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Last week I put a post of my wool dryer balls in my laundry room with a quick tip on Instagram and the slew of questions and comments led me to believe that you might like learning a little bit more about this economical, eco-friendly, natural laundry product. So here’s everything you want and need to know all in one post. Consider it a little Wool Dryer Balls 101.
Why would you want to stop using dryer sheets and fabric softener?
- Wool dryer balls are designed to take the place of dryer sheets and fabric softener. Most conventional fabric softeners and dryer sheets contain artificial fragrances and ingredients that are known to cause and/or exacerbate existing respiratory and asthmatic irritations and problems. These ingredients are toxic and harmful to anyone, not just people with existing problems.
- Fabric softeners coat fibers making clothes and towels harder to clean because they build up with the fabric softener. If you love your fabric softener and dryer sheets and love that scent that’s associated with clean laundry, you might find it hard to make the switch to something natural if it’s unscented.
- Wool dryer balls reduce drying time.
- Soften clothes for up to 1000 loads of laundry – depending on how much laundry you do, that’s probably at least 3 years!
- NO waste, eco-friendly.
- They shouldn’t contain any dyes or perfumes.
- Wool is biodegradable and naturally antimicrobial – nothing is added to make them antimicrobial. The only benefit of this that I’ve found is that it keeps the dryer balls from getting stinky through repeated use – it’s not making your clothes anti-microbial.
Here’s how to use them:
- Place 3-6 (I use 3) dryer balls in the dryer with every load of laundry – store them in your dryer or in a cute dish or container in your laundry area so you can grab them with each load. That’s it!
- Miss the clean laundry scent? I get that! I use white vinegar as an additional fabric softener in the washing machine and I add essential oils to the dryer balls. Simply put 2-3 drops of your favorite essential oil on each ball (this might discolor your dryer balls but it will have no impact on their effectiveness), let dry thoroughly and add your clothes. Repeat when the smell dissipates, I find that it will last at least a week and up to a month. I’ve been using a deodorizing essential oil blend. DoTERRA (called Purify) and Plant Therapy (called deodorizing) have great ones. Lemon + clove is another favorite combination too. This technique is not a necessity but if you do choose to use essential oils make sure that they are pure essential oils and NOT fragrance oils. If you don’t use pure essential oils you might get oil marks on your clothes.
- If you find that you still have static on your dry laundry, you can pin a safety pin on your dryer balls to eliminate the charge. You can also use a rolled up ball of aluminum foil in the dryer to help with this too. (I don’t use either of these and find that I only have a tiny bit of static on workout clothes.)
Not all wool dryer balls are the same! I did a lot of research when I was sourcing mine and found that many don’t use ethically sourced wool and that they aren’t felted by hand. These two things make a great dryer ball that lasts for years.
Clean Mama Home Wool Dryer Balls are unbleached and fragrance-free wool from family-owned farms in New Zealand and hand-felted by women in Nepal to support their families with this craft. At the end of the laundry load, they work beautifully and are an excellent non-toxic swap for dryer sheets.
Here’s another post you might be interested in – just click on the image: