Wool Dryer Balls

One of the most dangerous, chemical-ridden products on the market is most likely sitting in your laundry room right now and you’ve probably never given it a second thought.

Dryer sheets.

The chemicals that make these products work remain on  the clothes even several times after they are washed.  They’re absorbed through the skin and lungs and certain traces of these chemicals have been found in urine, blood, and even breastmilk!  The worst part of all is that the manufacturers aren’t required by law to put their full list of ingredients on the product!  So when you read “Fragrance” on the box, you have no idea how many chemicals that “Fragrance” contains or how extremely detrimental to your health it is!

Research of these chemicals have linked them to:

  • asthma and other respiratory conditions
  • reproductive and fertility problems
  • developmental issues
  • skin irritation
  • kidney, liver, and nervous system damage
  • cancers
  • massive hormones disruptions

To find out more about the specific chemicals and their effects click here or here.

After a quick Google search on the chemicals in dryer sheets, I saw enough to do a thorough laundry room clean-out!  I looked up natural substitutions for laundry detergent and dryer sheets and was extremely surprised and excited when I learned about wool dryer balls.

How do they work?

When I was in college at the laundry mat washing my comforter, one of the workers came up and asked me if I wanted some tennis balls to throw in the dryer to help rotate the fabric around to get it dry quicker.  I had never heard of it before, but it made sense and it sure did work!

Wool dryer balls work because of that same principal.  They circulate and separate your clothes getting them dry faster, but they don’t release any toxic chemicals like the rubber tennis balls do.  I also find that the dryer balls really reduce my drying time!  Using wool dryer balls has cut my drying time in half on all loads, from towels to diaper inserts!

The movement of the dryer balls still leave your clothes soft without all the harsh chemicals, so don’t be worried about walking around in stiff pants or socks!


Still have static?

When I first started using dryer balls, I pulled my clothes out and they were all stuck together!  I didn’t realize that using them would cut my drying time so much, so I had been keeping them in way too long, causing the static.  I’ll be honest, with dryer sheets, I used to just throw my clothes in the dryer and forget about them.  I would find them a day or two later and they would be wrinkled, so I would just run them again and still never have to worry about static.  That isn’t the case with dryer balls.  Pay attention to your drying time unless you don’t mind wrinkly or static-y clothes.


Throw a ball of aluminum foil in the dryer with your wool balls!  In the dryer, the aluminum absorbs the electrical charge  so your clothes stay static free (thanks for the tip, Mom!).


Saves you money!

Not only do you not have to worry about all of these terrible chemicals getting all over you and the ones you care about most, but you save money!  No more dryer sheets or liquid fabric softener!  Dryer balls (and aluminum balls) will last through thousand of loads!


How to make dryer balls?

I used a coupon at Joann’s Fabrics to get three 100% real wool skeins of yarn.  With each skein I made two balls.  It’s up to you how big or small you want your dryer balls to be.  I would call mine small to medium sized and I keep six in my dryer at any given time, which works wonderfully for us!

Make sure that you are getting 100% real wool because that’s the only way they will felt together and not come apart after many uses.  Or you could use an old wool sweater that you have laying around or that you find at a flea market.  Again, just make sure that it is real wool.

After you roll your wool into balls, stuff them into a pair of old pantyhose you have laying around, tying them off tightly to separate each ball, and wash (on a hot cycle, cold rinse) and dry several times.  I think I washed mine 3 or 4 times before they were felted enough.  Simple as that!

wool dryer balls

Miss the pretty smells of dryer sheets?

Every few loads I put about four or five drops of lavender essential oil onto a couple of the dryer balls.  This give your clothes a wonderful safe and natural smell…WITHOUT chemicals.  You can use any kind of essential oil that you prefer, I use lavender because I have little babies with sensitive skin…plus I just love the soothing smell of lavender!


Have you made wool dryer balls?  How have they worked for you?

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