After we started making our own laundry detergent, the logical next step was to find a way to replace those expensive, chemical-filled dryer sheets. Enter wool dryer balls. As wool dryer balls bounce around in the dryer, they separate your clothes, allowing more hot air to circulate through of all the garments as the wool soaks up moisture. This results in a shorter drying time, fewer wrinkles, and softer clothes.
Shout out to reader, Leisha, for the beautiful pictures of her homemade dryer balls! Don’t they make you just want to do laundry? Well, almost…
Betsy over at DIY Natural outlines the benefits.
- They decrease drying time, saving you money on utility bills. (Especially helpful in the winter months!)
- Commercial fabric softeners and dryer sheets are filled with harmful chemicals and perfumes that coat your clothing, eventually ending up on your skin. These chemicals can be especially harsh on sensitive skin. There are no chemicals in wool dryer balls!
- Commercial dryer sheets can be costly, and are thrown away after use. Wool dryer balls can be re-used for years, saving you hundreds of dollars.
- Commercial fabric softeners shouldn’t be used on cloth diapers. Wool dryer balls are perfect for keeping your cloth diapers soft and chemical-free.
- Wool dryer balls won’t affect the absorbency of your towels, kitchen cloths, or cloth diapers – commercial softeners will.
- 100% wool dryer balls increase fluffiness and reduce static as dryer loads tumble.
- Dryer balls help to soften clothes naturally.
- Dryer balls are made from a renewable resource.
With the cold temperatures outside, our highest energy usage is currently our dryer, so I can’t wait to give these a spin. (Pun intended!)
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What you will need:
**100% wool–NOT wool labeled “superwash” or “machine washable” (We are blessed to have a local farmer to buy from. If you don’t, try a craft store or one of these links: Wool roving, Wool yarn, or wool scraps)
**old panty hose
**a washer and dryer
**essential oils (optional)
Stretch, twist and roll your wool into a tight ball about the size of an orange. Tuck in the end and put the ball in the toe of the pantyhose. Stretch the hose over the ball and make a tight knot. Make additional balls and insert into pantyhose, separating by knots. It will look like a pantyhose caterpillar. 🙂 Now wash you caterpillar in HOT water (preferably with other laundry) and dry completely. (Note: Please make sure that the dye in your wool does not run. I’ve never had a problem with ours, but I wouldn’t want a load of laundry to get ruined!) Cut the pantyhose off and admire your new dryer balls. Optional: Put a few drops of your favorite essential oil on each ball.
To use, simply throw them in the dryer with each load of laundry, and let them go to work.
Do you use an alternative to dryer sheets? How about any other homemade cleaning products?
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