Save Time, Money, and Energy! Make Your Own Wool Dryer Balls

wool dryer balls How would you like to never buy another fabric softener product again AND cut your laundry drying time in half???

Would you believe me if I told you these little woolen gems can do that?

Wool Dryer Balls save you money, energy and time by cutting the dryer’s drying time and by eliminating the need to buy softeners. When you use 4 balls in your dryer, you can cut your dryer time by 25-50%!


The balls circulate and separate the clothing and get the warm dry air right down to the core of the laundry load! The more balls you add, the faster the drying time. They also soften your clothes through gentle friction of the felted wool fibers against your clothing fibers. And as if that weren’t enough…..they LAST for YEARS!

I immediately fell in LOVE with this idea when I saw in on The Sleepy Time Gal.  They couldn’t be simpler to make (all you need is some wool yarn, and a pair of pantyhose) and I just LOVE how PRACTICAL they are! I actually think these would make a wonderful gift! (Making mental note.)

Have I convinced you yet?  Good!  Let’s get started!

How to Make a Wool Dryer Ball:

Start with a skein of 100% WOOL yarn. (This cost me about $5 and I got four balls out of it.)

wool dryer balls

To start your ball, wrap the yarn around your fingers about 20 times and then slip it off and wrap the yarn around the middle of that circle you just made about 20 more times.

wool dryer balls

Now pinch the beginnings of your yarn ball together and keep wrapping! Make sure you wrap it nice and tight.

wool dryer balls

Pretty soon you will have something that looks like this. Tuck the end of the yarn under some of the other strands of yarn to secure.
Repeat above steps until you’ve made 4 or more balls.

wool dryer balls

Now you are ready to give them the “felting” treatment. You are going to need one leg of a pair of pantyhose or tights. Put the first ball into the toe of the pantyhose and secure it there with a piece of embroidery floss or acrylic yarn. Do NOT use wool yarn, you don’t want this to felt.

Toss the pantyhose “snake” into the washer (the hotter the water the better) and then into the dryer (again, the hotter the better. Speeds up the felting process.)

wool dryer balls

This is how they will look after the first felting. The fibers have fused and it’s much smoother and tighter.

wool dryer balls

At this point you can do another layer of yarn and “felt” again if you want a larger sized ball. I chose to leave mine as is. Keep in mind they will get slightly smaller over time as they continue to felt.

wool dryer balls

You just made your own wool dryer balls! Go ahead, give them a spin! If you want, you can even add a couple of drops of essential oil to the balls before you throw them in the dryer. I used 1 – 2 drops of lavender on each one and my clothes came out smelling sooooooo nice!!!  I think the scent should last through several loads!

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  1. Penny Hannah says

    That is one VERY practical Good Thing. I’ve used spiky plastic drying balls for years without thinking much of them. This seems a much better idea, so thank you once again Jillee.

  2. Ilissa says

    Do you think you could soak these in fabric softener, let them dry and use them like you did with the re-useable dryer sheets?

  3. Rachel Loveridge says

    I wonder if there’s something else you can make them from, if someone in your family is allergic to wool?

  4. Tina says

    My mother always uses tennis balls. I think they have a similar effect in seperating the clothes but I don’t know about the softening.
    In the summertime I never really used my dryer anyway but I will definitely try these dryer balls sometime soon.

  5. Sarah says

    I did these earlier this year, some for me and some for my best friend. I don’t know where you found Fisherman’s yarn for $5 but I’m jealous! I paid double that. Still worth it. Make sure you use 100% wool yarn, that’s very very important, it won’t work at all if you don’t (found that out, my first try was a wool/acrylic blend). I Love my felted wool dryer balls!

  6. Jennifer says

    I might have to try this! About a month ago I bought a set of four Wool Dryer balls from Etsy. The quality is really good, but they were 20 bucks and she recommends using 12 in big loads, especially ones involving towels and bedding. So that would be 60 bucks! Unfortunately, I haven’t noticed much of a difference in drying time using my balls, but my dryer is old, secondhand, and frankly a bit of a disappointment. Maybe I’ll try making some of my own to add to the four I already have and see if more make a difference.

  7. Iolanthe says

    Does it get rid of static, too? I’m using aluminum foil balls right now, but they are pretty noisy. Maybe if I used the aluminum foil balls WITH the wool balls?

  8. says

    Tennis balls work just as well. I just bought a pack of two tennis ball dog toys at the dollar store and used them to test against my $10 Bed, Bath, etc. ones. Worked just as well. The only static cling I experienced was with a fleece Snuggie. Some things cling even with dryer sheets. I don’t use dryer sheets anymore because of the cost, obviously, but also because of the chemical fragrances, which are overwhelming. Essential oils could be added to an old wash cloth or piece of fabric and tossed in with the load to add an appealing smell if you must.

  9. says

    You can always use your coupons for Michaels or Hobby Lobby or JoAnn’s to save 40-50%. Great idea. Can’t wait to make some for presents!

  10. says

    Everyday, I am amazed at all the ideas and things you think of! Do you ever stop! Great idea, I never even heard of wool dryer balls before so I will have to look into this one.


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