Greening Up My Act

Sounds Dirty, Isn't: Wool Dryer Balls

April 18, 2023 Kat Cox & Tiffany Verbeck Episode 5
Greening Up My Act
Sounds Dirty, Isn't: Wool Dryer Balls
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

This week on your favorite green living podcast, Tiff & Kat talk about wool dryer balls to replace dryer sheets. Find out what makes a good wool dryer ball (hint: it's the sheep) and how to use them (hint: you throw them in the dryer). Another hint: go listen to episode 4 about homemade laundry detergent first to complete your set!

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What We Bought
Wool dryer balls

What We Mentioned


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Hello, hello. Welcome. Are you sick? How are you sick? Get greeting up. My act is literally green this week from our noses. That's our vomit. We're just all green green at the gills. This is why we do this remotely. It's weird that we both got sick at the same time because it's not like we gave it to each other. I know that's what everybody that I've even, like all my friends and everybody across the country are like, is it transmissible over, like, over the airwaves? Or what? Where should we get this? Yeah, but I mean, it's probably a good thing because we're talking about cleaning products this season. So that's maybe 100% And my Yeah, I present. Sickness delightful. Well, yeah, so my voice might sound like garbage. Yeah, I'm, I'm going for a real Husky jazz singer in a smoky club this week. That's my, it's a lot of vocals for that thing, you know, alto tunes would be fine. There you go. Well, yeah. Welcome to greening up my act. Welcome to the show. Where me Kat Cox, and you, Tiffany verbeck. Go over at me all of the things that we can do in our home lives to be more sustainable eco friendly, not break the bank and actually do their jobs. Yeah, but it also be like eco friendly for real not Yeah, like not green thing we are and then all the products are junk. It's not marketing. It's truth. Yes. What we're looking for the green truth. Yeah, we are marketing writers. So we understand. Marketing. Exactly. And even we are fooled by it so often, often. Yes. So do not feel like it's your fault. Because they're really good at it. They are they come up with lots of great words like natural and biodegradable, which we all know now means nothing. Well, yeah, if you've listened to our previous episodes, which you should do if you're coming in on this one, because this they're kind of a set. So episode six was about homemade laundry detergent, which will throw your reset for was it episode four? Yeah. What episode Am I on? Five? Oh, okay. So you just start Oh, no. Okay. Yes. So episode four. You're correct. I'm like, how far into the season? Are we? Am I on a DayQuil? Like differently? What's going on? Yes, Episode Five. We are on right now because we are going into to continue our laundry trend. Wool dryer balls. Yes, but and if you don't have time to listen to the homemade laundry detergent episode. We have posted some things on Instagram with some recipes. You're very, very happy to see those. Yeah, go check it out. So but before we get started on wool dryer balls, I don't know why that name is. It's It's hilarious. I mean, before I go into this week's wool dryer balls episode, I want to list the sources that we used to inform our show today. So big one was Green Living We also found a drying rack on Amazon taught us about tumble dry. We use Scientific American to learn more about greener laundry. We got some facts about washers and dryers and their energy usage from green And then regarding the wool, we looked into and organic We also have a bit of stuff from spruce the and National Geographics green guide which neither of us owns but we're considering getting yeah, there's we also have some stuff from Target. So we have some products and products why I think target is the easiest to look at. I don't know why I could also look at like Walmart but yeah, well yeah, we could talk about who to buy from also that's well yeah. Yeah. But anyway, so wool dryer balls. Here we go beyond their funny name. I and you both probably dry our clothes completely backwards, which we'll get into at the end of the episode but drying your clothes. Like it's it's a magnificent machine, the dryer. It does. What hanging your clothes outside can do in a day in about an hour. You know, depending on how much soap you've used and what right kind of clothing you're drying or sheets or towels etc. But we use dryer sheets usually or fabric softener and those are disposable. You know, you just throw a dryer sheet away. I mean, sometimes I use it to like, wipe my TV or my computer screen to get the static off or something. It's really good static free