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.

    • Deborah Jennings says

      I use the plastic spiky dryer balls, too. I haven’t used fabric softener or the dryer sheets in close to a year now. My clothes are soft and fluffy and usually wrinkle free. (I do forget them in the dryer at times, but just turn the dryer back on and let them “iron” in the dryer.)

    • Colleen says

      I used to use the plastic ones too and still had static. Also, they broke apart after awhile leaving sharp edges and bits of plastic through the load! I got some of these balls at a fair market store a few months ago and LOVE them! No static and drying time is cut about 20%.

  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?

      • Ilissa says

        Perfumes and dyes don’t bother me (no sensitive skin here), nasty, mildew smelling clothes do though… Just wondering if they could be used similarly. You would still be saving money on energy, and have fresh smelling clothes.

      • Nancy says

        With all due respect, as someone who is chemically sensitive, it may not be bothersome to you but the dryer vented exhaust that is generated into the neighborhood and the scent emanating from your clothes can be real hardships to those of us with highly sensitive systems. I wish this weren’t so as I used to LOVE fragrance; heck, scented candles were my guilty pleasure but unfortunately not anymore.

      • Kelly says

        I thought soaking them in fabric softener was a great idea so I tried it, with the homemade fabric softener of course (water, vinegar & suave conditioner). So far the balls are holding their fragrance and I’m loving them!

      • Stephanie LeDuc says

        Try something other than suave conditioner, something more natural, like the lavender oil, or a citrus scent. The suave conditioner is also harmful not only to our bodies, but the environment. I’m a hairdresser of thirty years. I’m also a sensitive scent person as well. Perfumes make me sick, as in a migraine.

      • Christy says

        If using Essential oils on the balls, is there any worry about those transferring to the clothing and any precautions one needs to take?

      • Mike says

        With all due respect, its not our job to make sure our normal practices don’t effect your hardships. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sympathetic to your issue but the moment you expect other people to change for you is when I start having a problem.

      • Justme says

        Is a person’s spelling REALLY so important that rudeness is necessary? People make type-O’s. DoN’t B sO iMaTuRe.

      • Knex says

        Actually, he means “effect”.

        “Affect” applies to feelings and emotion. A nostalgic song can AFFECT your mood. Witnessing an car accident can negatively AFFECT your sense of safety in the road.

        “Effect” applies to consequence in action. The EFFECT of greenhouse gas emissions on the environment is notable. Your choice to not complete the assignment will EFFECT your grade.

        I am a mental health specialist, so it is a point of contention among us therapists when non-psych clinicians use “affect” and “effect” interchangeably and, therefore, improperly, in clinical notation since our entire field deals with, primarily, affect.

      • kendon says

        KNEX is totally wrong. Mike should have written “affect.” Okay, KNEX isn’t *totally* wrong — only the last sentence in the 3rd paragraph is totally wrong. The correct sentence would be: “… the assignment will AFFECT your grade.” KNEX: time to go back and review your basic English lessons. Especially if you are going to pose as an expert.

      • Rodinne says

        Both can be either, but affect as a noun and effect as a verb are much less common than the other way around.

        I can effect change. Reduced affect is often a sign of mental illness.

      • Brook says

        Nancy: Thank you for making me aware of this situation. I’m going to ask around and see if the Meyer’s sheets I use are irritating anyone.

        Mike: With all due respect, when someone points out how your actions affect them, they aren’t saying what your job is or trying to coerce you. They are sharing with you how your actions affect them. Someone’s reaction to this kind of information can make things clear about his or her character.

        For example, if someone makes you aware of a situation as above without actually attaching any expectations or without making any remarks at all about forcing you in one direction or the other, and yet you respond to them as if they did, well, someone might possibly give you the benefit of the doubt and think you misread the post. But pretty much everyone will just think you are a selfish ass and using a straw man fallacy instead of a valid justification for telling them that you could care less how your “normal practices” affect them or anyone. And if you didn’t even care enough to pay enough attention to their post to be certain of their intentions even though it influenced you to making it clear that you are “having a problem” with it, then it becomes further clear how much you could care less what people actually think as you clearly could care less what they’ve actually said.

