Up until a few days ago, I’d only been brave enough to try my homemade laundry detergent and homemade dryer balls with loads of sheets and towels. It’s not that I don’t trust myself, but after last week’s tiny hiccup with the gaseous wool dryer balls, you can understand why I had been waiting to throw my whole wardrobe into a homemade cycle. As with every natural experiment I conduct, I knew there was going to be some horribly negative side effect, and I just had to wait for it to present itself. After the passing of the gassy blue wool balls, I knew I had landed safely away from the smelly and the nasty. At least I hoped so, but I had to press on anyway. Despite turning my underpants inside out, Febreezing the pits of my shirts, and wearing sweatpants and a blazer to work several times, I eventually did run out of clean clothes.
With much trepidation, I did a load of laundry that contained more or less everything in my wardrobe. The wash cycle was a huge success, but I wasn’t fazed; I still had to deal with the dryer balls that smelled like….well, you know. Luckily, the purple dryer balls didn’t seem to present signs of gas, so I only used those and set the odorous blue ones to the side (probably never to be touched again, regardless of how their open-air recovery goes). Lo and behold, my clothes came out of the dryer fresh and clean and without any lingering intestinal air scent! I know it may not sound like much, but I’m going to take it as a win. For even more freshness, I’m going to add a few drops of essential oils to my yarn balls next time.
The second plus for dryer balls – aside from sustainability – is that they are supposed to drastically cut down on drying time. Unfortunately, I have no conclusive evidence of that at this time, but I plan to conduct one of my good, old-fashioned, not-at-all-doomed-to-fail experiments to test this theory, so there’s more to come on that front. But, in the meantime, I’ve found an even better way to cut down on dryer time – something still cheaper than dryer sheets and more sustainable than yarn balls: Air.
That’s right, I’ve gone 100% old-fashioned, grandma’s podunk backyard and hung a clothes line. I put two on our back porch and strung one down the basement, in case of rain…or winter. Of course, nothing’s as soft as the dryer, so everything comes off the line stiff as a board – especially towels – but after dealing with No Poo hair and homemade deodorant, wooden laundry is a cake walk. So far, I love air drying – I just can’t wait for summertime, so my clothes will have that sun and cut-grass scent! At first I did feel a little exposed with all my unmentionables flapping in the breeze for the entire alley to see, but as Albert Einstein said, “Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, showing off your bagged underpants from Target comes easy.”