Non-toxic Cleaning: Wool Dryer Balls

Wool Dryer Balls

Dryer sheets: Yuck! We banished these from our house about four years ago and haven’t looked back since.

Aside from being wasteful, dryer sheets are coated with chemicals and synthetic fragrances to soften and reduce static cling. While your clothes may feel softer, dryer sheets and softeners leave chemical residues behind on your clothing.

For the past few years, I’ve been using wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets. And I absolutely LOVE them! Not only are the wool dryer balls great to distract a toddler while I speed (and I mean SPEED) fold laundry, but they are very cost-efficient.

Bounce dryer sheets are $5.87 for 160 sheets at Walmart. I do usually 2-3 loads of laundry everyday and my dryer balls have lasted about two years. In two years, roughly 1,248+ loads of laundry (What!? I need a house cleaner, Kyle) would equate to about $65.00 in dryer sheets.

In case you’re wondering, we use cloth diapers, cloth pull-ups and eliminated paper towels. I’m not a twisted housewife who washes 624+ loads of clothes just to win a laundry trophy 😉

Wool dryer balls help save energy, too, by cutting down on drying time! I’ve heard that they can help with wrinkles and static cling, too. I still experience some static cling, but I’m testing a solution I hope to share with you soon!

Our faithful wooly balls have served us well but they are starting to unravel and it’s time to replace them. But rather than buy new wool dryer balls, I’ve made them and I’m sharing this super easy DIY project with you.

What you need:

  • 100% wool yarn (NOT machine washable)
  • Scissors
  • Crochet Hook or A Sewing Needle
  • Old pair of Pantyhose

1 Skeins makes about 2 tennis ball-sized dryer balls. I would suggest making 6 tennis ball-sized wool balls for an average side load.

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Start by wrapping the wool around your index and middle fingers about 15 times.

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Slide the wool off your fingers and wrap in a perpendicular direction. Keep wrapping while trying to make it a circular shape.

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It will be a little lumpy at first but it works itself out into a nice round ball as you continue to wrap. I compared to a tennis ball for sizing.

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Once you reach your desired size cut the yarn leaving about 10 inches of extra length.

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Slide the crochet hook through a few pieces of the ball. Wrap the “tail” of the ball onto the hook and thread back through to secure the end. Don’t have a crochet hook? Use the blunt end of a sewing needle. Thread the end through the eye of the needle and push through a section of the ball.

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Place the wool balls into an old pair of pantyhose and tie a knot between each ball to keep them in place. Wash on the hottest water setting you washer allows. Then follow up with a dry on high heat. The heat causes the wool to felt and keep your balls from unraveling! I repeated the wash and dry cycle three times to help fully felt the balls.

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Ta-Da!

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Add a few drops of essentials oils to your wool balls to given your clothes a freshly laundered scent I use lavender because it’s gentle enough to use with my little lambs.

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