DIY Dryer Balls

Make Your own dryer balls

If you are looking for an alternative to standard dryer sheet and fabric softeners, let me introduce you to these hard workers, the dryer balls. 

Not only are they economical, you can use the same set for years to come, they can be even nicer to your wallet if you give making your own a try. 

Dryer balls perform much of the same duties your dryer sheets do, but without coating your clothes in those pesky toxins. They improving drying times (less power used!) and soften clothes by gently bouncing off fabrics. And if you like your laundry to have a scent, you can add your favorite Young Living essential oil to them too. :)

To create your own takes two supplies and a car ride worth of time to make them. Yep, that’s right, a car ride. I like to multi-task to get things done, and I think car rides around town with the hubs and kiddos is the perfect time for these types of projects. I throw my yarn, scissors and needle in a little tote and off we go. 

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:

1 large skein of 100% wool yarn
1 pair of pantyhose
1 yarn needle (optional)

It is important that you use 100% wool yarn that is not washable. You will need your balls to felt and it won’t felt properly if you use a different material or even washable wool. I waited until a week Joann’s had a 50% off coupon, but you can get your yarn anywhere. Also, choose whatever color you like. I went with neutral, but if colors are what will help you get pumped about doing laundry then give those a go. Just make sure your selection doesn’t bleed before trying it with your laundry. 

The pantyhose will be used during the felting process. Again you can get these anywhere, but the dollar store in my area sells them and I’ve actually had great luck finding brand new pairs still in their package from Target in the overstock area of my Goodwill for .19 – .30 cents.

Now that you’ve gotten your supplies together, let’s get started making them!

Find the end of your skein and pull your yarn out. Take your yarn and wrap it around two of your fingers about 10 times. 

How to make Dryer balls step1

Now slip that off your fingers and wrap the yarn around the center of your ring a few times, so it now looks like a bow. 

How to make dryer balls step 2

Then fold your two pieces over to start the beginning form of your ball.

How to make dryer balls step 2

And start wrapping your yarn around until you get the size ball you want. 

DIY Dryer balls step 4

My balls are slightly larger than tennis balls and I have six in my dryer. I think most packs you buy come with three. I’m working under the assumption that the more you have in the dryer (within reason) the faster your clothes will dry. With a larger skein, 210 yards or so, you should be able to get 3-4 balls out of it. The size and number you decide to make is all up to you.

Once you have the size you want you will need to secure your yarn. I tie a knot and then use my yarn needle to tuck my stray end into the ball. If you don’t have a needle, you can tuck your end under a few strains of yarn and it will be fine. 

Now is when you need to pull out the panty hose. Go ahead and cut the top waistband off, leaving you with two separate legs. And then begin to fill your leg(s) with your dryer balls. After each ball you will want to tie a piece of string or a knot so that your dryer balls don’t touch. This is the process of felting and you don’t want them to felt together. 

DIY Dryer Balls step 5

Once your legs are filled, throw those babies in the washing machine with your towels. Set your washer to the hottest and longest cycle. After they have washed put them in your dryer and set it to your hottest drying setting.

When they have finished drying, check them to see if they have felted. This make take a few cycles depending on your wool. What you are looking for is the yarn to have “melted” into each other. You will know they have felted when you can no longer run your finger over the yarn and separate the individual strains. 

DIY Dryer Balls

That’s it! Now they are ready to be used! I prefer unscented laundry, but I know I’m outside the norm there, so if you like a fresh scent to your clothes, place a few drops of Young Living essential oils on your dryer balls. Citrus Fresh, Gentle Baby, Lavender, and Thieves are just a few that would leave your laundry smelling heavenly.

I leave my dryer balls in my dryer when they aren’t in use (or sometimes I find one in the sheets the next time I put them on the bed ;P). I’ve seen some people store them in pretty jars. My laundry room isn’t that fancy. Haha.

I hope you enjoy using your lovely new dryer balls!

Have you used dryer balls in the past? What’s your favorite scent to add to them?

DIY Laundry Detergent

 

Make your own laundry detergent       

I’ve been making my own laundry detergent for just shy of 2 years now and thought it was time I shared the recipe with you good folks.

A quick search of the internet and you will find blogs upon blogs with laundry detergent recipes. Mostly powder formulas or liquid formulas that contain borax. It’s strictly a personal preference here, but I don’t fancy powder varieties. Maybe I’m not using them right, maybe it’s my water, but I’m never happy with the results.

As for the borax, I like to look up all my ingredients on EWG, and borax gets a big fat rating of F. If I’m going through the effort of making detergent to reduce the toxins brought into my house, an F is not going to hack it.

And while I know there are a few good natural laundry detergents out there, Young Living has a great Thieves one, we go through A LOT of detergent around here (3 boys!) and the natural ones tend to be on the pricier side. I’d rather splurge on organic foods than stuff that literally washes down the drain. ;P

Thank goodness for Sara, over at My Merry Messy Life, sharing a recipe she had found. It’s so super easy and only calls for three ingredients.

