Friday, September 6, 2013

Aluminum Foil Balls, Vinegar, and What-Not for Your Laundry

Even More Inexpensive Laundry Solutions

In an earlier post, I talked about making your own laundry soap, which is a very good money saving solution. It works well and costs pennies per load.

Now, what about those dryer sheets that end up everywhere? You know, I have literally found them in some strange places. For a non-static solution, they sure do end up sticking to fabric! Or, you could buy those expensive bottles of liquid fabric softener. I've done this and it is pricey and I still end up with some static from time to time when I pull my clothes from the dryer.

Anyway, on to the alternatives...

The first thing I tried was putting squares of scrap towels in a closed container with vinegar and my favorite essential oil. I squeezed out one of the squares and threw it in the dryer with each load and waited for the magic to happen. 

This a degree. My clothes were soft and I could sorta smell the lavender essential oil I used. However, they were filled with static. No good. 

I found another solution here. This works for softening! Clothes are soft and smell pretty good but not as strong a scent as a regular dryer sheet. I still noticed static cling though.

To be honest, my clothes having static cling is the part I most want to remedy. Soooo...back to the drawing board. Then, I found the solution I was looking for!

What you'll need:

Yup! That is it! Aluminum foil. Doesn't have to be name brand. It can be store brand.

What you'll do:

Make a ball of aluminum foil about the size of a tennis ball. It doesn't have to be a super compacted ball; just ball it up like you were throwing it away.  All you do is throw it in your dryer on top of your wet clothes. It comes out looking like the picture below. This  works like a charm! I first tried it with a load full of towels. NO static at all!! And the clothes were still soft.


This is not a fire hazard as some people may wonder. Foil is not a combustible material. Also the heat used in dryers in the indirect type of heat. No dangers. It is no more dangerous than putting zippers or metal buttons in the dryer.

You may wonder why it works. I wondered that myself. Sheryl at The Cents'able Shoppin figured it out and her blog post made sense to me. The foil itself actually becomes a conductor to attract the static. Clothes come out static free.

Sheryl also points out that dryer sheets put a film on clothes which makes them less absorbent. This film is not good for your clothing; making it wear out faster. That same film is made out of chemicals (a laundry (pardon the pun) list of them) which are not good for you. Those chemicals stay on your clothes and can and do rub off on your skin. More about those dangers here. FYI that site talks about using wool balls instead which works on the same principal.

Aluminum dryer balls can be reused over and over for about 6 months. Some say you can use them indefinitely. This makes loads (sorry...for being punny) of sense!

Whatever method you choose for an alternative to dryer sheets, enjoy the added boost to your income.


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