Green Your Life: Forget Dryer Sheets—Use a Dryer Sachet!

http://www.motherearthliving.com/Wiser-Living/green-your-life-forget-dryer-sheets-use-dryer-sachet.aspx

I recently extolled the benefits of using a clothesline, but for those times you do use the dryer, shrink your footprint by using a dryer sachet instead of disposable dryer sheets.  

Dryer sachets are sealed fabric pouches filled with dried herbs and flowers and scented with essential oils that you throw in the dryer with each load. The heat and movement from the dryer releases the fragrances from the herbs and oils, leaving leaves your clothes with a lasting, gentle aroma. My friend gave me a sachet from Prairieland Herbs scented with lavender and cedarwood, and since I’ve started using it, I’ve become a huge sachet advocate. 

laundry basket with dryer sachet 
A dryer sachet is an all-natural and sustainable substitute for disposable dryer sheets. Dryer sachets are a great way to reduce your drying footprint if using a clothesline isn’t a practical choice for you. Photo By Dani Hurst. 

Dryer sachets are a natural and sustainable substitute for dryer sheets. Unlike disposable sheets, you can use dryer sachets for multiple loads. I’ve used mine for at least five loads of laundry so far, and it still smells great and is still fragrant enough for me to continue using. Once the sachet smells faint, you can either add a few drops of the corresponding essential oil to renew its scent, or you can use it to freshen up your drawers, a hamper or even your car. Sachets are also great for people with perfume sensitivities or allergies because the contents are all natural—just herbs and essential oils. 

Although you can easily buy dryer sachets, they are very simple to make at home. 

1. Fill a cloth pouch with dried herbs and flowers. Popular choices include lavender, mint and patchouli. (You can either use a premade pouch, or you can sew two squares of cotton muslin together on three sides, leaving one side open.)

2. Customize a scent by combining the natural fragrance from the herbs with five or six drops of a complementary essential oil, such as lavender and cedarwood. Some essential oils—ginger, lavender and lemon to name a few—have natural antibacterial properties and make great sachet choices.

3. Sew the remaining side shut.

4. Throw into the dryer and enjoy!

If you find yourself swimming in used dryer sheets (from before your sachet conversion, of course), here are a few ideas for how to reuse them before you pitch them. 

• If your car smells a little too much like take-out, place a few sheets under each seat for a quick fix. You can also put them in drawers, hampers and cabinets to keep their contents smelling fresh.

• Dryer sheets are great for dusting all types of surfaces. From TV screens to blinds to dashboards, these clingy sheets attract dust and hair like it’s going out of style.

• Soap scum can be difficult to remove from bathroom surfaces, but the process is simple when you’re armed with a few used dryer sheets. Just spray your  homemade bathroom cleaner  on the affected areas and rub with a sheet. They’ll shine like never before.