DIY – Dryer Sheets ** New and Improved

img_0909So I LOVE my dryer sheets and they work really well, at least in my opinion. However they are a pain to use!! So I have spent the last 6 months modifying the way I make them and am happy to say that I have found a way to have very effective dryer sheets, without the need for a glove and a large jar! (I have used about 15 sheets out of this jar).

So here’s what I do now….

First, sheet size. The sheet size only needs to be 2 by 2.  I took my previous “sheets” and cut them in half.

Second, I went back to a glass container. Glass is ideal for essential oils.  The plastic absorbs the essential oils and vinegar.  I was going through a ton more liquid when I was using plastic, than when I was using glass.  I am using a 32 oz. jar and can fit 50 dryer sheets in the jar.  Wide mouth mason jars work really well since they are glass and airtight.

Third, take the essential oils that you want to use for your dryer sheets and mix them together, if possible, before placing it in the vinegar. Here are the recipes that I now use (I have added some different essential oils to the mix):

For each cup of vinegar

CLOTHES

“Purification” – 2

Lemon – 1

Tangerine – 1

Frankincense – 1

TOWELS

“Purification” – 3

Lime – 2

Peppermint – 2

Sheets

“Purification” – 2

Lavender – 5

Tangerine – 3

Finally, put 1 cup of vinegar in your jar, add your mixed essential oils and mix the two together. Add in 25 of the smaller size sheets. Shake them around. Repeat the process until your jar is packed full. I put 50 of the small sheets in my jar. It’s packed full and is hard to close.

** Even though the sheets have gotten smaller, they can dry 2 large loads before replacing it. If you prepare 50 small sheets you should be able to get 100 loads out before you need to replace your sheets.

Hope you love them as much as I do.

 

 

 

 

 

Water… End Your Love Hate Relationship With It

School is underway and, in my house, that means packing snacks and water bottles every day…  Three weeks into school and I am hearing, and I am guessing you are as well, “can I have Gatorade or something besides water today?”  Of course the answer is no, school requires water only.  But there is a way around it–it’s good for them and they will enjoy it.  Add fruit, herbs and veggies to their water!

If you are like me you do this to your water, so why not to your kids?  I have added cucumbers, lemons, limes, strawberries and oranges.  The issue that we have run into at our house is that we end up throwing away the fruit, herbs, and veggies because they go bad before they make it into the water.  If they hadn’t gone bad, at times my water started to taste like the rind of the fruit, the taste was over-powering or the fruit started to get water logged and tasted gross.

So I ended up giving up my love-hate relationship with my water.  I tried cutting up the fruit, cucumbers and herbs into the sizes that I wanted for my water and put them in the freezer.  I cut the herbs or folded them (depending on what it is) and placed it in an ice cube tray and froze that as well.  Depending on what I had in the freezer, I would take a slice, cube or both and place it in my water.  It is amazing!  The fruit, herbs and or veggies thaw throughout the day and flavor the water.  It’s not over-powering and the water does not taste like rind by the end of the day.  

I no longer have a love-hate relationship with water.  I love my “flavored” water and have noticed the amount of water I have been drinking increased due to the flavor.  My kiddos love it as well.  They get to pick their “flavor” each day and they have told me that they are now drinking three or four water bottles of water during their school day.

 

DIY – Dryer Sheet Solution Using Essential Oils

The solution is super easy to make.  The two ingredients you need are:  Vinegar (white distilled) and essential oils you want to use.

I started out slow and have grown my solution base over the past several months.  I now have three different solutions – one for clothes, towels and sheets.

I used to keep my solution in a glass jar.  The issue I found with this is that you need a very large jar (I used to use a pickle jar from Sam’s club) so that you can fit your hand into the jar and you risk it falling and breaking.  I have recently changed to plastic (bpv free) storage containers that are smaller, leak proof and can be stacked.