Make your own laundry detergent

What you will need:

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Baking soda
1/2 cup Washing soda
3/4 cup Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild Liquid Soap

Supplies:
2 Gallon Bucket
Mixer
Funnel
Storage containers

Make your own laundry detergent

Take your bucket and fill the bottom of it with a couple inches of water (the temperature isn’t important). Then add your baking soda and washing soda, making sure they are completely covered by the water. If not, go ahead and add more water until they are.

I have an old hand mixer I use, but any old mixer or immersion blender will do. Mix everything until the powder has completely dissolved. This will take about 5 minutes.

Make your own laundry detergent

Now fill the bucket up the rest of the way with water. Then add the soap and gently stir it into the mix until it is well incorporated.

And now you have your laundry soap!

Make your own laundry detergent

Next step is storing it for easy use. I store ours in old juice containers that have a handle because it makes it easier to pour out later and I like to give it a little swirl each time before I use it. You might prefer an old laundry detergent bottle. You can use whatever containers make you happy. :)

I place a funnel in the container and then use a measuring cup to pour it in to each bottle until my bucket gets light enough to comfortable lift and pour directly from it. One batch fills about four juice bottles and lasts us about 2 months. I typically make a double batch because I like to make it less often. However, you will need to have space to store the extra soap, so that might not be a realistic option for everyone.

One last note, this detergent will have no scent. If you like your clothes to smell like flowers or meadows or “clean” laundry, then have fun adding and experimenting with your favorite Young Living essential oils to get the scent that you like best. Off the top of my head some good options might be Lavender, Lemon, Thieves, Purification, or Citrus Fresh. Just have fun with it!

Our Young Living Essential Oil Favorites

So what do you think? Easy enough to give it a try? If you do, come back and let us know what you think!

Homemade Deodorant

You’ve probably read that deodorant, and especially antiperspirant, contain dozens of toxic chemicals that you are putting directly on your skin and are being absorbed into your body, causing a host of hormonal problems, including a possible link to breast cancer.

Having had my own scare with a lump years ago and hearing the story of a close friend go through treatment for breast cancer, trying to limit my exposure to anything that might even casually be linked to breast cancer, or cancer in general, seems like a good idea. Not to mention, who knows what else those chemicals could be doing inside my body. No thank you!

I did the logical next step, I purchased a fairly common natural brand of deodorant from Target. I should have spent that money on a smoothie, cause it was a big, fat waste. Not only did I not smell nice as soon as I got a little hot, I had to keep washing my pits and reapplying so I wouldn’t offend myself. And really who has time for that?

I started asking around to see if others had any success with “natural” deodorant and many had given up searching after having similar experiences to mine. I got a couple positive reviews from a few brands that are out of my price range, but I didn’t bother to try them since I knew I wouldn’t be able to continue purchasing them.

Which led me to search the internet for something I could make. I came across a few recipes that had rave reviews, but too many ingredients for me to keep up with (have I mentioned I have two small boys with another on the way that keep me VERY busy?), before I came across one that seemed doable. Only it had baking soda in it and in all my searching I had come across quite a few comments that baking soda had given people rashes and raw pits, if not immediately sometimes after a few months of use. Again, who has time for that? Not me!

I ended up using that recipe, but eliminated the baking soda and modified it with the other ingredients until I came up with something I was happy with.

And I’m really, really happy with it! I’m telling you, it is so simple and it works! I’ve been using it for 9 months now and I’ve yet to stink (and I live in “summer all year” Florida!).

1 Tablespoon of organic, unrefined, cold pressed coconut oil
2 Tablespoons of arrowroot powder
1Citrus Fresh0-15 drops of Young Living essential oils to scent (I’m obsessed with Citrus Fresh and believe this has helped support healthy immune system function in my body.)

This may work even without the essential oils, but I like adding a scent when I know it’s not going to harm my body and will actually help encourage my body to work better! Can I get an AMEN?

This makes approximately two ounces of cream deodorant and seems to last me about 2 to 2-1/2 months. I store mine in a 4 oz mason jar with a plastic lid. I’ve also given them as gifts in these pretty 2 oz glass jars. It’s important to note you can use any container you want, but if you add essential oils you will need to store this in glass as the essential oils will pull the toxins out of a plastic container and then you will be smearing that on you, which sort of defeats the purpose, right?

To apply, I take a pea size amount on my finger for each pit and rub it on. Due to the coconut oil in this recipe, during the winter your deodorant will be harder and may require you to hold it to your skin for a few seconds first to warm up enough to rub on. On the three days a year it gets cold here I place my jar in front of my portable heater while getting ready.

One last note, you will want to wait a few minutes before getting dressed for it to absorb or you might get those dread white marks on your shirt. It easily wipes off with a wet rag however, and I have had no staining issues with this, or white marks after it has dried.

And that’s it. Isn’t it so easy you wonder why no one has told you this before? Please, please, try this and let me know what you think. Did it work for you?