For many people, dryer sheets have become a regular part of the laundry process. You just throw them in with your clothes and linens and then let your appliance do the rest of the work. However, it may be time to retire them — and switch over to a completely different product for good.
According to Zachary Pozniak, the vice president of operations at the luxury dry cleaning company Jeeves, you need to say goodbye to those old dryer sheets and head in a different direction. Not only can you use them just a single time, but they have fabric softener in them, which is bad for your clothes and your laundry appliances. The chemicals in fabric softener may even trigger skin irritations, asthma, and other breathing-related issues since they can be harsh or toxic. Plus, he adds, those sheets make your fabrics less absorbent over time, and they don’t speed up the drying time of your clothes and linens at all.
So, if dryer sheets are now a no-go, what’s Pozniak’s solution? He’s a big fan of wool dryer balls. “They create space in the dryer to allow more surface area, and they’re really good at cutting down static electricity,” he explains in his short clip. That means getting clothes dry much more quickly and without those additional chemicals.
Luckily, the wool dryer balls Pozniak’s talking about are inexpensive and easily available online (Buy on Amazon, $8.99). You may even save some money in the process by buying something that’s reusable! If you’re wondering what you need to do to maintain them over time, cleaning them is also super simple: Just run them through a hot-water cycle in your washer and then dry them on high heat in your dryer. That’s it!
And if you want to optimize your laundry time even more, these eight hacks can make all the difference.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.