      • Dee says

        I have a son who is very sensitive to scents, etc. It has gotten so bad that he is not able to attend church anymore because of all the scents people use. The situation for him is life or death as his throat closes and he can’t breath. I think we all should be a little more aware of these situations as more and more people are developing these allergies.
        Years ago when I learned that a member of our church had difficulty breathing because of perfumes, etc, I quit using them. I felt it was the least I could do — I sure didn’t want her harm her in any way.

      • Rebekah says

        I can understand your situation. My husband has very bad allergies and we try to sit away from people at church because strong smelling perfumes give him an instant headache. I sometimes think people don’t realize how much they put on. It really makes me mad when people put a TON of perfume on and work in the nursery.

      • Angie says

        I agree with you Dee. I get migraines from scents and perfumes and I so appreciate it when people are willing to do what they can to help me out. Thank you for being so considerate of others.

      • Sara says

        Ditto. This is very reminiscent of the peanut allergy debate, in my opinion. There are schools that have banned peanuts in every form. No pb & j or anything at all that can possibly trigger that allergy in another student. There are also schools that have children with peanut allergies simply eat their lunches at a designated table, as to avoid a possible trigger. The latter is looked down upon as ostracization, by some. Where do we draw the line, though? Must we all conform to each other’s sensitivities? How exhausting! I do my part to live naturally, but wouldn’t think to impose my lifestyle on anyone else. If I have a sensitivity, I can do what is necessary to not come in contact with a trigger. It’d be nice to be catered to, but for everyone to constantly consider another’s needs with disregard for personal preference is a little unreasonable. If my neighbor likes scents and I’m allergic, oh well! I’ll avoid their vent output area on their laundry day. If my kid has a peanut allergy, I’ll do what I can to keep them safe– without inconveniencing everyone. If I hate perfume, I’ll avoid those over enthusiastic misters. Simple enough. We should all be kind and thoughtful without expecting constant catering from others who are unaware of our personal plights.

      • Justme says

        She is not the only one affected by your choices. This article is the only one I had “on hand”. Everything we put on our bodies (other than what it does to you, personally, or the smells that bother others) gets washed down the drain. Believe it or not, these chemicals do not disappear from reality. The chemicals (perfumes, softeners, cleaners, et al.) end up in our drinking water and in our streams and rivers and other water bodies.

        So the change would not ONLY be for her.

      • Colleen says

        Thanks for sharing this article. I know the NYT is very “liberal”, so I read anything there with special care. The article does not point out that the common birth control pill is obviously one of the best sources of synthetic estrogen. I wonder how many people realize that in 2005, the World Health Organization (the medical arm of the United Nations), after studying EVERY study IN THE WORLD to that date concerning the “birth control pill” and cancer declared hormonal contraception as a Group One carcinogen, the most dangerous, in the same group as asbestos and tobacco? Use of hormonal contraception is as directly linked to breast, uterine, and liver cancer as tobacco and asbestos are to lung cancer. This blog article has nothing to do with that, but I wanted to share this link with Justme: It is sad how many people are ingesting chemicals in municipal water they would never choose to put in their bodies and that are not tested for by the municipalities.

        I thank you, Jilly for your wool dryer ball information.

      • lora says

        I wouldn’t expect someone with your attitude to have enough respect for someone else to change anything anything you do. I was exposed to black mold and it caused sever allergies. The doctors thought I was going to die when finally admitted to the ICU. I had lost about 20 lbs. and weighed 92 lbs. at that time. When I didn’t die they thought I would have to live in a bubble which I pretty much had to for years. That was 30 years ago. We had to go through our whole house and pretty much gut it. It cost us thousands of dollars plur the medical expense. I had to quit work, had to quit walking which once was a passion of mine, we no longer could go out dancing and I couldn’t even walk down the detergent isle in the super-market with-out having an asthma attack. For years I had to set my alarm 3 times a night to take my meds. Believe me after going through what I went through you do what your doctor tells you. You have no idea what it is like to try and live like this. I LOVE scents, they just don’t love me. I just got out of ICU after a 7 day stay that almost took my life once again. When I was working someone had perfume on that was causing my asthma to act up along with a migraine. I told a fellow employee I was going home and she said just try laying down for a while. After a half hour I knew I was going to be sick so I came out and said I have to leave. She looked at my pasty white face and said I am so sorry, I had know idea that it was this bad. How would you like to live like this? I have to think about where I sit when we go somewhere. I don’t go to very many public places because of the reaction by body has. I wish I could wish it away. Thanks for your understanding, it is very appreciated.

