Sunday, June 4, 2017

Love Your Laundry



Recently I came up with a brilliant idea, I thought, while washing our endless flood of laundry. Last year I got myself Young Living's wool dryer ball set that comes with a bottle of lavender essential oil. I love the way the lavender oil smells, and I really love the idea of replacing dryer sheets and liquid fabric softener. Several recent studies have shown products scented with synthetic chemical fragrances release carcinogens into our homes. Nearly 98% of air fresheners, whether sprays or plug-in units or whatever, contained known carcinogens. Laundry fragrances were even worse if they went into the dryer because of the products being exposed to heat. Lavender oil is pure and safe, and Young Living oils are the cream of the crop.

Anyway, I really enjoyed my dryer balls for the short time I owned them. All but one have disappeared. I couldn't figure out how this was happening until I caught our puppy sneaking one out of a laundry basket one day. Even though I have repeatedly warned everyone to pick up the dryer balls, each time someone else has "helped" me with the laundry another ball disappeared. So, I decided to make myself some more. But when I sat down to make them I wondered, why not have some fun with them? They don't have to just be balls; they can be cute. Besides that, I only had white ones before and I felt like they left white lint on my darks. I decided to make light and dark colored balls.

I made myself a narwhal and  what was supposed to be a bunny but which came out looking more like an Ewok. I tested them this weekend and they held up well. After four loads or so they're still adorable! I was going to call them "Dryer Dollies" since it's alliterative, but since they are animals rather than people the rest of my family thought "Dryer Pals" was better. 


Before Use


After Use
Before Use

After Use

Dryer Pals are a set of two wool needle-felted dryer balls shaped like animals, one light and one dark, and a 2-ml bottle of lavender essential oil. To use the Dryer Pals you add two or three drops of oil to each one for every four or five loads of laundry. The oil is not necessary but I really enjoy the scent. Wool dryer balls work by breaking the bond between electrons that makes fabric stick together; the fibers rubbing against the fabric separate the molecules. Essential oil adds fragrance to the laundry without leaving the grease spots typical fabric softeners use since the few drops of oil soak into the wool.  After making a whole bunch of my exclusive "invention" I got on Etsy so see what people are charging for regular dryer balls and found out several people are making them shaped like animals. So my "invention" isn't as unique as I thought! Luckily most of the others are not being made here in the USA and most are sheep, which crazy as it seems, didn't occur to me. I mostly made marine animals, I guess because the idea of laundry leads me to think of water.

Right now I have three sets of Dryer Pals listed on Etsy: one seal and manatee set, one narwhal and seal set, and one set of two bunnies. I will have more of these arriving in the Facebook and eBay shops and the Atelier Mandaline website later in the summer. These make a great gift for yourself or anyone who wants to implement a safe and all-natural home cleaning regimen.


The set of balls and essential oil

Light Narwhal

Manatee and Seal





Dark Narwhal

Beluga Whale

Bunnies Set

Seal and Narwhal set

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