Update: We have used these dryer balls several times and haven’t noticed a big difference. Some people have said that you need 6 before there’s a real difference. I’m not sure. It helps, but not the 25% worth. I am definitely considering adding the essential oils eventually. In the meantime, we’ll keep using them and see if we can cut back the dryer 5-10 minutes.
A dryer ball is typically a rubber ball you toss in the dryer. It helps loosen your clothes so they dry at least 25% faster than normal which saves you electricity and time. The homemade version uses wool that you roll into a ball and felt. Toss it in the dryer and you have a natural and cheap means to save money every month.
I followed the steps given to me by Jillee’s blog, One Good Thing. I went to Joann Fabrics and purchased two small packages of 100% wool yarn. It was cheaper to get two and this way I got to pick out two colors. That’s a win-win in my book!
I sat in front of the tv and rolled together my beauties and created four dryer balls – two grey and two blue. The rolling is fun especially if you’re feeling crafty. I used a stocking to secure my wool dryer balls and tossed it in with a load of whites. After one cycle in the washer and dryer, I had “felted” my homemade dryer balls. Felting basically seals the wool so it doesn’t unravel.
I love them. They’re pretty, functional and did help us cut back on the dryer time. Now, it wasn’t a miraculous improvement because the first load was all jeans. So we needed to keep them in the dryer a little longer than the energy saving setting. For the rest of the laundry we did, we were able to cut the drying time by a little bit. I’m not sure how much of a difference it will make, but every bit helps.
Onto the most important part: is it actually worth the supplies and time spent rolling wool yarn into four individual balls.
Option #1 – I found a set of 4 rubber dryer balls on Amazon.com for $6.99, however the reviewers didn’t like the product because the plastic wasn’t strong enough to hold up in the dryer. It kept squishing like a squeaky toy. That is not a problem with yarn.
Option #2 – This set of four was $15.73, however reviewers reported that after a few months the plastic starts to disintegrate. Again, not a problem with wool.
Option #3 – The final set of four was the most expensive option at $25.90. It promises to not only cut down your drying time, but serve as a fabric softener and helps reduce wrinkles and lint. According to the reviews it does it all and more, however it’s over $25.00. My yarn cost me less than $10.00.
I did my yarn research and the wool dryer balls will also help you reduce wrinkles and serves as a fabric softener. You can add 2-3 drops of essential oil to your wool dryer balls to add a fresh scent to your laundry. Wool is naturally fire retardant and free from harsh chemicals. It is one of the greener, yet cheaper options. Considering the alternatives, I would definitely say that this is the best option. You’re saving yourself money and get to feel ridiculously creative in the meantime. I would highly recommend it!