      • Vanessa says

        What on earth does black mold have to do with sensitivities to scents?

        Here, here, Mike!

      • Tink says

        That is a very tragic story Lora. It sounds like life can be hard for you. Thing is that still doesn’t make it the majorities problem. If your health is so threatened by simple perfumes then I would suggest working from home or going on disability. That is sort of what it is there for. It would be an incredibly selfish thing to demand that everyone stop a very normal , accepted, and popular custom for the very small percentage it affects. I suppose it wouldn’t be rude to make a polite request but you shouldn’t feel slighted if everyone did not go along. There are always ways to compromise like sitting apart from the fragrant folks. If this isn’t possible of sitting away isn’t enough to prevent a dangerous allergic reaction then I would refer back to the beginning of my response. That is the way I feel about schools and children with anaphylaxis. If the child is at such a great risk that something as ordinary as peanut butter is outlawed that child should obviously be home schooled or private schooled. I honestly find it a bit shocking that parents of children in such risk would rely on the current public school systems to be responsible enough to keep my child safe. Seriously, Watch the news and everyday you will read and hear at least 3 stories of teachers and school officials doing insane things and neglecting their duties.

      • LjBrock says

        So, not only can’t I eat peanuts anymore in public, I can’t fabric soften my clothes because my neighbor has allergies. Oh please.

      • says


        They have organic fragrance free, softener, if that helps :-)
        Christmas presents for the neighborhood…thought that might be a suggestion :-) Hope this helps! :-)

      • Christine says

        Allergies are no joke Mike. My grandaughter has a life threatening peanut allergy. Been to the ER before 2 yrs. old. Hard to understand that others can die if you leave peanuts laying about but try to think of others. Life is not just all about us. And…I don’t like Oprah and am conservative.

      • Amanda G. says

        My future brother in law is VERY allergic to nuts (only tree nuts, not peanuts). He can’t even smell them cooking or he will start to have a reaction. This makes it very hard for him to go to the mall around the holidays, since most have one of those cinnamon pecan stands. But does he write angry letters to the mall’s board of directors, demanding they shut down these stands? Does he go around to all the neighbors and tell them they can’t make certain Christmas cookies or dishes? No. He is careful about what areas of the mall he goes to, and always makes sure he has an epi-pen with him. Simple as that.

        I didn’t leave this comment to be a bitch, or be snarky. I just want people to understand that you don’t have to be preachy to get your cause heard. And some of these previous comments are definitely preachy. You can’t expect everyone in your neighborhood to stop using fabric softener, in their own homes, just because you are allergic to it. And you can’t expect people to stop eating certain foods, in public, just in case someone who is allergic to it might be in the area….I’m stopping this comment now, because I’m beginning to get angry, and the purpose of this blog post wasn’t for that.

        Great idea Jillee! I need to try these!

      • Sara says

        Before someone comes along… It’s “Hear, Hear!” I’ll spare someone else the need to correct. :)

      • says

        Thanks for your suggestion. I really like your attitude and consideration to suggest, rather than like a boss tell others what to do. I was going to copy this and give it a try. Then I realized we all have wool allergies! No kidding. I might be able to find a good cotton yarn, and just make it larger. But the one who is bossing all of us about like she knows all is just such a turn off I might just not be able to help it, I may just have to go out and but a ton of those gain and purex and downey unstopables and scented thingies. Please it’s not that I do not care about my neighbors, it’s just that what goes outdoors is in such a large area there is no way it is going to add to any of my neighbors suffering. No way at all. If you saw my house you’d see what I mean. Whoever you are with the bossy not even at all suggesting attitude, I just want you to know how negativily you affect others by your bossy ways.And it might get you the correct reactiopn if you do try to make more suggestions ie recomandations rather than just telling others what to do. Ok so I am not a professional secratary. SO what? I bet you do get the meaning. I hope so any way. Thanks for the idea. No thanks for the condenscending attitude you know who you are.