cleaning device. FYI, if you are using dryer sheets, you can use them to dust. But you can also use them like two times or three times. Yeah, you don't just have to have one and done them. But they're still disposable. So it kind of feels kind of gross. But along come these wool dryer balls, which are these baseball sized wool balls, that you've thrown your dryer instead of dryer sheets, and you've reused them. So I like this because it's something that I keep around for years and years instead of just throwing away or replacing, right? Yes. And I think we both kind of heard about them were kind of like will do their work. But let's just just give away the ending here. Yes, they do. They do. Yes. We both use them and have for a long time. Yes. And they live in the dryer. Like I don't even take them out and put them back in their little storage bag. They're just the same dryer. Yeah. And so they work that the only issue is static cling in the winter. That's the one thing where dryer sheets do help. Again, they're anti static. But if you don't overdraw your clothes, which you shouldn't be doing anyway, that can help with static clean, right? Because, yeah, when you the more you dry them, the drier they get, and the more static they have. It's science. It makes so much sense because I accidentally dried one set of clothes twice. Well, I didn't do it. My husband did it. But it's fine. No, but they got dried twice. And the dog fur was just, it was like electric charge. Yes. And it was like I basically was wearing a shirt that would might as well have been a fur shirt. I was like, Oh my god. So they were like super dried and super, super staticky. Yeah. Yeah, so that is the only issue but you can also fix static cling by adding a quarter cup of white vinegar to your wash cycle. or hang dry synthetic clothing. That's according to Nagios green guide. So you can hang this stuff up to dry since it you know, it's synthetic. It doesn't take as long to dry as cotton or other things. You know, I mean, that's what they say, right? When you're out in the wilderness. If you're gonna get wet, you want synthetic or wool? Because cotton kills because it takes so long to dry. Okay, it does make sense. So you're saying if I have like, workout clothes, hang those up. Don't put them in the dryer. And then you can avoid a lot of static clean. Yeah. So interesting. Yeah. Also, I think it's it extends the life of your does I usually Yeah, I try to do it. I don't always sometimes I'm just like, this week, I was sick. And I was like, forget it. Yeah. throwing everything goes in the dryer. Yeah. Well, and so there's something to be said for also, like, I feel like clothes that get dried in the dryer. Feel more sanitized? Because I use reusable period panties. And I do dry those just because it helps with the stink. Just the sanity, sanitation. I know you're not supposed to. So gross. I know. Well, we're gonna have a whole episode on that too. So right, right, right. Clutch those pearls. It's human humans. Interior humans. Yes. 51% of the population. But yeah, also. So washers and dryers are big energy suckers. It ends up that they use 5% of the energy in your home. Whoa, yeah. Which is a big chunk that is big. For one dumb machine. Yeah. And so another reason that these dryer balls are better than fabric sheets is that they don't build up residue in your dryer which can make your dryer less efficient over time. So added bonus, not only are you not throwing dryer sheets away, you're also not ruining the efficiency have one of the big energy suckers in your house. Okay, that's really interesting. Yeah, it also helps to keep fabric separated because Okay, so you get about six balls in a bag. And they kind of bounce around the dryer. What you don't hear Do you think it'd be loud? It's not Yeah, but it really soft. Yeah, it separates the clothes. So it keeps it speeds up drying time because there's more surface area available and more air circulating between things. And it also helps to pick up dog hair and lint on your clothes. Yes, it does actually do that. My clothes. I have a dog and she is like might as well have dust for hair. Everywhere. Yeah, we call my dog Pigpen because when he shakes he just has this cloud of fur But you've uh, yeah, they do actually like you can look at my dryer balls and they just have fur in them. Have you ever cleaned yours? No, the dryer balls? Yeah, no, I didn't know you could do that. I don't know how that might be research. I've never clean them. I didn't think you needed to. But now these days, I've had mine for like, literally three years. Yeah, me too. And I've never cleaned them. I mean, hey, they're in the dryer. They're getting sanitized, right. They're all hot. burnt to a crisp. Yeah, I feel like the I