A question posted on the farm’s Facebook page inspired today’s post. We make and sell wool dryer balls made with fiber from our Tunis sheep. Our chemical and dye-free dryer balls are a popular item, but many people don’t know what they are!
So, what are wool dryer balls? Dryer balls are used to help dry clothes more quickly than usual as well as to soften fabrics in the dryer. When you add dryer balls into your clothes dryer the balls will bounce around in the dryer and in between 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. By using up to 3 balls in a medium load, you can decrease the total dry time by 20% or up to 15 minutes at a time.
There are a few tricks to using dryer balls. You can’t efficiently dry great big loads of laundry at one time since the balls need a bit of room in the dryer to bounce around. Three medium sized balls should suffice for most small-medium loads, but 6 would work better for heavier material (think denim). (Keep in mind that overloading the dryer will reduce their efficacy, regardless of how many dryer balls added to the load.) To use them, you simply toss them into the dryer along with your laundry and they will do their thing!
What about static? Do dryer balls prevent static? The truth is, dryer balls do not prevent static. However, there are things that you can do to reduce static in your laundry. First, much of the reason that static builds up in dryers is due to over-drying the load. This is especially problematic during the winter months when the overall environment is low in humidity.
To compensate, try spraying the wool dryer balls with water, getting them rather wet. This will increase the humidity level in the dryer. Another tip– try pinning a small safety pin on one ball to diffuse static.
Can I add essential oils to my wool dryer balls? Absolutely! splashing a few drops of essential oils onto the wool dryer balls will make your laundry smell great without having to use chemicals!
To get the maximum benefit, allow the essential oil soak on the dryer balls for 10-20 minutes before putting them in the dryer. This will extend the amount of time the fragrance will will impart to clothes.
Can I use these with cloth diapers?
Absolutely! Unlike chemical fabric softeners, they won’t affect the absorbency of your towels, kitchen dishcloths AND your cloth diapers like commercial fabric softeners will.
We hope that you will give will dryer balls a try. For those of us who are sensitive to chemical dyes and fragrances, wool dryer balls offer an inexpensive, eco-friendly alternative to dryer sheets and fabric softeners.