      • Lady P says

        With all due respect, how do you even go outside or interact with other people if you’re that bothered by other people’s laundry exhaust and smells from people’s clothing? Really????????

      • MAS says

        My sister has Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and she had a neighbor who was running a laundry service in her home and using regular laundry products. My sister couldn’t go outside or even have her own windows open and had painful physical reactions to the chemicals in the “fresh” air. She politely explained to the neighbor what was happening and even gave her unscented laundry soap and fabric softener to try but the neighbor couldn’t have cared less. My sister’s health deteriorated until they were finally able to move to a rural area. Even now, years later, she’s not able to leave home or interact with other people much at all because every exposure can be debilitating. There are thousands of people who have Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and it affects every area of their lives. Until this struck my sister, I had no idea about any of this and the majority of people in the world have no clue, either.

      • ainsley says

        Heavy metal poisoning? Tried the various allergen free detoxing diets etc out there? It’s not normal to just have to live with that. There are too many illnesses and conditions that we are accepting as “bad luck normal”. Try an eastern doctor…western medicine is terrible for curing anything but acute injury illness. Really they just manage the problem and you’re on your own until it goes away.

      • leal says

        I agree – I just detoxed and haven’t felt like this for years. I also started eliminating all processed foods to eliminate chemical additives. What a change in my allergies, energy level.

      • Maxx says

        Yes, MAS, most people don’t have a clue, and as you can so obviously tell, most don’t care to get a clue because we live in a ME ME ME world now…..but karma can be a real bugger, can’t it? People seem to forget that their rights only extend to the point where they begin to impact someone else’s. Now, can we all get back to the blog?

      • Erica says

        If your clothes smell like nasty mildew, adding a chemical fragrance doesn’t magically make that go away, any more than teenage boys dousing themselves in axe makes the smell of cigarette smoke go away – it just compounds the stink. If you don’t want to smell like nasty mildew, get your clothes out of the washer more quickly.

      • Jana says

        Also if you wash in HOT water with only vinegar adn dry on high 2 cycles with NO fabric softener it will kill the mildew. Seems counter productive on the energy savings part but you should only have to do it every few loads. This is the ONLY way I wash ,y towels (I live in SWFL and it is ALWAYS humid here and towels get yucky).

      • says

        try using plain white vinegar in place of fabric softener in your washing machine. I promise you, your clothes will NOT smell like pickles. They will smell so fresh and clean. Vinegar also will soften your clothes. White vinegar sanitizes as well (wich will help in mildew-y odors).

      • Jessica says

        I have an older washing machine–not one of the HE machines. If the clothes I’m washing have a strong mildew odor I use a 1/2 cup to a full cup of vinegar. If the clothes don’t have a mildew smell to them I use my Downy ball and fill it to the line like I used to with fabric softener.

      • Shari says

        I agree, the vinegar is awesome in the rinse cycle ! I haven’t used fabric softeners for several years now, and the clothes smell wonderful. We’ve just bought a new house,(new to us, it’s an old, old place), and a clothes line is a priority for me ! I love line dried clothes ! Plus, my miniature horses love to stand/sleep between the lines of flapping clothes-keeps the flies away from them !

      • Maxx says

        I have a front loader, and since I only wash large loads, I use two downy balls of vinegar for my husband’s greasy work jeans and for towels; just one for other types of clothes. It has helped rid my clothes of excess soap stiffness, keeps my washer fresh smelling, no soap buildup in my washer like my niece has in hers, and all my clothes dry soft and wrinkle-free now. I will say when I first eliminated fabric softener, it took a while to get to this point. Since I use vinegar exclusively now, I only have a mildew problem if I forget a load in the washer once in awhile, and then the ‘rewash’ gets two downy balls of vinegar, and then it’s back to the regular usage.

