Dryer sheets? Do we even need a dryer? I grew up in a household where we never used dryer sheets and hung our clothes on a clothesline. My husband grew up using both.
He’s been a real champ when it comes to a lot of the things I do–like refusing to dry clothes in the dryer or demanding we use grey water to flush the toilet. (He also eats everything I cook!) Many men wouldn’t go along with my green ways. My man was green in other ways when I met him. He preferred to use the Metro in D.C. (which made me horribly nauseous) rather than drive and was the one who introduced me to the world of composting. So, I feel when we married, amateur environmentalism was born.
We’ve been nurturing this baby and watching it grow between us. It’s exciting, rewarding, and quite the challenge. I would equate it to having a child or following a religion–in extreme terms of course. I do realize raising a child is a much tougher feat!
But there are still things we argue and struggle with.
Like dryer sheets.
I see absolutely no need for them. I see no need for ever using a dryer either. My clothes rarely have static cling, and I think ironing is relaxing. My husband complains his cotton t-shirts he wears for work get stretched out and need to be shrunk so we don’t have to turn around and buy new ones. I can see his point. Constant, new t-shirts would be a lot of waste. I’ve also heard it’s good to dry sheets and towels on high heat to kill bacteria. And I do….though not every time. We haven’t died yet.
So, in an attempt to compromise, I decided to try the Bounce bar. I figured it would last longer and not have all those wasteful dryer sheets that can’t be composted. Because we rarely ever dry clothes, the thing has lasted well over a year.
The package can be recycled, unless your town won’t recycle paper board, which ours does not. I guess the thing that bothers me is that our sheets, towels, and his t-shirts are still getting chemicals in them. And the plastic when the bar is finally finished is not recyclable. Granted, they do offer refill bars, so there is no plastic after the initial purchase. But do we really NEED this? I mean, my grandparents and their grandparents lived just fine without dryer sheets or Bounce bars.
What do you think? Is it a consumer trick to make us feel “comforted” because our clothes smell “clean?” Is it cleanliness we’re actually smelling or some sort of chemical perfume that smells like rain or sunshine? Is it needed? Are dryer sheets something you’d rather not give up? Does the smell bring you fond childhood memories like it does for my husband? What can you do with them once they’ve served their purpose? Do they make compostable ones?
And my biggest qualm: is it waste?
- Why do clothes taken from a tumble dryer have static charge (wiki.answers.com)
- Ways to Reuse a Dryer Sheet and Save! (thehappyhousewife.com)
- 12 Hints for Reducing Cost of Laundry (frugalhausfrau.wordpress.com)
- Scented laundry products found to emit harmful chemicals from dryers (gizmag.com)
- Do Clothing dryer Air ducts Call for Cleaning (microphone-film.net)
- 9 Ways to Save Money on Laundry (wisebread.com)