DIY Dryer Balls

Dryer Balls

I’ve been wanting to stop using dryer sheets for a while now.  I have read too many articles that make me wonder if they are really toxic to our health, (and our appliance repair friend doesn’t think they are so hot either) so I promised myself that I would not longer buy any dryer sheets, that instead I would actually make the pin from pinterest I bookmarked so long ago.  It took about a week of being out of dryer sheets for me to get my act together, but I finally did it.

Materials:
100 % Wool Yarn Machine Washable.  I found it at Hobby Lobby.  (With coupon less than $5)
Scissors
Thin Old Sock or Pantyhose
A Small Crochet Hook
Optional: Essential Oils for scent

You begin by winding a bit of the yarn around two fingers.  About 10 times or so.  Then pull the yarn off your fingers and wrap around the yarn in the opposite direction, (so it makes kind of a cross).  You then just keep wrapping in different directions to make a ball of yarn.  Once your ball is the size you want it,  (Mine was almost tennis ball sized) cut the yarn leaving a few inches and use your crochet hook to pull the end of the yarn into the ball.  Repeat until you have as many dryer balls as you want or you run out of yarn.  My yarn made two almost tennis ball sized balls and one smaller ball.  Put your yarn balls in a pair of pantyhose or a thin, old sock.  (I used one thin old sock per ball, because I just don’t do pantyhose). Be sure if you use pantyhose to tie string or rubber band in between the yarn balls so they don’t touch.  You don’t want them to felt together.  Run the yarn balls through the wash on an HOT water load.  I through them in with the towels.  Then let them get transferred to the dryer.  I ran mine through the washer and dryer twice.  Then I took them out and started using them straight away.  I wanted to scent them with a few drops of lavender essential oil, but I was out so I used two drops of geranium oil on each.  Mine don’t look exactly like the picture, but they seem to be working. They are a bit noisy than dryer sheets, but if they are less toxic than dryer sheets I don’t mind so much.

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A Journey in Making Your Own Household Products- Bug Spray

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I live in the great state of Texas where we have mosquitos the size of golfballs. When I first had my son I decided fairly quickly that I didn’t want to use anymore chemical crap on him than absolutely necessary so I looked into making my own bug spray. I looked over some recipes online and decided to try this one from Jenae at Icanteachmychild.com  http://www.icanteachmychild.com/make-it-natural-mosquito-spray/  I altered it a little and this is the formula I came up with:

BUG SPRAY

a bottle of Witch Hazel
12-15 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil
12-15 drops Citronella Essential Oil
12-15 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
15-20 drops of Lavender Essential Oil (or a few more to make the smell tolerable)

I recommend using gloves when handling essential oils to avoid getting any excess oils on your hands (I promise you do not want to walk around for the day smelling like citronella).  Mix the ingredients listed above in a glass container and pour the mixture into a METAL or GLASS spray bottle(s). Essential Oils can eat through plastic over time so I alwaysrecommend using metal or glass.

CAUTION:  This formula is Not recommended for use in babies under 6 months old!  There is little research of essential oil use on babies and children so it is best to use your own judgement and do your own research to decide if you feel comfortable using essential oils on yourself or your child.  Lavender, Tea Tree and Citronella Essential Oils are generally regarded as safe for babies 6 months and older. Lemongrass is generally regarded as safe for children 2 and up.  I always recommend to test the product on an adult first (um, that would be you) before use on a child. I also recommend to do a patch test of the product on any new users by testing the product on a small area of skin before slathering it on your whole body, you know, just in case.

General Safety:

  • Keep out of reach of children and pets
  • If swallowed immediately contact poison control and do not try to induce vomiting.
  • If product gets in eyes flush with milk than water
  • Keep away from heat 
  • Do not leave in direct sunlight

For more safety tips go to https://www.naha.org/explore-aromatherapy/safety/#general

Find Essential Oils at:

Mountain Rose Herbs

Disclaimer: All information on this blog is for educational and informational purposes only.  The statements/products on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA or any other organization.  Products and/or information are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any diseases.  Readers are advised to do their own research and make their own decisions and refer to their own healthcare provider regarding anything health related.

 

FTC disclosure:  I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement/recommendation/testimonial and or link to retail products in this article to support my blogging habit.  I will never link to a retail provider I have not used.  I will only link to providers I would personally recommend

A Journey in Making Your Own Household Products- Laundry Soap

My husband and I are hippies at heart. I also have a lot of skin allergies. I know of one laundry detergent I can use without breaking out into hives and I’m not adventurous enough to try other brands.  Because I am a hippie at heart and I love do it yourself projects I decided to look into making my own laundry detergent.  I found a recipe online and gave it a go.

My first time making the soap was disappointing.  The soap didn’t gel at all and I wondered if I had done something wrong, it did seem to get the clothes clean and I don’t like to be wasteful so I went ahead and used it.  The initial investment seemed a little pricey, but I had all the ingredients on hand and knew that if I kept using them it would be cheaper in the long run.  The second go round was much better.  The soap was more like a gel.  I was excited.  I now knew how to make my own laundry soap!  The recipe I used is the same one the Duggar family recommends.  (This is the link from their blog http://www.duggarfamilyblog.com/2011/03/duggar-recipe-liquid-laundry-soap.html)

Homemade liquid laundry soap
Ingredients: 

4 cups hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 cup washing soda
½ cup Borax
Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

Fill a five-gallon bucket half full of hot tap water (I use an empty cat litter bucket). Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (It will gel.)

Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per two gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

(Note: I definitely recommend adding some essential oils.  Tea Tree oil is great for disinfecting, but the smell is an acquired taste, so I usually combine it with another oil for yummy smell factor.  Lavender is always a good go to, but you can use which ever scent you prefer.)

I have a friend who is in appliance repair and he recommends this laundry soap recipe (that I passed along to him) to people all the time.  It is safe to use with high efficiency appliances!  Last time he came for a visit he gave a tip to help keep your high efficiency washer in tip top shape. He said to run the clean cycle on the washer religiously once a month using either countrytime lemonade or vinegar.  He says to start the clean cycle and then let the machine fill a bit with water before adding either the lemonade (about ¼ cup) or the vinegar (about 2-3 cups).

Cheers and Luck with DIY!

 

Cultivating Herbal Friendships 

FTC disclosure: I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement/recommendation/testimonial and or link to retail products in this article to support my blogging habit. I will never link to a retail provider I have not used. I will only link to providers I would personally recommend.