Friday, March 5, 2010

Review: Nellie's All-Natural

As I mentioned before, our family produces enough laundry to rival Octomom. It's easy to get sucked into the monotony and I often find myself dreading when the washer calls. Needless to say, I'm a sucker for anything that can make laundry fun.

And that's precisely why I love Nellie.

Nellie is the inspiration behind Nellie's All-Natural laundry and kitchen products. Her honesty, simplicity and tell-it-like-it-is attitude translates right over to her brand. All of Nellie's products are nontoxic, hypoallergenic and environmentally-friendly, designed to reduce consumption and waste. And with cool product names like laundry soda and dish nuggets, you'll actually be psyched to clean!

I knew I wanted to review Nellie's household line the moment I laid eyes on her quirky, interactive website. Very retro Barbie meets pop-art advertising. As I perused the homepage and clicked on Nellie and her wonderland of pets, I was greeted with call-outs that made me chuckle. I love a company that's creative and has a sense of humor. Right up my alley.

I was delighted to have the opportunity to review Nellie's DryerBalls.

Now my husband and I switched to the Free & Clear dryer sheets when Nate was born, mainly due to his sensitive skin. But I still felt guilty disposing of those used sheets after just one, maybe two uses. What a waste. I had heard of using tennis balls or dryer balls but wasn't fond of the idea of using plastic either. I was torn until I found out about Nellie's PVC-Free DryerBalls. They're reusable and completely recyclable (as is the packaging) so I could feel confident putting them to work.

Wondering what the deal is with DryerBalls? DryerBalls lift and separate clothes, moving air efficiently through the dryer. This reduces drying time by 15-25%! And because your clothes won't be all balled up, 10 minutes on medium heat will eliminate wrinkles (no more ironing!) and lint buildup. Unlike disposable dryer sheets, DryerBalls will last 3-5 years. Yes, that's right, I said YEARS. That works out to be just $5/year, not to mention your electricity savings and the fact that you won't have to purchase fabric softener. It practically pays for itself after one use. DryerBalls will help to prevent static but you'll want to be aware of your climate and be careful not to overdry, as those are the two most common causes of static cling.

Nellie's DryerBalls are innovative in that they also come with a fragrance option. You can insert a fragrance stick (sold seperately) into the center to add a subtle scent of essential oil fragrance to your freshly-dried clothes.

In addition to the PVC-Free DryerBalls, I was sent a jar of Citrus Fragrance Sticks. Each jar contains 10 sticks and each stick lasts up to 10 loads.

I have to say I was tickled by the comic strip on the back of the box.

To insert the fragrance stick, you use a coin to open the cartridge in the center of each DryerBall (if you're like me, there's no shortage of coins in your laundry room. Thanks, dear!). Insert a fragrance stick and use said coin to seal the lid back on. Toss both balls into your dryer along with your wet clothes, start her up and watch them go!

When I first opened the fragrance sticks, I thought the scent was a bit overpowering and I worried how my clothes would smell when they were dry. But my worries were for naught. The scent was very mellow and added just the right hint of freshness to my laundry. My large load of clothes was completely dry - no damp spots whatsoever. I try to take my clothes out of the dryer right away after the cycle ends to prevent wrinkles, so I can't speak to their effectiveness in that area. But my clothes didn't have static and felt warm and clean. That's all I need!

After a few uses, I did notice that the tips of my balls were changing color. I freaked out for a moment until I checked out the website's FAQ, which assured me that this was a normal instance with DryerBalls, as they absorb dye from your clothes during the drying process. However, they do NOT transfer color back onto your laundry. Whew, huge sigh of relief!

The only *minor* disadvantage I noticed was the loud thumping at times from the balls hitting the inside walls of the dryer. If you tend to do the laundry when your little one sleeps, you may want to make sure (s)he won't be disturbed by the noise. But this would be the case with any DryerBall so it is not a deficit to this product.

Bottom line: I would highly recommend Nellie's PVC-Free DryerBalls. Not only are they environmentally-friendly but they are friendly to my budget. I'm not sure I'll ever go back to dryer sheets again! I like that the fragrance sticks are optional so I can use the DryerBalls with or without them.

BUY IT: You can purchase Nellie's PVC-Free DryerBalls (ARV $24.99), Fragrance Sticks (ARV $10), and other all-natural products online at or use their handy dandy store locator to find the retailer nearest you!

Disclaimer: I received a pack of PVC-Free DryerBalls and Fragrance Sticks from Jackie at Batten Industries to facilitate my candid review. I was in no other way compensated for my post.


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