Party In My Laundry Room

img_2273My summer of line-drying has sadly come to a close, as the dreary Portland rain can attest. My switch back to drying the modern (and energy-sucking) way means I’m trying some new ways to dry green.

Allow me to explain the cryptic photo above. Those two green pointy balls are something I discovered at my local discount grocer. They are dryer balls, a green alternative to dryer sheets. Having been disappointed with every brand of “green” dryer sheets (including Seventh Generation, which are like trying to soften your clothes with a thin piece of cardboard) I thought I’d give these babies a try. They work great! You throw them in the wash of wet clothes and they bounce around loudly amongst the clothes, softening them up and removing static without chemicals. We did find they caused some dings on the inside of the dryer so we now use them inside a pair of old socks, which seems to fluff the clothes just as well. If you like scented clothes (I don’t) these green balls won’t help you out but you can always throw in a bag of dried lavender if you must have scent on your freshly washed clothes.

The other item in the picture is exactly what it looks like – dryer lint!  Instead of throwing it in the trash I am saving every last little scrap until I have 3 full cups. Then I’m going to try this crazy recipe from Real Simple to make modeling dough out of your dryer lint. It sounds kind of gross to me (what about those long hairs that get caught up in the lint?) but I think my 2-year old will think it’s cool. With this dreary fall weather we are on the lookout for new indoor activities. I guess we’re that desperate already.

What about you? What are you doing to keep your cold weather laundry green?



  1. Mopsy said,

    October 17, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    Hate to break it to you, Beth, but those dryer balls are old hat. My 85 yr old mom has been using them for years! Just drying without any dryer sheets works just fine, too. If you don’t have many synthetic clothes, you won’t have much problem with static cling. By the way, those dryer balls work really well when drying down comforters/jackets/etc. Fluffs the down really well.
    Other alternative to the drier, if you have space, just hang your clothes up indoors. They don’t dry quite as fast, but it works well. A heated house has pretty dry air, so hanging the clothes actually adds a bit of needed humidity in the winter.
    I like the dryer lint collection idea. Sounds like a fun project. There was an article in The Oregonian years ago about an artist who used dryer lint in her art projects…

  2. October 29, 2009 at 11:33 pm


    Wow! What a thorough, honest and well written review! We linked to your excellent post on our blog, *Product Review Round-Up* under the category of Eco-Cool Goods. The link is embedded in this listing:

    Alternative to dryer sheets-spikey rubber balls! Reviewed at Everyday Just Living

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

    Happy Trails,
    Grace and Tiffany
    The Uncommon Cowgirls of

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