      • My 2 Cents says

        Jillie has a great “recipe” for getting rid of nasty towel smell. I used it and it worked like a charm!

      • says

        To help the mildewy smell in your clothes, use 1/4 cup of white vinegar in your rinse cycle instead of fabric softeners. It actually takes away the smell instead of just masking it. It especially helps with towels.

      • says

        To get rid of mildew smells on your clothes, use vinegar in the bleach section of your washer. It’s non-toxic and works wonderfully on the mildew…Better than fabric softeners, which don’t take care of the mildew problem, they simply mask it. Vinegar gets rid of the problem and your clothes don’t smell like vinegar afterwards – just clean.

      • Katie says

        One thing that will help get rid of mildew smelling clothes is to add white vinegar to your wash load in the softener section. I do this with every load of towels now to keep them smelling fresh and mildew free. Also, clean your washer often with bleach and hot water. It helps a lot!!

    • Jessi says

      I am sorry to see that so many used your question as a place to bicker. You can soak something in fabric softener whether its homemade or store bought and dry it in the dryer to leave your clothes smelling nice, but if every load comes out smelling like mildew again and again you need to tackle the washer and dryer without clothes first. There are several methods for cleaning out your washer. When I was a nanny I used bleach in an empty washer once or twice a month. It was a front loader so some of the wash water lingered in the rubber seal around the door and that was the way we found at the time to periodically clean it to make sure that it didn’t stink up the clothes. Now I use vinegar in my own.

      If your clothes have been that way for a long time you also need to clean out the dryer at least wiping it out with something and allow it to dry

      if you do all of that and the problem crops up again quickly you may need to make sure you dont have problems with mold elsewhere in your home

      As for all the snarky comments, a person has a right to share their experience about how the world affects them, because those of us who are caring and compassionate want to know. Those who don’t care, for not caring you sure take a lot of time and energy to voice your own opinions on the matter, do you really think that someone who struggles with an issue that you do not care about is going to waste their energy caring how you think they should keep their experiences to themselves.

      And do you really think Jillee created this blog for you to debate it all here…

      Just because there is a comment box and a space to type doesn’t always mean its the right place or the right time to ridicule and criticize. Its still called bullying

      • Colleen says

        Well said, Jessi!
        I was so sad to have to scroll through that business while learning about wool dryer balls. I am excited to switch to them. I have been using white vinegar, one cup per EXTRA LARGE/SUPER washer load since my husband’s Grandma advised it when I first married, but only for towels, undergarments, and diapers. I liked the smell of a certain liquid fabric sofner for sheets and clothing. A washing machine repair man told me that some of our issues in the washer were caused by the liquid fabric softener. So, I switched to dryer sheets for a while, to save money, using 1/2 sheet per load. Then, a dryer repairman told me the corrosion on my dryer grill was due to fabric softner sheets! I used the blue spikey balls for a while, but had problems with static and there is no sent. I have since reverted to that old liquid fabric softner in recent years. I don’t know, I have had to wash up to 21 EXTRA LARGE/SUPER loads of laundry a week due to our large family and didn’t take time to research all this. No computer or Internet until they were all quite grown. I can testify that my vinegar loads are NEVER staticy and that I have often washed the washer out to get rid of the build up from the liquid fabric softner. But, very soon, I am going to have great wool dryer balls and be done with that stuff. I am quite excited. I am a little bit envious of you young people who can connect this way. I am here today because my married daughter, pregnant with our first grandchild discovered this new method.
        As for all the people with allergies, my heart goes out to you. I do care and although I may not do it all well, I will most certainly not purposefully try to expose you to things. I assume that you are being proactive in watching out for the danger zones. We can work together on this quite reasonable with a spirit of love. I know my life isn’t all about me.

      • Laura says

        You, Colleen, are one very gracious lady. Grandmothers always make the best sense.

      • Dorothy says

        If an adult makes the decision to post an opinion and provide personal information about themselves in a public forum than they need to be prepared that others will response and they need to be able to accept that not all of of the responses will be in agreement with their opinion and that some of the responses may even be negative. When someone posts their opinion and personal information about themselves and others respend whether in a negative or positive manner it is not bullying. Bullying is when a person is picked on and beat down even when they are doing nothing but keeping to themselves.

