Natural Laundry Option: Introducing the Willow Store with Review and Giveaway!
Over the last year or so, I have made some changes in how I do laundry around our house.
The motivating factor was two-fold. One, I wanted to lessen the amount of chemicals I was using around our house and two, I wanted to save money. (I have found many times over that saving money and living healthier often go hand in hand.)
The first change I made was using vinegar in the softener cup in my washing machine instead of liquid fabric softener.
Really? Yep. And surprise, surprise, it worked just fine at keeping our clothes nice and soft. (Vinegar helps disinfect (click here for my produce wash "recipe") and is also helpful in reducing static cling.)
Here's some great reasons to stop using liquid softener (or dryer sheets) immediately and switch to something natural...
"Some of the most harmful ingredients in dryer sheets and liquid fabric softener alike include benzyl acetate (linked to pancreatic cancer), benzyl alcohol (an upper respiratory tract irritant), ethanol (linked to central nervous system disorders), limonene (a known carcinogen) and chloroform (a neurotoxin and carcinogen), among others.
Since fabric softeners are designed to stay in your clothes for extended periods of time, such chemicals can seep out gradually and be inhaled or absorbed directly through the skin. Liquid fabric softeners are slightly preferable to dryer sheets, as the chemicals in dryer sheets get released into the air when they are heated up in the dryer and can pose a respiratory health risk to those both inside and outside the home." source
Now, I share this with you not to scare you, but so that you can be informed. (I never make all these changes at once. However, usually what happens is I learn some new information, let it rumble around in my mind for awhile, then come across another source with the same information and then hopefully start putting some changes into place.)
Living the way we do now is pretty new to us. (Although my mom has taught me some of these things, I've just taken it to the next level--see change #2 below.) But for the most part, this is not how either of us grew up. It's never too late to start making changes.
The second big change was making our own laundry detergent. I make a big ol' batch of it and it lasts us several months.
And finally, I got to try dryer balls. And I'm sold.
What Purpose Do Dryer Balls Have?
What an amazing little thing a dryer ball is! My aunt was the first to tell me about them and she actually made some for herself. I had not personally used them until a few months back.
Now I have three of them and thanks to dryer balls, my clothes dry faster and are ensured to be soft (dryer balls can reduce drying time by up to 50% by increasing circulation and will also soften your clothes due to being tossed around in the dryer.)
I put my dryer on the lowest setting (saving money and wear and tear on our machine!) now and our clothes are always dried sufficiently. (The only exception being, sometimes a really large, bulky item might be slightly damp. But that is the exception rather than the rule.)
These dryer balls are made from 100% wool, made in the USA and can be reused for years.
Be sure to stop by The Willow Store and check them out. They also come in a variety of color-safe varieties.
Want a Chance to Win Some?
A blessed Purposeful Homemaking reader has the chance to win a set of three dryer balls! Enter the Rafflecopter here. Have fun!
Update: For more reviews on products from the Willow Store, please click here.
Disclosure: I received product from The Willow Store in exchange for a candid review. No other compensation was received.