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Dryer Bags

Make Your Own Dryer Bags

Freshen and add lovely, chemical-free scent to every laundry load by making your own dryer bags using dried herbs. It's easy and fun!

To make a dryer bag, simply sew a small bag (3 to 5 inches, give or take) out of cotton fabric (something slightly porous works well). Place dried herbs in the bag, then sew it shut. Toss the bag in the dryer with your wet laundry.

Lavender flowers are the most popular choice for dryer bags, but other herbs work well, too (in combination with lavender or other herbs or alone). You might try: lemon balm, mints, rosemary, roses, geranium, and thyme.

A few tips:

* If you sew your own little bags, double stitch them to prevent the herbs from falling out.

* If you use a drawstring bag, double knot the bag so it doesn't come undone in the dryer.

* Socks also make good bags; just be sure to double tie them, too.

* To make your scent stronger and longer lasting, add a few drops of essential oil before sewing it shut. Choose oils that match or complement your herbs. (Lavender essential oil will add potency to your bag of lavender flowers, but rose essential oil would be lovely in combination with your lavender flowers, too.)

* Give the bags a little squeeze between loads to help release the scent.

* The bags will continue to release scent for 10 loads or so. When finished, spread the herbs on your carpet and vacuum them up, for one last whiff of aroma.

* You can use these same little laundry bags as sachets in closets and drawers.

And a few other natural laundry tips:

* To make dryer sheets, simply place a few drops of essential oil on a piece of clean cloth. Plain white washcloths work well, but any cotton cloth will do the trick. Then toss the fabric in your dryer with your wet clothes.

* To soften clothes, add a little vinegar to your rinse water.

* To reduce static cling, include about a quarter cup of baking soda in the wash cycle. Or take clothes out before they're fully dry and finish drying on a line or drying rack.

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