I grew up at a time when clothes were usually dried on a line outside and I progressed to dryer sheets later in my own home. Now, I wouldn’t think of using them. I use wool dryer balls.

So, why are dryer sheets bad?

A feature image for a blog post about why dryer sheets are bad.

There are actually several reasons to avoid using dryer sheets. I’ll fill you in on those below.

But if you want to know more about why I use wool dryer balls and where I get them, you can check out my post about eco-friendly wool dryer balls in Canada.

Now, back to why I left dryer sheets behind for an eco-friendlier way to deal with static cling from the dryer.

What Is a Dryer Sheet?

A dryer sheet is a small piece of fabric that is usually made of polyester or cellulose fibers that you place in the dryer with your load of wash.

Chemicals in Dryer Sheets

The fabric is layered with liquid softeners, lubricants, and fragrances intended to reduce static buildup on your clothes while they circulate in the dryer. If the dryer sheets are the scented kind, they will also add a scent to your clothing.

Heat Releases the Chemicals

The heat during the drying process releases the chemicals onto your clothing and coats them to create the desired effect.

They End Up in Landfills

Most dryer sheets come in a cardboard box, so no plastic jugs like fabric softeners and laundry detergents, but they are loaded with chemicals and end up in landfills and the environment.

Some people try to reuse them for dusting and other purposes around the home, but they still end up in the garbage eventually.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Dryer Sheets

There are several reasons why you shouldn’t use dryer sheets. They are definitely not as environmentally friendly as a method such as using wool dryer balls.

You can also save on your household budget when you stop using dryer sheets and go with a less disposable solution like reusable dryer balls.

Chemicals in Dryer Sheets

As I pointed out above, there are many chemicals in dryer sheets. They are there to produce the effect of less static and a fresh scent. Without them, they wouldn’t work.

And even if the dryer sheets are labeled natural or scent-free, they still have chemicals in them.

The problem is these chemicals end up on your clothing, on your skin, in the air of your home, and in the environment. It isn’t healthy for anyone or any living thing.

Dryer Sheets are Disposable

Another problem with dryer sheets is they aren’t recyclable. Even if you reuse them for dusting or cleaning the stovetop, they will eventually end up in the landfill.

Some don’t even make it to the landfill, ending up directly out in nature or in the waterways and oceans. All those chemicals end up in the environment along with the dryer sheets.

Clog the Dryer Filter

Dryer sheets can also be a bad idea for the health of your dryer. The oily residue that comes off the dryer sheet and coats your clothing can also do the same to the dryer filter.

When the filter is clogged, air won’t circulate properly. It’s recommended that if you do use these products, you clean the filter monthly to reduce the residue buildup.

Not Good for All Fabrics

Dryer sheets are also not good for all fabric types and can reduce their ability to perform as they are intended.

For example, the chemicals in dryer sheets can cause towels to lose their ability to absorb water as well. It’s not a good idea, considering that’s the job of towels in the first place.

There are Alternatives

And so, if you have concerns about using dryer sheets, you’re headed in the right direction. There are alternatives that are safer and better for the environment.

As I pointed out above, I no longer use dryer sheets and you can learn about the wool dryer balls I use by following the link to that post at the beginning of this article.

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