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.
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 as laundry detergent 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 natural fabric softener recipes.
Do dryer balls work?
100% yes! Wool dryer balls really do work great!
Benefits of using wool dryer balls
- Significantly improve drying time
- Reduce or eliminate static
- All natural materials
Do wool dryer balls reduce drying time?
Yes! 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.
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 over 20% savings. Not quite as good as Woolzies own claim of 25% savings, but still great in my book!
Do wool dryer balls work for static?
Yes, wool dryer balls work amazingly well to get rid of static. I used to have a lot of static in my laundry especially when washing towels.
Since I started using wool dryer balls I have had no static in my clothes or towels whatsoever!
The other day I accidentally ran a load of laundry without dryer balls and the load wasn’t dryer the first time I checked it when it usually would have with dryer balls. And, worst of all when the load was finally dry it was a very staticky load.
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 dryer balls?
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.
Buying wool dryer balls
You can pick up any wool dryer balls to give them a try! There are varying qualities out there so read reviews before you buy any.
I personally use the 100% wool Woolzie dryer balls and haven’t been disappointed. You don’t need to use Woolzies, there are a bunch of different dryer balls out there.
I bought the three pack of XL dryer balls. I really like these woolen laundry balls. They don’t have all the chemicals that their plastic brethren have, and they look a lot better too!
There are also a bunch of other great dryer ball choices, check out the most popular dryer balls our reads love or the top rated wool dryer balls on Amazon check them out and pick what will work best for you!
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.
Update: Personally, after using them now for a few years I think Woolzies are the best wool dryer balls. They are simple, have no gimmicks, and last for a very long time.
How to use dryer balls
As 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. Instead we need to make sure that loads a reasonable size so that there is room for dryer balls to get in there and do their work.
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?
Wool dryer balls will typically last for more than 1,000 loads or somewhere between 2-5 years of use. 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.
Do wool dryer balls leave lint on clothes?
High quality wool dryer balls will not leave fibers on your clothes at all after the first load or two. I’d recommend only buying for companies that are well reviewed online. That said, when dryer balls start to get old they will start to unravel and fall apart and they will start to leave fibers on clothes. That’s how you’ll know it is time to replace them and move on to a new set.
Refreshing Wool Dryer Balls
If your dryer balls begin to be less effecting or start to look a little tired you can quickly refreshing them by running them, through the washer and dryer. Read more on my post How to Recharge Wool Dryer Balls for a full guide.
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.
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).
Should you try wool dryer balls?
At the end of the day, I’m really happy with my new wool laundry 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!
- Wool Dryer Balls
- Essential Oils (optional)
- Throw you balls in the dryer
- Test out drying times to find the sweet-spot
- Optional: When your laundry is completely dry You can sprinkle few drops of essential oils onto a dryer ball or two and add them to the dryer on the air(correct word) cycle only.