        Additionally the remark about how fabric softeners dispersing into neighborhoods and affecting the scent sensitive in my opinion was not made in a “hey just so you know” way. It was made in a somewhat condescending and reproachful way towards the woman who said that she likes fabric softener. It was posted to tell the fabric softener loving poster that she was thoughtless and careless because she used fabric softener and that it hadn’t ocurred to her it might bother others.

        It’s a shame that there are scent sensitive people out there. It’s a shame that there’s anyone anywhere out there with any type of affliction that causes them to have to alter how they live be it little sacrafices or large. However, it is each individuals responsibilty to take care of themselves. It should not be my responsibility to take on extra hardships or sacrafices just so that you don’t have to.

      • NaturalMindedMama says

        I’m sorry, but I just have to ask: since when is not using fabric softener a “hardship” or a “sacrifice”? I think you need to reevaluate your understanding of those words. What you’re talking about is a minor inconvenience, at worst.

        While I do agree with the idea that each person should take full responsibility for their own health and well-being and their own decisions (and the consequences of those decisions, be they good or bad), I also firmly believe that a person SHOULD care about others. They should keep in mind how their choices affect others, and should choose very carefully which products they just can’t seem to live without, because there is most definitely a deleterious effect on our bodies, our children’s bodies, our environment, and our friends’, neighbors’ and coworkers’ bodies. We are seeing an increasing demand for scented products, each more strongly scented than the last, and at the same time seeing an increase in chemical sensitivity issues.

        I HAVE had to completely change myself to accommodate someone else’s chemical sensitivities. I was a massage therapist, and had a client whose sensitivities were so severe that she lived every day, all day, inside a tiny trailer on her parents’ driveway. To work on her, I had to wear clothes that were hung to dry (and therefore unexposed to the rubber in the dryer seal), shower with ONLY water (to avoid perfumes from hair products) and scrub every inch of my skin with a fresh washcloth, dry off with a fresh towel (no contaminants from previous showers), use a special hairbrush to avoid cross-contamination from the brush I used after soap showers, skip brushing my teeth and applying deodorant and makeup, eat absolutely NO dairy products for breakfast that morning, arrive early, change to a specially made gown sewn from thoroughly stripped fabric with only my undies on beneath it, use only the oil they provided (coconut, which was somewhat nauseating when combined with the unfortunate odor that permeated the poor girl’s trailer from not being able to leave it or clean it the way most people do), and remain almost entirely silent for the length of the massage, using only whispers (she also had sound sensitivity) when I needed to communicate with her. I also couldn’t use body lotions, paint my nails, dye my hair, or do a number of other things that many people would be horrified to give up. And despite all that, she STILL couldn’t tolerate my presence sometimes. But I did my best. I CARED. I changed myself, my routine, my personal hygiene regimen, my washing and drying of certain clothes… I did it all FOR SOMEONE ELSE. Imagine that. Try it sometime. See how good it makes you feel to make them feel good, feel cared for and worried about. Or you could just continue on, convinced that you are the only one who matters. Good luck with that.

      • LightTreason says

        I’m sorry, but can I assume you were being paid for your work as a massage therapist? Because, unless it was a 100% charitable act for which you remained uncompensated, your condescension is very much unwarranted. Whatever you did was not completely selfless. It was a job (again, assuming you accepted payment for your work).

      • M says

        It’s very likely this woman had a serious mental illness if what you say is true. Sounds like an serious exaggeration to me.

    • Helen says

      Fabric softeners contain so many chemicals that you really don’t want to use them unless you have to. The dryer balls work great without the fabric softener.


  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?

    • says

      I guess it depends on how allergic the person is to wool. I cannot wear anything made of wool, not even cashmere with a shirt on under it. I’m itchy just thinking about it. I have been using wool dryer balls since May of this year with no adverse skin side effects. Obviously this wouldn’t be the case with someone who goes into anaphylactic shock when around wool.

