Lifespan: Wool Dryer Balls by Smart Sheep, XL 6-pack $16.95
Runner up: SnugPad Wool Dryer Balls XL 6 pack $6.99 Best Static Fighters: Wool Dryer Balls by HandyLaundry, 6-pack $8.99
Mom’s Favorite: Budieggs Wool Dryer Balls Organic, XL 6-pack $8.99
I have easily adapted these two products into my laundry routine. I encourage you to give them a try. I think you will like them!