Have you ever heard of wool dryer balls before? If you’ve been looking on Pinterest for ways to create a natural home, you’ve probably stumbled across them! They’re an amazing, natural replacement for dryer sheets. Let’s talk, you and I, about the benefits of wool dryer balls and how to make your own!
Benefits of Wool Dryer Balls
There are several good reasons for replacing dryer sheets with wool dryer balls. Let’s go over the benefits together, so you can thoughtfully consider whether or not they might be a worthwhile addition to your home!
Benefit 1: Wool Balls Are Toxin-Free
While dryer sheets seem harmless and innocent, studies have shown that they can contribute to asthma and allergies. Why? Because dryer sheets contain harmful chemicals and synthetic perfumes. While they do leave a fresh smell behind, they also coat your clothing in substances that can be harmful to your health.
If you don’t like what’s in those dryer sheets or are tired of purchasing an expensive, natural brand, consider changing over to wool dryer balls.
Still want fragrance? Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a ball or two and you’ll have naturally scented clothing!
Benefit 2: Wool Balls Are Eco-Friendly
Are you a green mama? Does it bother you that dryer sheets are primarily made of polyester (a type of plastic)? Maybe you’re a conscious consumer and it bothers you that dryer sheets are only good for one-time use before they are thrown out?
If you sympathize with either of these mindsets, consider getting yourself some wool dryer balls! They’re natural, reusable and sources claim that you can use them for up to 1,000 loads of laundry.
Benefit 3: Wool Balls Absorb Static
When I gave up dryer sheets for health reasons, I was often frustrated by the static in my laundry! Not only did I get a display of mini fireworks every time I pulled clothes from the dryer, but the static drew in hairs and dust.
After I began using wool dryer balls, the static disappeared. And I don’t even know how or why. I just know…I love it!
Benefit 4: Wool Balls May Help Your Laundry Dry Faster
Having numerous, large wool balls rolling around in your dryer keeps clothes and towels from clumping together. This allows for better air circulation and also, faster heat penetration.
I’ve never timed the process myself, but I’ve heard homemakers claim it knocks 15-20 minutes off their drying cycle! Wool balls will also absorb moisture, another little detail that helps speed things along.
Benefit 5: Dryer Balls are a Long-Term Solution
Wool dryer balls are reusabe for up to 1,000 loads of laundry! Before you decide to stand for or against them, sit down and do the math for your household.
Example: my man and I average 2 loads of laundry per week, and I only send the little stuff through our dryer, things like socks, underwear, dish cloths, etc. For math’s sake, let’s just say I do 100 loads per year.
If I can put my wool dryer balls through one thousand loads of laundry before they need to be changed out, that means they’re good for the next 10 years. From both a health and financial perspective, it’s worthwhile!
How to Create Wool Dryer Balls
Now that we’ve covered the “why,” it’s time to get into the creating process. It’s easy. I promise! First, let’s take a look at the supplies you need.
Supplies for Making Wool Dryer Balls
To make your own wool dryer balls, you’ll need the following:
- 100% wool yarn (you can get wool here in a variety of colors)
- nylons or pantyhose (grab a pair here)
You can buy yarn from a local thrift store or “borrow” a bit from your mother’s stash. Just make certain it’s 100% wool and that it isn’t super washed!
Did you catch that?
When choosing yarn for making wool dryer balls, do not use super washed wool!
Super washed wool will not attach (or “felt”) to itself. Instead of becoming one solid ball of wool, it’ll remain in individual strands and eventually come apart in the dryer, tangling itself throughout your laundry! Trust me. I know this through personal experience!
Directions for Making Wool Dryer Balls
It’s easy to make your own wool dryer balls! All you have to do is loosely roll the yarn into a ball, until it’s (ideally) between baseball and soft-ball size. The key is roll it loosely. If you draw the yarn too tight, it may not properly felt and attach to itself.
Don’t worry. I won’t offend your intelligence by walking you through how to roll yarn into a ball! If you don’t know how, this photo collage will give you the right idea!
Once your ball has reached the desired size, be sure to weave the end of your yarn through the entire ball several times. You don’t want it to come unraveled!
After this is complete, snip one of the legs off of your pantyhose. Stuff the balls into it, one by one, knotting off the pantyhose after each addition. Make things snug and tight!
How to Felt the Balls
After all the balls have been added and the pantyhose has been knotted off for the last time, toss your oddly shaped bundle into the washing machine. Let it go through the next 3-4 loads of laundry. The wetness and agitation will cause wool fibers to attach to themselves.
After you’ve put them through the washing machine numerous times, toss the pantyhose in the dryer and let it tumble around for 1-2 loads.
After this is over, the wool balls can be remove from the pantyhose. Wool fibers will have felted together and now the balls won’t come apart in the dryer!
Now that you know the benefits of wool dryer balls and how to make your own, what do you think? Is it worth trying?
By the way, if you don’t have the time or desire to make your own wool dryer balls, don’t fret! You can purchase six, premade wool dryer balls here for a very modest price!
Will you try it?