How would you like to never have to buy fabric softener again, AND be able to cut your laundry drying time in half? Would you believe me if I told you these little woolen balls can do all that? Because it’s true! Wool dryer balls can save you money, energy and time by cutting the time needed to dry your clothes, and by eliminating the need for fabric softeners. When you add 4 of these wool balls to your dryer, you can cut the drying time by 25-50%!
How Do Dryer Balls Work?
Wool dryer balls circulate through your laundry during the cycle, and help separate the clothing. The warm, dry air moves through the spaces created by the dryer balls, helping the whole load dry faster! The more balls you add, the more space you create, and the faster the whole load will dry. Dryer balls also soften your clothes through gentle friction of the felted wool fibers against the fibers of your clothes.
You can find pre-made wool dryer balls on Amazon, but I actually prefer to make my own. They couldn’t be simpler to make, and I just love how practical they are! I actually think a set of these would make a wonderful gift as well!
How To Make Wool Dryer Balls
Step 1 – Form It
To start your ball, wrap the yarn around your fingers about 20 times.
Then slip the wrapped yarn off your fingers, and wrap more yarn around that section about 20 more times to secure it.
Next, pinch the beginnings of your yarn ball together and keep wrapping with more yarn! Make sure you wrap it nice and tight.
Eventually you will end up with a round ball of yarn (about the size of a tennis ball). Tuck the end of the yarn under some of the other strands of yarn to secure it.
I had enough yarn to make 3 full size dryer balls and one small one.
Step 2 – Felt It
Now you are ready to give your dryer balls the “felting” treatment. Felting the wool is important because it causes the fibers to fuse, so the ball will be less likely to unravel over time.
For the next step, you’ll need something sheer like pantyhose or stockings to help keep the ball secure. I used a cheap pair of knee high pantyhose, and they worked wonderfully.
Place the ball into the toe of your hose or stocking, and tie it off with a piece of embroidery floss or acrylic yarn. (Do NOT use the wool yarn, because you don’t want the tie to felt.)
Then place the rest of the dryer balls into the panty hose, tying off each ball with string. You’ll end up with a kind of dryer ball, panty hose snake!
Toss the secured dryer balls into the washer, and start a wash cycle on the hottest water setting. When the wash cycle is done, toss it in your dryer on the hottest dry setting.
This is how they should look after the first felting. The fibers have fused a bit, and the ball itself is much smoother and tighter. (It will continue to get smoother and tighter with use.) 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.)
How To Use Your Homemade Dryer Balls
Toss 1-4 dryer balls in your dryer with your laundry, and dry as usual.
If you want, you can even add a couple of drops of essential oil to the balls before you throw them in the dryer for added scent. (I add a couple of drops of lavender oil, and it makes my clothes smell so nice!)
If you’re concerned about static, you can add a few drops of liquid fabric softener to each ball before putting them in the dryer as well.