Here are the recipes that I currently use…

Clothes

4 cups of vingear

12 drops of “Purification” essential oil

10 drops of Lemon essential oil

This recipe will usually last for approximately 30 dry cycles

Towels

2 cups of vinegar

12 drops of “Purification” essential oil

6 drops of Lime essential oil

Sheets

2 cups of vinegar

6 drops of “Purification” essential oil

20 drops of Lavender essential oil

Once everything is put into the container, I put the cover on the container and shake the liquid around, before I place the sheets in the solution.  Once that is done you are ready to place the sheets in the solution.  I place 4 sheets in the solution at a time.  Why four?  I take the four sheets out of the solution, wring them out the best that I can (to get them as dry as possible) and place them in the dryer.  I have found that four tends to be the right number for a large load.  Any more is too much and they tend not to dry all of the way.

Once you take the four out of the solution put four more in the solution for the next load.  I have eight sheets for each type of dryer sheet solution.  I keep and reuse all of my clothes sheets and do not mix solutions with the sheets.  Why you ask??

The essential oil is absorbed into the sheet and is released when the clothes are drying.  Not all of the essential oil is released and reusing the same sheets will release some of the additional oils and will intensify the smell that is transferred to the clothes.

Ingredients – why do I use vinegar and essential oils?

Vinegar is a natural static cling preventer, cleaner and disinfectant.  You can use vinegar in a lot of places to clean around your house (DO NOT use it on granite – post coming soon…).

Lemon and Lime essential oils – citrus is also a natural cleaner.  The smell of lemon is invigerating, energizing and has properties that help promote good health.

Purification essential oil – this is a mixture of essential oils that helps, naturally, to remove smells from areas as well as clothes.

Lavendar essential oil – Inhaling lavendar is a natural way to relax the body.

DIY – Dryer Sheets

How to make the sheets….

I took an old hand towel that we weren’t using anymore.  Mine happens to be white (for all loads).  To be honest, the base color WAS white before my kiddos decided to clean chalk (red and blue chalk) off the basement floor with the white towel–the reason that towel is now the dryer sheets towel. I’m not entirely sure it matters what color your towel is.  I have never noticed any of the white transferring onto anything else – color or fabric.

I took the towel and cut it in half, and keep cutting until you have “sheets” that are around 2 inches by 5 inches or so (see picture below).  I usually get around 20 sheets from each towel.  The sheets do not need to be even; I have found that the 2 by 5 inch (roughly) size tends to work the best.  It easily fits into your hand, you don’t loose them and they dry with the laundry.  And your sheets are prepared and ready to go into the solution.

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Once they are cut you can use them right away or you can run them through a quick rinse and spin cycle.  I would NOT recommend running them through a quick rinse and spin cycle to get off any of the extra fabric from the cut sides – they become a ball of and tie all together.  If you don’t mind cutting the string apart it works fine.  If you choose to use them right away I would use them with a load of towels first – to make sure the amount of strings and little extra fabric from the sheets doesn’t transfer onto your clothes.  I have never had this issue but better to be safe than sorry.  Once they get out of the first load, clip off any extra strings.  Your “sheets” are ready to go!

Why use DIY Dryer Sheets – Chemicals vs. Natural (with essential oils)

I’ve been making my own dryer sheets for about four (4) months now and love it.  Why you ask?  Isn’t it a lot of work?

Why? – Like I posted previously, my kiddos have sensitive skin and regular dryer sheets and fabric softener dries them out = eczema.  YUK!!  So I had to find an alternative.  Plus – have you ever actually thought of the chemicals that are in the dryer sheets???  Think about this – dryer sheets are full of chemicals.  Look at the ingredients on the box.  The dryer sheet, that is full of chemicals, goes into the dryer with the clothes you wear.  The dryer heats both the dryer sheet and your clothes.  The chemicals leave the dryer sheet and get into your clothes, which is why your clothes smell so good when they come out.  You then wear the “fresh” clothes and as your skin breathes through out the day, you body inhales the chemicals (AKA toxins) from the dryer sheet.

The toxins from the dryer sheets also break down your clothes, towels and sheets = lint.  Have you ever noticed the amount of lint that comes from each load?  If your dryer is anything like mine it’s a LOT of lint.  When I was using commercial dryer sheets my lint trap would be full with each load; over flowing with towels.  Clothes didn’t last as long and started to fade, ball up and towels weren’t as plush.  Once I switched to the DIY dryer sheets I do not have to clean the lint trap with each load (I still do but it’s not necessary) and the amount of lint I get from drying a load of towels is similar to what I used to get with each load of clothes.  Our clothes look newer longer, towels are plush, are chemical free and smell awesome.  I wont even mention the air that you breathe in when you are are in the laundry room….