      Sadly, the yarn won’t felt unless it’s 100% wool.

      You could always use the plastic bumpy kind of dryer balls and achieve similar results.

      • Sarah says

        Actually most animal fibers will felt, wool is just the best as it. Try angora(bunny) or some other kind of yarn.

      • Melissa says

        Alpaca yarn will felt very well too. I would avoid angora because the hairs could get all over your clothes. Most folks who are allergic to wool are allergic to the lanolin that coats the fibers. Alpaca doesn’t have that.

      • Heather W. says

        Wool and cashmere are not the same; wool is from sheep and cashmere is from goats. If you are allergic to both of those you might want to consider trying alpaca, camel, bison, yak, or any of the other animal fiber yarns.

      • cathy says

        Your comment was a welcome giggle! If you have local yarn stores nearby you can get it from there but 100% alpaca can be pricey and yak even more expensive. Large craft stores do carry alpaca but it’s usaully a blend of some sort.

      • Copper says

        Glad someone asked and answered this question! I’m allergic to wool – can’t let my skin come into contact with it as I get all itchy and can break out in a rash as a result. I use the spikey dryer balls, but would love to try these to see if I get better results.

      • Tink says

        A ball of aluminum foil also works really well. I use one or two in the dryer about the size of a golf ball. I was thinking that they may be hypo-allergenic and they definitely softer clothing and stop static without fragrance or itchy fibers.

    • Rebecca says

      It is a little different bc u are not staying in constant contact with the wool_ only basically letting it bounce around w ur clothes_ so id say unless the are REALLY super senstive it should be fine_

    • Tonia Hall says

      Ms Rachel Loveridge, I have heard that you can use tennis balls in the same way. I have never done this personally, but I know of people that do. You could try that if the wool allergy is too bad for these. It is an option to try anyway. Good luck!

  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.

    • Krista says

      I would not recommend tennis balls. As the dryer heats up the rubber, it can release toxins.

  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!

    • June Peters says

      Fisherman’s wool comes in different weight packaging, depending on the outlet, hence the lower price (less yarn) Then there are the coupons and sales too.

      • Rebecca says

        What type of stores? Local? Online? I used a 100% wool sweater from the thriftstore! They worked great for awhile but think i need to put yarn around it to felt better. Bc they started to come undone sadly.

      • Jolee says

        Mine came undone as well, but I rewound them, put them back into panty hose and refelted them. Good as new.

    • Heather W. says

      Besides making sure that you have 100% animal fiber (doesn’t have to be wool), make sure that it isn’t “superwash” yarn which basically means that it has been treated to not felt. Also, if you don’t get the undyed yarn, the lighter colors don’t usually felt as well as the darker ones since the light ones are sometimes bleached before dying.

      • leal says

        Thanks for the information Heather. I would not have known about the “superwash” yarn nor the color having any difference for felting. I am thinking I have time to make these for my daughter for Christmas this year.

      • hemlock27 says

        Thank you so much for the heads up on the yarn, I am so excited to try this! I have now edited my shopping list to “Wool yarn- undyed, 100% wool, nonbleached (no light colors), not superwashed labeled” :)

        Yay for Mother Earth!

  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?

    • Sarah says

      This is what I do, I have 3 aluminum foil balls that I put inside a lingerie wash bag to keep them from getting lost in the arms/legs/pockets of my clothes; I use vinegar in my fabric softener spot in the washer then then 5-6 dryer balls and the bag of aluminum foil balls too. It is a bit noisy but if I close the door I can barely hear it. I’m so used to it now anyway that I just don’t notice anymore until someone comes over and says “what IS that noise?!” LOL

  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.

    • Karen says

      My concern with tennis balls would be-what are they made of? I’d much rather use something natural like wool.

      • MsKat says

        I think, THINK, regular tennis balls are made of wool and rubber (unless they have been ‘redesigned’); I cannot attest to tennis ball pet toys being wool though.

      • Heather says

        Most dryers say not to put rubber products in them….look on the labels in the doors and you will see it.

      • Krista says

        The rubber in tennis balls releases toxins when the dryer heats up. I wouldn’t use them.

  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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