Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A greener way to care for your clothes

Hi everyone! Fancy here!

Fabric softener sheets are evil. Really. They are. They are toxic. Check out some of the ingerdients that can be found on a box: alpha-terpineol, benzyl acetate, camphor, benzyl alcohol, limonene, ethyl acetate, pentane, and chloroform. Who wants that on their clothes, next to their skin, in the air they breathe??

They are also very wasteful. They cannot be thrown into the recycling bins or green bins here in Toronto, so into the landfills they go. They can only be used once, so you always need more. That of course means more energy consuming and transportation. In every way, these innocent little sheets are not a good thing for our world, or the people in it.

But, soft static free clothing is so nice. It really is. Ummm....

So, some tips to have softer, static free clothes without the evil sheets:

1) Do not dry your clothes 100%. Clothing only gets static when it is fully dry. If you pull it out of the drier and hang it when there is just a tiny bit of moisture, you should reduce static.

2) Try throwing some tennis balls in the dryer. The bounce around separating and softening clothes, and seem to make clothes dry quicker as well.

3) Give your clothes a good shake before and after you dry them, to soften them up without wrinkling.

4) (My favorite, because I like to buy things...and feel better about my shopping addiction when I use it for good forces!!) Buy some reusable alternatives. I use a combination of Dryer Balls and Static Sheets. The blue nubby balls (I use 2 at a time, and they come in 2 packs for about $20) make my clothing super soft, and also dramatically decrease drying time. They are also fun to watch fly across the laundry room (with my cat chasing after them) when I open the dryer. The sheets do a good job of controlling static. I use 2 of these as well, which put me out about $17. The two combined are perfect!! If you are Toronto, you can get these products at The Big Carrot or Grass Roots , otherwise, try Ebay or the links above.

P.S. The sheets last 500 loads! The balls, about 1000 loads! $40, and your fabric softener needs are met for years!


Francisca said...

I love the blog :D I am going to link it. :D

C. K. said...

fantastic idea, fancy! I had to take a sneak peek anyway while I'm in taiwan.

C said...

Great idea about the tennis balls. We use two golf balls, but they sometimes make a clanging noise! LOL! We mostly hang our clothes to dry. I like the way the clothes smell fresh off the line. It uses less energy as well. In the winter, I have a fold up clothes hanger thingy that I keep in our greenhouse.

If you're in a hurry, you can partially dry your clothes in the dryer and then hang them. My MIL does that.

I'm totally lovin' your posts, Fancy! Awesome stuff! xoxo

Karen MEG said...

Great tips! I actually hate using the dryer, but it's a must obviously for the amount of laundry I do. I tend to hang dry all the big items, like towels, heavier items. Even though they get stiff.
And if I'm doing shirts, I'll take them almost dry put on hangers ...less to iron.
That tennis ball trick is neat!

Fancy said...

Thanx all. Hi C.K., glad to see you!!

C, I used to hang a lot more of my clothes, but now I dry most of it except the things that need to be hung. Laundry is just too overwhelming for me as it is.

Karen, I also hang skirts to dry right on the hangers, as well as slacks.

C said...

Hi Fancy and CK!
Fancy, when we have students with us, I end up doing 6-8 loads of laundry a week! :( It's quite sickening, but the kids need clean clothes. Urgh.

Hubby used to have to do his laundry with the old fashioned wringer/washer when he was a kid! LOL! IMAGINE??? OMG!

I've switched to using cold water instead of warm or hot, but I recently heard on a radio talk show that you need to use hot water sometimes because if you use only cold water all the time, you can get build up on the drains (?). I don't know if this is correct or not, but that's what one listener said on the show.

I do use our dryer far more in the winter than in the summer. Sometimes you've just got to. Laundry has never been one of my favourite chores.

Looking forward to more of your great tips! Seriously, I'm totally lovin' this blog! xo

Fancy said...

I never said I had too much laundry, I said I find it overwhelming. Not the amount, just the need to always have clean clothes when need them. I do 3-4 loads a week, so it is not that much...but when we need it, we need it, and I am not very proactive with getting it done before I must. Also, I lke the way my clothes come out from the dryer far more. Jeans fit snugger, sweaters get their shape back better, everything feels softer. I was clear from the start, I wont be so green that I find it a scarifice or inconvenience! I am about finding ways to be greener and stay true to myself, and having clothes that look and feels the way I like is a big part of that!

I always use cold water, except on linens if someone has been sick. I wonder if it is a problem, somthing to look into.

I hang all my skirts, and towels.

C said...

Jeans fit snugger, sweaters get their shape back better, everything feels softer. So true! I agree! The one thing I don't like about hanging clothes out to dry is the "crunchy" and stiff feel. Not to mention that their shape kind of goes all wonky sometimes.

Even when it's just Hubby and me (and no students), I still hate doing laundry. I don't know why, but would just rather be doing other things than laundry! Actually, I find almost all forms of housework overwhelming! LOL!

Good idea about using hot water on linens when someone has been sick. A friend of mine won't use cold water because he feels it doesn't kill the germs.

Daisy said...

I'd seen the dryer balls before, but I'd never seen the sheets. Honestly, I'd never even considered dryer sheets until just now, but you make a good point! I guess I'm off to Linens N Things now to see if I can find some new supplies!

C. K. said...

Oh I'm stuck with the laundromat myself since I don't have a washer/dryer in my rental apartment. I try not to wash too much, but Fancy got the point - I always have the need for clean clothes. It's an addiction. I guess I'll have to start keeping less clothes instead of having so much clothes to wash all the time.