Ask the Readers: Have you used wool dryer balls?

Today’s question is from Dina:

Just wondering if anyone has ever used wool dryer balls? They are supposed to cut drying time in half, eliminate static, and soften
clothes naturally. Do they really work? Or, are they are too good to be true? -Dina

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  1. Margie Runia says

    I’m reading all these posts about fabric softeners and dryer balls making your fabrics softer and maybe I have been missing something, but I do not use either one and my clothes always come out soft. I think the fabric softeners and possibly the dryer balls are a gimmick and waste of money for making fabric softer. I suggest you do your own experimenting to see if they make any difference by trying a load with and one without. As for static, I use the “less dry” setting on the dryer and don’t over dry my clothes to save on dryer heating costs and to have less static. If some of my clothes come out with static I run a metal clothes hanger across them and the static is gone! Hanging things on metal hangers also takes out the static.

    • says

      Since I use vinegar as our fabric softener, and vinegar and bleach mixing makes a toxic and smelly chemical, I stopped putting the vinegar into our “whites” load. My husband VERY quickly noticed that his undershirts were itchy. He is particularly sensitive to textures, but he went from not ever noticing his undershirts to scratching all day long.

      Now I wash the whites with bleach, then run an extra rinse/spin cycle just with vinegar.

  2. Amy Rose says

    I have used two large wool dryer balls for about a year now, and I will probably buy a couple more pretty soon and monitor drying time to see how efficient using four at a time is (supposed to be 50% less time). We have a dryer that has a moisture sensor so that clothes rarely get static, which is caused by over-drying. I can’t really say whether the dryer balls increase softness because I started using the dryer balls about the same time I switched from standard laundry detergents to Charlie’s Soap. Charlie’s Soap not only cleans better but also softens the laundry–no extra fabric softener to purchase! If you want scented laundry, you can scent the dryer balls with fragrant oils.

  3. says

    I’ve been using wool dryer balls for about a year. I think the clothes are much softer, although they do have more static. I haven’t noticed shorter dryer time.

    Is there a way to eliminate all the static?

  4. Pat says

    Wow, I must be the only one that has never heard of wood drying balls. All I’ve seen are the vinyl ones with nubbies all over. I use them and I think it does reduce drying time.

  5. christine says

    Question for those that have made wool dryer balls. I use the plastic dryer balls and I like them. I never used the wool ones but I want to try them. I am going to look and see if I can make one. The Thrift store here ( Salvation Army) has Fridays $1 a clothing item or Sat $.50 for the color of the week. I don’t think I have any thing that is made of wool. I will try to find a wool sweater and take it apart to make the dryer balls. My question is: 1. do I unravel the sweater and make a ball, 2. can I cut into strips and make a ball, or 3. use the sewing machine to make balls with the sweater into twoparts first have scraps as the core and lastly sew part of the sweater as a cover to make the ball and sew shut? I think number three would be the fastest for me but I am not sure if this would work well.

    • Rudi Pittman says

      I found a wool sweater with a hole in it in closet and made some balls….I recommend you use end of sleeves to “wrap” the ball then just sew sides…most of articles i saw said make strips of sweater and roll but if you use the sleeve as outer layer the interior can be any which way.

  6. Alicia says

    We like ours. I ordered them from Azure standard. I don’t know that it cuts down on drying time, but we only have minor static some of the time, and we’re very happy with them.

  7. Amy f;) says

    I love our dryer balls- I made some out of wool and bought some out of wool. I also use tennis balls if the kids steal the wool ones (a regular occurance). They really do knock down drying time, but I still have static if I have synthetic fabrics in with the dryer balls so I hang those. (It seems like the synthetics dry super fast anyway).

  8. Andrea Haegele says

    I bought several 100% wool sweaters from the thrift store when they had their 50% off day. I was determined to make my own dryer balls. I finally did. I started by cutting off all of the seams. Then sitting there looking at what would have been a pile of waste I decided it looked like potential. I knotted together all of the longer pieces from each sweater. (one rope per sweater) Then I took one sleeve from each sweater and balled it up. I then used the rope I had made to bind the ball. I never sewed a thing. The ball is totally made of the wool sweater. Sure it doesn’t look as perfect as the store bought ones and I could still cover it with more wool if I wanted, I still have 90% of each of the sweaters left. :) Anyway, I washed and dried them in the pantyhose style like the videos I watched had shown and they felted themselves together, the ends stayed tucked in and they work great.

  9. says

    I love this idea! We had switched to Method softener, but I still hate paying the money for it, even using it sparingly. I found this great tutorial on how to make them yourselves with some yarn. I plan to try this out over the next week and then compare them with my fabric softener.

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