Bad Bounce

I loathe scented dryer sheets, and I have to wonder about the people who use them.

1. The smell is wretched and overpowers pleasant, natural scents. I don’t use dryer sheets, but my next door neighbor does. Unfortunately, her dryer vents onto my property. I can’t tell you how many times this spring and summer I’ve gone out to enjoy my garden only to be driven back indoors by the acrid, cloying stench of Bounce dryer sheets. Writer Jane Periat describes it perfectly in this column for CoastViews Magazine.

2. The disgusting smell is impossible to get rid of. I love buying clothes on eBay, but I’m about to give up because items that arrive smelly and oily from contact with dryer sheets are impossible to clean. Just out of curiosity, I washed one Bounced t-shirt 10 times — after soaking it in vinegar, stain removers, Borax, and even the Oxy-Clean solution used to remove pet smells — and it still smelled strongly of artificial perfumes.

3. They cause allergic reactions in many people. Ask a dermatologist.

4. Not that anyone seems to care, but many of the chemicals in the dryer sheets — and their emissions from dryer vents — are carcinogens. I’m not quoting a bunch of New Age finger-waggling alarmists here. I’m citing a study by environmental engineering researchers from the University of Washington, quoted by CBS news.

Can anyone tell me what is so wonderful about dryer sheets that it’s worth annoying and poisoning yourself and your neighbors when you use them?

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