mean, they just help the lint trap catch things. Yeah. Yeah, I'm a big fan. The only problem? And yeah, you might get into this mine. My one of my balls is starting to unravel. Yeah, but it's even still fine. Like it's not fully unraveled in any way, shape, or form. And it's been months. So it's just like a little part of it. Yeah. And I definitely have had dryer balls go missing in like a study or something. You can do it with five dryer balls. You don't need all of them. And there's my dog barking in the background if you can. Like they call me pig pin on national air. Rude. He's protecting me from the Amazon delivery guy on gnl. Someone has to Yeah, but yeah. So they they're very, very useful. Again, yeah, the static cling they is one of the issues they do last a long time. Like you were saying you've had them for about three years, and you haven't had any maintenance issues except one starting to unravel. And the other thing is, yeah, they get caught in like your those tricky, tricky, fitted sheets that just collect everything into them. They tend to I tend to find a lot of dryer balls in there. But yeah, there is a little bit of maintenance. Not maintenance, but what's served for them. Yeah, sort of, like administration of them. Like where are they go? Yeah, I just keep them in the dryer just thrown right back in. And they're ready to go for the next use. So there's they supposed to last for 1000 loads? Oh, so a box of 250 dryer sheets cost $10. That's using our target research. So the dryer balls are about the same cost. That's Amazon. But again, 250 versus 1000. Wow. So that same cost, but like four times the least. Wow. That's pretty cool. Like you and I, I've how many loads of laundry do I do in a year? Right? Like, I probably do. This is a box of dryer dryer sheets actually last me like three years? I don't think so. No way. There's no way. That's probably a year, maybe less? Yeah, I would think so. Especially if you have a child. Yeah, probably last year, about four days. So yeah, these are worth it. So they work. They're great. They're cost efficient. But the big question, are they eco friendly? Ooh, curious. Yes. Here's the big question. So the green living detective green living A direct quote here most of the sustainably made 100% organic wool dryer balls are currently coming out of New Zealand. So the environmental shipping costs will be a bit high. Okay, there's that? Well, especially if you're not located in New Zealand, yes. Or Australia, I assume even to get to Australia, it's it's probably prohibitive. But compared to dryer sheets, though, they are eco friendly. According to Scientific American, the toxic chemicals and dryer sheets and fabric softener that have been linked to cancers, nervous system disorders, respiratory issues, etc. are because of the fragrances. Oh, yeah, that's not surprising. Yeah. Also, dryer sheets are worse than liquid fabric softener because they release chemicals into the air when they get heated up. What? Yeah, I had no idea. Also liquid, I think liquid fabric software gets activated by heating up in the dryer two. So it may just be that it's not released into the air as much. This is If you must use a fabric softener. We're going to we're going to hype seven generations natural lavender scent fabric softener, or ecovers natural fabric softener according to Scientific American. Oh, so they recommend those two, they recommend those two. Okay. And those are put in the wash fabrics. Honestly, never ever have use fabric softener. And I don't know if that's a fault or what? It's I mean, that's what dryer sheets. Do. They're the same thing. Yeah, yeah. So I guess that's one thing. It's like wool balls won't make your, your clothes like softer, right? Because I guess that's what I mean fabric softener would soften well. Again, it's a residue building up in your clothes and like we talked about with our our Greenlaw laundry detergent. Like any residue, you add your clothes, you got to strip them down at the end anyway, so Yes, totally. So over time, you're gonna have a lot more crap in your clothes. It doesn't need to be there. Exactly. And you can feel it too. Like I'll use fabric softener. It's like It's like like silk film. Yeah, but like soaking in a bad way. Yeah. Not not a natural, natural way. Yeah. The other thing Scientific American recommended was Maddox static eliminator. Oh, what's that? Very good question. It's, I believe it's also an additive you put into your blue. It's a reusable dryer sheet. There we go. Oh, wow. Yeah. That's kind of cool. That would be kind of cool to try. Yeah. It gets a B plus from Ew, G. Doc. That's not terrible. Yeah. That's noble. Yeah. Maybe not noble? What's the word? Yeah, it's fine. It's good. Yeah, it's but it's made of polyester and