7 Reasons Why You Should Reconsider Dryer Sheets

Dryer Sheets are big business. The real question is, however, do you really need them?

It isn’t a silly question to ask, “what exactly are drying sheets doing or accomplishing?” Using dryer sheets has become a rapid for some and even viewed as a traditional part of the cleaning process for others. Yet, the fact remains that dryer sheets actually do nothing in terms of cleaning clothes. The marketed benefit of dryer sheets mostly seems to boil down to the fact that they can make clothing “smell better” and reduce wrinkling, but this is definitely open to argument.

1. Do Your Clothes Really Smell Better? Some Say No.

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In terms of making clothing smell better that is of course a matter of opinion and preference. For those with chemical sensitivities, the chemical fragrances used in dryer sheets are definitely not a welcomed scent.

In fact you might be surprised how many people would prefer the scent of laundry hung on a clothesline dried in the sun, over the smell of clothes dried with dryer sheets.

2. Dryer Vents and Chemicals

laundromat-708176_960_720Recently, a University of Washington study concluded that scented products were actually emitting a range of dangerous chemicals from dryer vents. It would seem that scented dryer sheets and other laundry products are actually bad for the environment. The news gets worse, as some of the chemicals emitted were actually known carcinogens.

Researchers have discovered that dryer sheets do in fact contain toxic and hazardous chemicals. Anne Steinemann, a civil and environmental engineer at the University of Washington noted that the exhaust coming out of a laundry machine is in no way regulated and that is very bad for the environment.

The bottom line is that the toxic emissions created by dryer sheets and other laundry products are in no way regulated. Most consumers do not even realize that the issue is a serious problem.

3. Dryer Sheets Raise Your Carbon Footprint

chemicalsDryer sheets take energy to produce and that increases one’s carbon footprint. A range of chemicals are used to produce dryer sheets and once again the production of these chemicals serves to increase one’s carbon footprint.

Even if there was no associated health risks or air quality risks, dryer sheets would still be an unnecessary use of energy and manufacturing resources. Many could go as far as to state that dryer sheets are a gimmick that don’t serve any true purpose. But again, this is open for debate.

4. Air Pollution Concerns

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The research is mounting that dryer sheets are bad for humans and bad for the environment. Simply stated, dryer sheets contribute to air pollution and yet are unregulated and largely overlooked by consumers. For decades, consumers have used dryer sheets almost on “auto pilot” without thinking about the environmental or health consequences. A key reason for this is that dryer sheets, like many products, have made their way into the “cleanliness sphere.”

Most of us feel that if a product is a cleaning product that it must be safe because being clean is, after all, good. However, many laundry and cleaning products are in fact loaded with harmful chemicals. Quite often the chemicals contained in these products are not even listed on the ingredients; this of course makes the entire process a rather confusing one. What should you as a consumer do?

5. Dryer Sheets are Not Necessary for Cleaning

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Dryer sheets are not a life essential. Worst scientists and researchers have shown that dryer sheets are harmful for people and the environment alike. Dryer sheets are a subtle route to increasing one’s carbon footprint. Your best move is to simply stop using dryer sheets.

Chemicals emitted from dryer sheets and other laundry products may in fact be dangerous. The chemicals contained on these products can be absorbed into your skin and could be very problematic when breathed.

6. Send a Consumer Message

Most of us don’t think too much about our laundry exhaust, but we should. Our laundry exhaust is not like our car exhaust. Laundry exhaust is not regulated in any way, shape or form and until recently this exhaust has received precious little research or attention.

Not buying dryer sheets or chemical based laundry or cleaning products is a way for you as a consumer to send a very powerful message about the kind of products you want. When you skip the laundry sheets, you are doing the planet a big favor, while at the same time protecting your health and the health of your family.

7. Dryer Sheets are an Unnecessary Expenditure 

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Finally, there is the economic side of dryer sheets. It can be argued that dryer sheets have, at best minimal value. Many people feel that there is no real reason to use dryer sheets and that they are a waste of money. Added up over the number of loads of laundry that you do in your lifetime, the final cost of using dryer sheets can be significant.

Spending $10 or $20 a year on dryer sheets may not seem like much. But added up over the years, they amount to hundreds of dollars. That means you’re spending hundreds of dollars on a product that may actually be damaging your health and the planet.

It is important to keep in mind that there are safer alternatives for those looking for static guard protection such as all-natural wool dryer balls.

In the end, the so-called “little” decisions do in fact matter. Dryer sheets contribute to landfill waste, pollute the water, pollute the air and may expose you and your family to carciogenic compounds.

So go ahead and say goodbye to the dryer sheets. You’ll be glad you did.

 

 

Posted by September 20, 2016 at 3:31 PM under Clotheslines and Laundry

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