How To Use Wool Dryer Balls and Do They Work?

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how to use wool dryer balls

How To Use Wool Dryer Balls

I remember seeing people use dryer balls when I was a kid. I remember thinking that friend's parents were a little crazy because they were chucking her kids toy balls into the dryer with the laundry.

I never put too much thought into using dryer balls myself.  They are just one of those things in life that I would see other people using, but never once considered there might be a place for them in my own life, as silly as that sounds.

Until now! (said as an intense movie voice over guy)

A few months ago my wife and I went on a little trip to France, it was wonderful.  While in France we had our minds blown when we used soap nuts for the first time.  

After finding such a crazy and wonderful solution for washing clothes I decided I should give dryer balls a chance and see if dryer balls really do work.  If you are looking for fabric softener recipes in general check out my other post on diy fabric softener recipes.

What You'll Need

how to use wool dryer balls from woolzie

Dryer Balls of course!  You don't need to use Woolzies of course, there are a bunch of different dryer balls out there.  I personal am not interested in plastic or rubber ones, so I looked for dryer balls made from natural fibers.  

I found Woolzies on Amazon.  They sounded good and were made of 100% wool so I gave them a try, and haven't been disappointed.

You can pick up some of Woolzies Dryer Balls from Amazon:
Woolzies XL Dryer Balls or Woolzies 3 Dryer Balls

There are also a bunch of other highly rated wool dryer balls on Amazon including grey and black wool dryer balls so check them out and pick what will work best for you.

I bought the three pack of XL dryer balls.  I really like these wool dryer balls. They don't have all the chemicals that their plastic brethren have, and they look a lot better too!

I was a little worried that they would last very long and that they would come unraveled.  So far after several loads they have held up really well.  According to the box these wool dryer balls are reusable up to 1,000 loads.  

For me, that means these dryer balls will last for several years.

What Do Dryer Balls Do?

Benefits of using wool dryer balls

The primary benefits of wool dryer balls are that they help to dry laundry more quickly and are made from all natural materials.

When you load a big armful of wet towels into the dryer they will flop and tumble around. Normally fabric will stick together in the dryer, slowing down the drying process.

On the other hand, when you add dryer balls into your clothes dryer the balls will get in-between the towels and clothing.  The balls will separate and pull them apart with their weight.

This in turn is allows more hot air in and around your laundry helping the dryer to heat your laundry more quickly and suck the evaporated water out of the dryer more efficiently.

This more aerated drying also helps your laundry to feel more dry when it comes out of the dryer.

Wool balls vs Dryer sheets

I personally am not a fan of store bought dryer sheets as they are typically saturated with chemicals and perfumes.  I would also much rather use something in the dryer to help speed up the drying time and reduce energy usage in the process.

Are wool dryer balls better than plastic

Yes, wool dryer balls are better than plastic ones in my opinion, all day long!  Why use something plastic when you can use a naturally sources product like wool dryer balls!

Another nice perk to using wool dryer balls over plastic dryer balls is that they are much more quiet than plastic dryer balls.  Plastic dryer balls can make a lot of clattering noise when they are being used in the dryer.

How To Use Dryer Balls

here how you can use wool dryer balls

Here's how to use wool dryers balls:

Keep in mind when using dryer balls is how dryer balls work.  Like I said above, dryer balls work by separating laundry in the dryer so that hot air can circulate more evenly and efficiently.

What this means to you and I is that we can't dry great big loads of laundry at one time.

The dryer balls need room to work.  Only dry loads that are small or medium sized. If you're wondering how many dryer balls to use a common amount is 3 of the XL balls per load.

Grab your dryer balls and just throw them into the dryer along with your laundry.

That's it, your clothes dryer and the dryer balls will do the rest! Keep an eye on your laundry for the first few loads.  Your laundry will dry much faster, and over drying clothes isn't very good for them.

How long do wool dryer balls last?

You will want to replace wool dryer balls approximately every 1,000 loads.  However, you will also know it is time to replace wool dryer balls once they begin to look scraggly. 

You don't want chunks of wool fiber to rip off in the the dryer.  The occasional tissue making it into the dryer to disintegrate is bad enough.

Adding Essential Oils

Use during a non heated tumble dry setting only. Heating essential oils to a high temperature in a clothes dryer has in some cases caused fires.

how to use dryer balls by adding essential oils

Another neat little trick you can do when you're using wool dryer balls is to splash a few drops of essential oil onto them similar to what you would do if you where making homemade dryer sheets.

By splashing a few drops of essential oils onto the wool dryer balls you can make your laundry smell awesome without having to use super chemically dryer sheets to do it!

Let the essential oil soak on the dryer balls for a 10-20 minutes before you use them.  The more the oils are absorbed into the dryer balls before use the more slowly they will be dispersed in the dryer, and slower is better!

To use essential oils on your dryer balls:

  • First dry your load of laundry completely. 
  • Then, add in the dryer balls with the essential oils and run the load again on a non-heat setting for 10-20 minutes.

If you're new to essential oils I recommend picking out a starter set of essential oils and the book Essential Oils for Beginners both will help you find the scents that you enjoy most and teach you how to use them!  There are more options than lavender and peppermint(I honestly had no idea).

How Well Do Dryer Balls Work?

How to use dryer balls, do they work

Do dryer balls really work? So far my wool dryer balls have been working very well. My laundry seems to be getting dryer a little faster which is the whole point, so I'm happy!

I did a little experiment to see what the time difference is when drying with and without dryer balls. I dried two equal loads of towels one with dryer balls, and one without.

The load with the dryer balls was done roughly 8 minutes sooner than the load without. That is more than enough of a time and energy savings to make me happy.  

The longer load went for about 38 minutes, and the shorter one went for 30 minutes.  That works out to be a little better than Woolzies own claim of 25% savings!

How do dryer balls reduce drying time?

Dryer balls reduce drying time by getting in between items in the dryers and helping to separate them as the tumble.  This promotes better air circulation within the dryer helping to more quickly evaporate moisture in the towels and draw it away.

At the end of the day, I'm really happy with my new wool dryer balls. I will definitely keep using them, and I recommend you give them a try for yourself!

You can read my full post of homemade fabric softener recipes for more laundry solutions.  Thank you for reading, I hope you found this post helpful! If you did like it please share it with a friend!

-Lance

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