I was telling my best friend, Dee, that I wanted to make my own laundry detergent and she mentioned that her mom made wool dryer balls. I was like, what the heck is that? They are a natural fabric softener that do not contain all the toxic chemicals found in fabric sheets.

According to the author of The Brain Wash, following are the seven most common chemicals found in dryer sheets and their effect on the central nervous system:

  • Alpha-Terpineol causes central nervous system disorders. Can also cause loss of muscular coordination, central nervous system depression, and headache.
  • Benzyl Alcohol causes central nervous system disorders, headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, central nervous system depression, and, in severe cases, death.
  • Camphor on the US EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Central nervous system stimulant, causes dizziness, confusion, nausea, twitching muscles, and convulsions.
  • Chloroform on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Neurotoxic and carcinogenic.
  • Ethyl Acetate on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Narcotic. May cause headaches and narcosis (stupor).
  • Linalool causes central nervous system disorders. Narcotic. In studies of animals, it caused ataxic gait (loss of muscular coordination), reduced spontaneous motor activity, and depression.
  • Pentane causes headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, and loss of consciousness. Repeated inhalation of vapors causes central nervous system depression.

And why do we continue to put this garbage into our system, and worse our children’s bodies? Dee tells me the dryer balls are so easy to make and I have to ditch the fabric sheets! So I googled it and found a few tutorials. And they are easy!

You’ll need the following to make our non toxic dryer balls :

  • 2 skeins of 100% wool yarn that is non-washable
  • scissors
  • old pantyhose or socks

You begin by winding the core. Wind the yarn around two of your fingers about 10 times.


Then take the yarn off your fingers and wrap yarn around the middle 10 times.


Then just start to wrap the yarn around the core. Soon it will turn into a ball. Keep wrapping until the ball is about as big as a tennis ball.

I don’t have any pantyhose, not my thing. So I pushed each ball into a sock to the bottom. Then tie a knot so it’s snug in the sock. Wash and dry the ball in the sock. This is called felting. To make sure they hold together I would wash and dry them 3-4 times before removing them from the sock.

Two two skeins of yarn made six dryer balls. Add a drop or two of essential oil, such as lavender, citrus fresh or purification to the balls before putting them into the dryer with your clothes. I would use all 6 balls for each load.

(Click here to learn more about purchasing essential oils if you do not have them already)

As much as I need to focus on detoxing my body of the chemicals that are already in it, I also need to focus on not adding more. This natural fabric softener is a perfect solution!



  1. Roxanne

    December 21, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Hi there! I was looking at your December Daily… And wanted to ask you about the essential oils. I’ve been hearing things, but know nothing about them.
    Did you buy Ali’s kit for DD?

    • elisaingram

      December 21, 2014 at 9:32 pm

      hi roxanne! i would love to talk oils with you! i’ll send you an email, and include my phone number if you’d like to chat.
      i didn’t get the DD this year. I did last year though. i have so much in my stash from previous years, I wanted to use what I had.


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