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Homeowner issues warning against common laundry mistake that could eventually ruin your dryer: 'Decreasing the effectiveness'

This advice can lead to major savings down the road.

This advice can lead to major savings down the road.

Photo Credit: TikTok

A home expert focused on non-toxic living is giving people more than one reason to avoid dryer sheets but reassures her viewers that soft, fluffy clothes are still within their reach. 

The scoop

TikToker Sara (@happyhome_withsara79), who makes videos about cleaning, organizing, and cooking, posted a clip detailing why dryer sheets aren't the best option for people seeking softer clothes. For one, the film left by the chemical dryer sheets could lead to higher electric bills by impacting the sensors' abilities to detect when clothes are dry. 

@happyhome_withsara79 Reply to @whiskeyontherocks11 #dryersheets #nontoxicliving #nontoxiclaundry #happyhome ♬ original sound - Sara 🪴

"It's basically going to create a residue that's going to clog your screen filter, your lint filter, and reduce your air circulation," Sara explains near the end of the TikTok. "So it's going to actually be decreasing the effectiveness of your dryer and cause you to use more energy."

The video also called into question the impacts of dryer sheets on human health. 

Indeed, a 2013 study, seemingly referenced by Sara, found that more than 25 volatile organic compounds, including seven hazardous pollutants, were released from dryer vents during the use of scented laundry products. Two of them (acetaldehyde and benzene) have been linked to cancer. 

"Some of these chemicals that they found in dryer sheets are actually the same type of pollutants that come out of tailpipes of a vehicle," Sara says, also pointing out the irritants in artificial fragrances and how dryer sheets can be dangerous for children in the event of a fire. 

"That waxy, sticky coating is going to actually make [children's pajamas] more flammable," she says, sharing a screenshot from an article by home appliance giant Whirlpool.  

"Those are just a few reasons why I personally choose not to use dryer sheets," Sara adds, explaining there are alternatives. One is the Dryer Angel, a non-toxic, plant-based product that uses essential oils for a pleasant scent. 

How it's helping

This advice can lead to major savings down the road, for your wallet, your physical health, and your peace of mind. 

While Sara recommends a non-toxic commercial alternative to dryer sheets, which will prevent that yucky film from ruining your dryer and raising your electric bills, another option is to switch to homemade natural cleaners

White vinegar, for example, is a popular fabric softener replacement that can be used for affordable, chemical-free cleaning all around the home, including in the shower and the kitchen

Dryers aren't the only machines that can experience reduced efficiency due to chemical buildup. One appliance repair expert shared on TikTok that using too much laundry detergent can cause problems in high-efficiency washers. 

What everyone's saying

One commenter pointed out how consumers spend a lot of money on products that aren't so great for us or the environment, highlighting how being armed with information like this can lead to more healthy and less expensive laundry days, as well as less plastic waste littering our world.

"I haven't used dryer sheets in... 15 years? Our clothes are soft and clean, and our towels are soft and fluffy!" another user said.

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