Wool Dryer Balls have been around for years but many people still don't know what they do or why they're so great. We'll tell you everything you need to know right here!
What Do Wool Dryer Balls Do?
Dryer balls reduce your dryers running time byup to 50%, therefore reducing your energy consumption (hoorah!) and therefore your electricity bill, (woohoo!) That's a win for you AND planet Earth.
How do they do this?
Great question... as your laundry tumbles around inside your dryer, the balls tumble around too, breaking up clumps of clothing and creating pockets of air. The looser the clothes and the move spaces available for air to move around, the quicker your washing is able to dry.
Do Wool Dryer Balls Have Any Other Benefits?
I'm glad you asked... yes! They also work as a natural fabric softener and they help to reduce static. Wool is an amazing natural resource and whilst those wool balls are tumbling around dryer your washing more quickly, they are also softening up your fabrics, but without the static! Meaning you can ditch the fabric softeners and dryer sheets! More wins for your pocket and Mother Earth.
Do They really Work? Are They Effective?
A couple of years ago I got my geek on and carried out my own experiment the find out whether or not dryer balls work effectively to reduce the drying times of dryer.
Over a couple of weeks I did 16 loads of washing. I dried 8 loads WITH dryer balls, and 8 loads WITHOUT dryer balls, and recorded the times it took to dry my washing.
Withdryer balls my average drying time is 1hr 45mins.
Withoutdryer balls my average drying time was 2hr 25mins.
That's a30% reduction in time and energy!
For those scientists among you here's some variable experiment notes: I used the same dryer (An 8kg sensor condenser dryer) and the same temperature settings, with my family's full loads of clothes only (no towels). I appreciate each load would have been slightly different, but I felt this wasn't enough to effect the results too much. Each dryer time was slightly different, so I calculated the average.
How To Use Wool Dryer Balls
Wool dryer balls are really easy to use, just throw them into your dryer and leave them there, load after load.
How many balls are needed per load?
Four balls are enough for standard loads of washing. If you have a particularly big machine, maybe trying adding another two or four balls.
Are Wool Dryer Balls Worth It?
In a word, YES! Totally worth it. By using wool dryer balls you're reducing your energy bills and you're saving on fabric softeners. Not to mention the benefits to our planet.
Which balls are the best?
There are a couple of options available when it comes to dryer balls. There's plastic dryer balls, tennis balls and wool balls.
Plastic dryer balls - Do we really need another plastic item in our homes? Especially when there is a natural alternative. These have also been know to scratch the dryer window and to be harsher on your clothes.
Tennis balls - Sounds like a great idea eh? Nope... be careful, the heat with melt the glue and get it all over your clothes. Just no! Don't do it.
Wool dryer balls - These are by far the best option. They are natural, they use a resource that in a lot of cases is being wasted, they are gentle on your clothes and your dryer and they are 100% toxic and chemical free!
Wool Dryer Balls and Essential Oils
It is possible to use essential oil on dryer balls... BUT... do so with caution. What do we know about oil? When it gets too hot it can smoke and then set on fire. I've not heard many stories about this happening, but it is possible. For me personally, I've avoided the use of essential oils on my dryer balls... just in case.
If you do choose to use essential oils on your dryer balls you need to do a couple of things;
1. Always use a cool setting.
2. Wash them more often. Over time the oil will build up on the balls, making a fire more likely.
To be honest, there's very little that you need to do to look after your dryer balls. After each load, make sure that they are dry. If they are dry, leave them in the machine. If not, leave them out somewhere to dry. Every few months give them a wash, just to ensure they stay nice and clean over time. To wash them, you can throw them in the washing machine with your usual laundry.
Do they wear out and need to be replaced?
I've had my dryer balls for about three years now and they are still as good as new. Maybe over time, in like, 20 years, they might need replacing, but I don't think they've even been around that long to know for sure how long they last.
The wool within the balls is felted, and very tight! I can't imagine them coming undone, so as long as you look after them, by keeping them clean and dry between uses, they will last for many, many years.
Are They Compostable?
Yes... as a natural material, with no glue used, these balls can go right into your home compost bin. It may take a while for them to break down, purely because of how big and tight the wool is, so to speed up the process you can cut the balls into small pieces before composting.
Where To Buy Wool Dryer Balls in NZ
I love these ballsand use them every single time I use the dryer. I honestly think that every home should have a set if they own a dryer. Whilst we know that hanging out washing is the best option, it's not always possible or convenient, especially during winter.