nylon. Okay, so that that could be right. Probably the, it's not green certified. So that's probably why they don't love it. 100%. But yeah, so it's reusable. Again, but again, we're back to the wool. According to our friends at I believe this is green living detective, or wait, no, this might be But roughly 50% of wolves carbon footprint and comes from the sheep themselves, whereas other fabrics have larger emissions from their production processes. So sheep shipping the issue with the sustainability impact or ecological impact of wool is they release methane like cows. Okay, that makes sense. But they use less energy and have a smaller carbon footprint than other textiles. Especially the synthetics. Okay. So nice. That's good to know. Well, especially this is talking is that specifically talking about organic stuff or? Because some like wool, that isn't great, but yeah, I, again, the sheep, no matter what the sheep are going to be the problem. Whether it's right or otherwise, yeah. But they also don't shed microplastics I mean, obviously, because, you know, wool isn't made of microplastics Oh, right. Right. Right. Right. I think that the sheep and I was like, Do cows. Just our robot cow friends? Me shedding microplastics. Poor turtles like something's wrong with that cow, Mommy, you know? Yeah. Some wool that is dyed. Can can be toxic. The dyes can be toxic, toxic, but most dryer balls are natural cream or gray color. They're not dyed. Because why would you dye them? There's no reason. Yeah, well, if you feel like people die, we'll just make it pretty. Right? I mean, or bleach only reason. And I think it's pretty odd. It's Oh, it's so funny. But another thing 2018 PETA came out with a video showing a cruel practice called amusing. painful for the sheep. Okay, I have heard about this. Yeah. What is? Do you know what it is? I don't know. But I think I remember hearing that. It's like they cut cut the wool too close to the skin or something. Oh, okay. Apparently, it's purposefully they cut crescent shaped flaps of skin around a lamb's tail end. Using sharp shears. The resulting wound when healed creates an area of bare stretch scar tissue, I guess so that they can have a place to shave around. Oh, okay. I know something cutting but yeah. Well, that's horrible. It's illegal in New Zealand now. Okay, good. It's legal in Australia. Legally. Yeah. Interesting. Yeah. You can look it up for non mules, wool products. Okay, organic wolf in the US. But in the US too. It's banned. So you know, okay, practice here. So you're safe if you get your wool balls from New Zealand or the USA if you get them from the US might be a little more expensive. But you're not you know, shipping in Yeah, so totally. We have sheep on the farm just write down. We can actually see the sheep in the in the winter or this summer. Are we going to DIY dryer balls from your you know, I might just have to sneak over there in the middle of night and cuts them off. Awesome. Can I do? I don't know how to process well, it would just be like a fluff of dirty. Yum. Okay, so no DIY dryer balls. Yeah. Well, organic wool is legitimate. Because to be organically certified. You cannot dip the sheep's and as insecticides. People do that. Yeah, they do. That's so rough. I mean, fleas and things are a problem, I guess. Yeah. And the sheep also have to have constant access to the outdoors, and must be kept inside during bad weather. So the sheep are healthier and happier. Good. Yeah. That's nice. And following up mules. Yeah. Yeah, that's what I was wondering if we're good Anik farms could still do that, but we might not know how to answer. Yeah. Poor research. Oh, no, it's I think I did this. It was like, a year and a half ago. Yeah. Yeah. It's you're stepping in and doing great. Thank you. Well, that's cool. I use them too. And I love them. I'm glad to know this isn't really good marketing. No, this they're really great. Actually, it is good marketing, because they're good. Yeah. Like affiliate marketing is fine. But yeah, marketing is fine. Yep. And on our rating of one to five granolas. Because the crunchy or the better, because we are happy to be green eco friendly people here. It got a crunchy, which is four out of five. So that's yeah, that's pretty good. I would agree, if not five out of five. But I guess it's the wool. Well, it's the shipping issues and the carbon carbon footprint from shipping and the sheep themselves. Yeah, it makes sense. Yeah. Get your wool balls from us or New Zealand and find organic wool when you can. Yeah. And we will link in the show notes. Like some good options. Yeah. The ones we use perhaps? Yeah, I don't remember. But I think you I think you can buy them like in the grocery store now, too. They just have that sounds right. It's hard