What Is Laundry Oil—and Do You Really Need It?

Toss your dryer sheets and try this instead.

From liquid to power, stain sprays to scent boosters, there are so many different products to use in your laundry these days. One of these is laundry oil. If you like eco-friendly products and making your clothing and linens smell extra luxurious, then you'll probably love laundry oil. But what exactly is laundry oil and how do you use it? Here’s everything you need to know about this product on the rise.


L'Avant Collective

What Is Laundry Oil?

 “Laundry oil is 100 percent pure essential oil and botanicals, and when used it is the best eco-friendly way to naturally scent your laundry at the end of the drying cycle,” explain Lindsay Droz and Kristi Lord, co-founders of L’Avant Collective.

The brand, which is best known for its hand and dish soaps, recently launched a new line of laundry products including detergent and laundry oil ($24) in its signature Fresh Linen fragrance. “The oil is designed to be used with our wool dryer balls to leave your clothes with the subtle fusion of ylang-ylang and bamboo mixed with soothing lavender, geranium, and invigorating notes of basil and lemon, delicately blended for an elegant finishing touch,” Droz and Lord tell me. 

So, if you're considering giving up your dryer sheet habit, laundry oil is a much better swap. 

How to Use Laundry Oil

Using laundry oil is easy. Instead of using a dryer sheet, disperse dryer balls throughout the load instead. Dryer balls are great because they help your clothing dry faster, which can end up saving you money. This can be especially helpful when drying sheets and towels.

“The best way to naturally scent your laundry is to use the laundry oil at the end of the drying cycle. This is for two reasons,” the founders explain. “The first is that oil is flammable and with high-heat drying cycles, you want to reduce the risk of high heat and oil potentially igniting. Secondly, the longer it is in the dryer, the more chance of the oil dissipating and not giving you the result you are looking for. About 10 minutes before your laundry is done, apply 10 to 15 drops on each wool ball and let it settle in for about a minute. Dry on low heat for the remainder of the cycle.”

Only add laundry oil during the last 10 minutes of the drying cycle. Since oil is flammable, a high-heat seating could start a fire.

When Shouldn't You Use Laundry Oil?

While laundry oil can be used most of the time, there are a few exceptions. Droz and Lord tell me, “Some laundry oils contain fragrances or other ingredients that can trigger allergies or sensitivities in some people. If you have a known allergy or sensitivity to any of the ingredients in the laundry oil, you should avoid using it.”

They also recommend reading the labels on your clothing before using this type of product. “Some delicate fabrics, such as silk or wool, may not be suitable for use with laundry oil. Check the care label on your clothing to see if any special washing instructions apply.”

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