Okay – so here’s the break down of time commitment.  Once you have the actual “sheets” prepped (which will take all of 10 minutes – depending on how sharp your scissors are…  I just cut some sheets for my parents and it took 10 minutes to cut them, type the next blog as I went, took photos, cleaned up and put the sheets in the laundry – super quick), making the dryer sheet solution takes about 15 seconds.  That’s it!!!  Amazing right!?  Every time you change loads it will take you approximately 15 seconds longer then reaching into a box and pulling out a commercial dryer sheet.  So the time commitment is nothing, especially based on the benefits you and your family will receive.  Totally worth the time and effort!!

The next post will answer the HOW question….

Why Busy Healthy Mom…

Where to start…   As I sit at my computer, trying to avoid the 12 loads of laundry I need to get done today, I reminisce as to why I wanted to start this blog. What better place to start than with a quick, but most likely not short, history of busyhealthymom.com.

I have three very active children. All three play three sports and are starting traveling sports this summer! Wish me luck with keeping up with their schedule. I also have a husband who works, and travels, A LOT! So the majority of the “family chores” and chauffeuring the kids to all of their activities and play dates is my responsibility. Sound familiar?? I have given up my career for our family and am currently working part time, just so I can keep up with everything around the house; which I am not keeping up with since I have 12 loads of laundry to do – plus laundry that needs to be put away in the laundry room!

There are several reasons why I wanted to figure out an easy way for busy families to be healthy. There are the obvious reasons, but there are also things that we, as a family, have come across that have forced us to modify and not just buy the easy solution at Target or Amazon.

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When our son was little he had extreme eczema on his face and arms. It got worse in the winter and his clothes seemed to bother him and made the itching worse.   I tried everything I could think of – doctor appointments, over-the-counter creams, medicines. Nothing seemed to help–even Dreft didn’t help. After several years and a second child who had dry skin, not to the same extent, I knew I needed to do something to help them out. So I did a lot of research on detergent and dry skin. It took a ton of time, which I had more at that point in time, but with a full-time career, a working husband and two small children at home, I was exhausted after they went to bed. I wanted the easy answer as to how to fix it or ideas that I could try.

After my research, I determined that Melaluca would be the next product to try. The added bonus of Melauca was that it is generally natural and not a lot of chemicals (at least not as much as the household cleaners that are available to the store). The kids were getting a little older and wanted to help “clean” so I felt better using the Melaluca products knowing that some would end up on their hands and eventually in their mouths. I used Melaluca for several years. The issue with Melaluca, at least in my opinion, is that you are required to order monthly and have to order so many “points” worth of product. I started seeing a large inventory starting to collect at our house. The inventory got worse when we were building an new house and moved into an apartment until our house was ready for 5 months. I ended up cancelling my Melaluca membership and almost 3 years later I have just finished using my stash of laundry detergent and have another year’s worth of cleaning product to go through!

So that leads me to the present… Roughly a year ago I ran out of my Melaluca fabric softener. So I headed to Target and got Bounce. I was hopeful that the kids had out grown their skin issues since it hasn’t bothered them in several years. I was shocked at how fast my kiddos skin started drying out and the eczema returned. I was also very surprised at the amount of lint that was created with each load of laundry. So I started researching again… this time without the additional time. I took the leap and made my own dryer sheets and LOVE them. My husband thought I was crazy and shook his head at me. He didn’t believe it would make a difference or help the kids skin. Well six months later the lint is greatly reduced and the kids skin is not dry!!! Whoop Whoop. Now I’m faced with the issue of laundry detergent. So I’m starting the research again….

As I thought about it – I thought, why not share what I’ve learned and make it easier for other families to be healthy during their busy lives and make it simple.   So that’s the history of why…. Stay tuned for the actual helpful posts on items. If you have something you are wondering about or have a question on please contact me. I am happy to research it and share.

Thanks!