to know. And it shouldn't say on the package where they come from. Yeah. Right. Yeah. I know minded because I do remember. I don't know, I know it should say it should say but but caveat. Your best option. Just don't use the dryer Donta and a drying rack, which we also link to there. What $10 On Amazon $15. They're made of like wood or bamboo. They fold up and they store but you can really pile them on with clothes so you can do a whole load on a single drying rack. I've had mine a long time one of the dowels has fallen off, but I still use it to dry my underwear and stuff. I also just have a curtain rod hung above my washer dryer. And I just throw aren't my underwear and stuff up there to dry. That's really smart. Yeah, kind of, you know, my poor roommate when he goes through a load of laundry. I've left my chonies up there for two weeks, but whatever. Not the worst thing he's ever seen. Right? But you can get on Facebook marketplace for like $1 Yeah, it doesn't need to be fancy. Yeah, mine is like pretty junky. Actually. Yeah, I've had it for probably five years. Yeah, you can just store it right next to the dryer. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, they're pretty great. I use it for all of my, basically when I have a load, that's way too small, even bother in the dryer, or for my athletic clothes when I'm feeling up for it. Yeah, when I'm not sick. And then another thing I wanted to point out, which I don't know, it was in your notes, but sometimes when I dry stuff hanging, it can get like really crunchy. Yeah, terrible. Yeah. And if you throw it in the dryer for like five minutes, it's basically good as new. Right? So that is another option. Yeah. So at least it's like not 40 minutes of drying time, right? Yeah, cut down on it. I mean, that's a great idea. And also, okay, and this is the thing I didn't know and you taught me. Tumble dry means to dry without heat. Yes, I remember learning that while I was researching and in my mind was absolutely blown. Like what it makes sense if you think about it. Yeah. So I've been drying my clothes on like sanitize me heat settings when like, no, they're just supposed to be air. Air dried. So wait, have you tried the tumble setting? No, not this week. I will not. I mean? I do. I do want to dry my sheets and towels just because they take forever but tumble dry? Because you always hear Tumble dry low, right? Yeah. So for my clothes. Why not? No heat. Wow, I don't I really don't believe that. That works. But I want to try it. This sounds like this sounds like a tick tock coming homework assignment. Yeah, our Instagram real this will be to work. We're like, nope, the t shirt is still wet. Four hours of tumble dry. I think we use four times as much energy. Yeah. Yeah. I sat by the dryer the whole time. That's so yeah, that's funny, because you said the heat is the problem with the dryer because that takes a lot of energy. So if you're just sort of using a mechanism to spin stuff around if it works, then Wow, that's fascinating. Okay, well, we'll that's our homework. Yeah, quit drying your clothes to a crisp. Yes. Yes, definitely do. Quit microwaving your clothes. That's dryer balls. desiccating your clothes. That word. If you're gonna do that, just put it in the oven. Yeah, exactly. What are the toaster? Toaster socks? No Don't Don't please don't cut. Oh my gosh, please don't Alright, So that was vulvar balls. Thank you. Thank you for doing all that. Reading on my research. Thank you for doing the research. It was really good. I mean, it's, it's the the wool is the thing that you know, you always wonder, okay, it sounds like a better idea because I'm not throwing stuff away. But am I really hurting the environment more? Right? In this one? No, not really. Yeah. And there's always gonna be trade offs. But yeah, you just kind of do what you can and make the best choices available. Exactly. Awesome. Thank you. Yeah. So what's next week? Next week, we are talking about green bleach and sun bleaching, which is my new favorite thing. Who I know, Sun bleaching is if you've never heard of it, it is what it sounds like. And it's the coolest thing ever. Awesome. I want to hear more about this. I know you better be excited. Go ahead. I was gonna say we have an email address now. So if you want to send us a question or a comment, we are greening up my Yes. And I would love to hear from anybody if they have stuff they want to learn about. Yeah, they're like, man, I've always wondered this. I mean, we have like 15 seasons worth of material but Right. Yeah, but always add something and we will prioritize your quest. Absolutely. Cool. All right. Well, thank you, Tiffany. Thank you, Kat. And see you next week. Okay, bye.

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