How To Make Wool Dryer Balls

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. 

Wool dryer balls both save you money and cut down on the chemicals in your home. Plus, they are super easy to make! Here's how. #frugalliving #greenliving #homemadecleaners

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!)

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase something through one of these links, we may receive a commission at no cost to you.  Thank you for supporting our blog!

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?

Are you working on your budget?  You may also like these posts:

Does it seem like you blow your budget every week? The cash envelope system really works. Read to find out why you should give it a try! #envelopesystem #debtfree #frugallliving #budgeting


7 Tips to save money on food. #frugalliving #moneysaving

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16 Responses to How To Make Wool Dryer Balls

  1. oh fun and awesomeness, I used to have some of these and loved them.. I have project to work on !!

    love it !

  2. My wife thought this was awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Tammy says:

    I have been wanting to make one of these. Thanks for the instructions. Pinning

  4. I make my own detergent and fabric softener, but I’ve never seen these. Can’t wait to make one!

  5. Heidi says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this on Farmgirl Chit Chat! I am excited to try to make a few for myself. I LOVE your blog and I am glad I’ve found it.

    Heidi Gonzales

  6. Nancy W says:

    What fun, I just made my own dryer balls yesterday for the first time!
    – nancy
    On The Home Front

  7. I love the idea of dryer balls. So much so that I purchased some from an alpaca farmer a couple of years ago. Unfortunately alpaca does not felt the way wool does, and we ended up having bits and pieces of wool left on our clothing after and had to use a roller on everything that came out of the dryer. It was like sitting on the cat’s chair.
    I’d love to try the ball idea with sheep’s wool but I’m leery after my last experience. Instead I just use cloths.
    Let me know how it works for you. Do you get any hair left on your clothing after?

    • Mandi says:

      Oh no! I didn’t know that about alpaca. I haven’t had any problems with mine leaving hair. The balls will get little fuzz balls on them (like sweaters do), but they haven’t gotten on my clothes. Be careful with dyed wools, though. Make sure the dye is not going to bleed the first few washings.

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  10. MJ says:

    I can see how these would help with softening and fluffing – but what about static? That’s the major plus of dryer sheets for me, the anti-static property.

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