Some of you may remember from my cloth diaper series that I use wool dryer balls in place of dryer sheets. I have been using them with all of my laundry for several months now and I love them!
- They are less expensive than using dryer sheets. Wool dryer balls will last for years verses dryer sheets that have to be thrown away after each use.
- They reduce drying time. Having the dryer balls bounce around helps to separate your laundry allowing for more air circulation.
- They reduce static and soften your laundry without any chemicals.
- They do not cause any water repellency issues for your towels or cloth diapers like dryer sheets do.
- They are safe to use on laundry for people who have sensitive skin.
- They can be scented with an endless variety of essential oils.
Wool dryer balls are easy to make so gather up your supplies and join in the fun!
- 100% wool yarn – It absolutely must be 100% wool for it to felt properly. I was able to make three balls out of a 220 yd skein of yarn.
- Crochet hook or pencil
- Pair of pantyhose – I kept waiting for mine to get a run in them but of course when you really want them to be ruined they never will be.
- Essential oils (optional)
- Start by wrapping the yarn around your fingers several times.
- Slid the loops of yarn off your fingers and pinch it in the middle. Then wrap the yarn around the middle a few times.
- Fold the loops of yarn in half to form the core of your ball and start to wrap the yarn around the outside.
- Continue to wrap the yarn around your ball till it is slightly larger than a tennis ball.
- Cut your yarn leaving a few inches to work with. Run your crochet hook under a few strands on your ball and hook onto the loose end of your yarn.
- Pull the loose end through and repeat one more time then cut off the end. If you don’t have a crochet hook you could use a pencil to push the loose end of your yarn under a few strands on your ball.
- Drop the ball down a leg of the pantyhose and tie a knot in the hose to keep it in place. Continue to add balls and be sure to tie a knot between each ball. This will keep the balls from sticking to each other in the felting process. Once you are finished cut off the excess pantyhose.
- Before doing the felting process you will want to let your dirty laundry pile up (that shouldn’t be too hard 🙂 ) and plan on doing a few loads of laundry back to back. To felt your wool balls bring a pot of water to a boil, place the balls in the pot and boil for 10 minutes. Be forewarned, this will make your house smell like a wet dog! After boiling the balls dry them with your load of wet laundry. If your obsessive like me you may want to repeat the boiling process again. If not, feel free to call one round of boiling fine. Leave the balls in the dryer with a few more loads of laundry before cutting them free from the pantyhose. If you would like to add a little fragrance to your clean laundry simply apply 2-3 drops of essential oil to each ball.
- How many dryer balls should I have? – The more balls you use the more effective they are. It is recommended that you use at least four at a time. I use six and I have heard of some people who use twelve.
- If I add essential oil how long with the sent last? – It all depends on how much you use the balls. I found that I have to re-apply the oils once a month.
- If I use dyed wool will the color rub off on my clothes? – Nope. 🙂
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