Worth it or Not – Homemade Dryer Balls

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!

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.


7 thoughts on “Worth it or Not – Homemade Dryer Balls

  1. Have you ever thrown in tennis balls? They do nothing for static. DO the wool balls help with static? Think you could upcycle an old sweater?

    • I’ve never thrown in tennis balls, but was tempted when I saw all of the plastic/rubber ones people were using. I don’t notice a lot of static in our laundry. However, we use dryer sheets, so I can’t say for sure which causes the lack of static.

      I bet you could reuse an old sweater. The only thing my husband asked me to add about the dryer balls is that we haven’t seen a real extreme difference in our laundry. Maybe you have to use 6 before you notice a 25% reduction? I’m not sure. In my eyes, it was a fun craft and if it does half of what it promises I’m thrilled.

  2. Thanks for doing this little experiment so I don’t have to! I saw on My Merry Messy Life that she adds a natural softener and essential oils to her dryer balls with a spray bottle, so they cut down on static and laundry comes our smelling nice. She goes all natural with detergent, as have I. It would be fun to try these dryer balls.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog and liking my article. I appreciate it. 🙂

    • I’m glad you enjoyed my post. So far, the dryer balls have simply proven to be a fun project. I might get the essential oils and see how well that works. It sounds like such a great idea.

  3. I made 4 of these dryer balls and absolutely love them for several reasons. First, they leave my clothes softer and fluffier than dryer sheets ever did. My husband has a very heavy weight chamois shirt that was always stiff even after having been washed and dried at least a dozen times using both fabric softner and dryer sheets. The first time I used my 4 dryer balls there was a huge difference. I also notice there is no static cling in my clothes when I use these balls. Like I said, I love them and will make more when these wear out.

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