A few weeks ago, I was in the mood to be crafty. Me being me, it had to involve herbs in some way and I didn’t have anything on the agenda in the shop. So, a few minutes on the Interwebs gave me an idea: herbal dryer sachets. I haven’t used a commercial dryer sheet in years (read this for why) and although the dryer balls work okay, I’m just not that thrilled with them.
I always have unbleached muslin on hand for experiments so sewed up a square, filled it with about an ounce of dried Lavender flowers along with 10 drops of the same essential oil and did a load of laundry to see what happened. It worked! No static electricity, the clothes were just as soft as with the dryer balls (but no softer, unfortunately for my towels) and although I could smell the herb when I opened the dryer door, thankfully, my husband’s clothing didn’t smell like lavender. (That was a concern: it’s not a scent typically associated with the male of our species.) Then I got to thinking:
What makes it anti-static? Is it just the heavy concentration of volatile oil in the dried herb? (Volatile oil is what gives the herb its scent.) If so, there are other herbs that smell as strong when dried. So, I sewed up a few more squares and filled them with some other strong-smelling herbs I had in stock: Rosemary, Peppermint, and Rosebuds (with drops of the matching essential oil). Because there’s only two of us and my husband wears company-laundered uniforms to work, there’s not a lot of laundry so it took a couple of weeks to see what happened. The results:
Although clothes were soft-ish, the other three herbs did not eliminate static. I can’t find any scientific research to tell me why it’s just the Lavender but it is.
Experiment complete. While I like to use herbs when & where I can, I don’t like to unnecessarily spend money. Since nothing was any better than the dryer balls, I guess I’ll stick with those.