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Your guide to dryer balls

If you have heard about dryer balls, but have questions about them, this guide will help answer those questions. 

  • What are dryer balls?
  • Why do you need them?
  • How do they work?
  • Do they last?
  • Are they environmentally friendly?
  • Can I make my own?
  • Where can I get them from?  

What are dryer balls?

Dryer balls are small spherical balls that can be used in tumble dryers. They are often made from felted wool, rubber, or plastic. 

Why do you need them?

Dryer balls are used to reduce static electricity, soften clothes, and reduce drying time. 

Photo by Dom J from Pexels

How do they work?

You may notice that your clothes don’t evenly dry when you use a tumble dryer. This is because, as they dry, clothes clump together, meaning that air is not evenly distributed through each item. Dryer balls roll in between the layers of your clothing as they spin, separating each item. This decreases drying time and reduces the static caused when fibres rub together. 

For the best results, use 2-3 dryer balls per load.

Photo by Sarah Chai from Pexels

Do they last?

On average, dryer balls will last up to 1,000 washes. This is equivalent to roughly 2-5 years depending on how often you tumble dry your clothing. 

Are they environmentally friendly?

There are several environmental benefits to using dryer balls. Firstly, because they reduce drying time, they save energy on tumble dryer use. Secondly, dryer balls are reusable, unlike drying alternatives, such as dryer sheets. This means you can make a one-time dryer ball purchase, and reuse them for up to 5 years before having to repurchase. In addition to this, dryer balls are usually made from biodegradable wool or recycled plastic. 

Image by J Sedg

Can I make my own?

To make your own dryer balls you will need… 

  • Scissors
  • Large needle 
  • 100% wool yarn or 100% wool fabric strips 
  • Cotton string
  • Old socks or tights
  • Cooking pot 

Begin making your dryer balls by preparing your fabric. If you are using old clothing, such as jumpers, simply use a pair of scissors to cut your clothing into strips.

Once you have a sufficient amount of strips, you can begin forming your ball. Start by wrapping your stips around your fingers, making sure that you switch directions to get an equally rounded ball. Continue wrapping until you have a ball that is roughly the size of a tennis ball. When you are satisfied with the size, secure the end by running it under several strands of yarn- you can do this with a large needle. 

Once you have secured your dryer ball, place it into an old sock or pair of tights, and use cotton string to secure it. Next, place your sock/tights in a pan of hot water and bring it to a boil. When your pan has reached boiling point, remove it from the heat, and allow your dryer balls to sit in the water until it cools. This process will cause the wool to shrink and felt. 

When your balls have cooled, remove them from the water and squeeze any excess from them. To fully dry your dryer balls, place them in the tumble dryer on high heat. Once dry, remove the balls from the sock/tights- they will be smaller and have a fuzzy texture. This is the core of your dryer ball.

To finish making your dryer balls, wrap your remaining fabric strips around your freshly made core until it reaches roughly three and a half inches in diameter. Repeat the soaking and drying process. The end result should be a fully-formed, reusable dryer ball. 

An alternative way to make dryer balls is to scrunch up aluminum foil into a ball and place it in the dryer. This is an easier way to make a DIY dryer ball but is not reusable. 

Image by Wil C. Fry

Where can I get them from?

If you would prefer to buy dryer balls, you will find them at all major supermarkets, home stores, and online. 

Image by zoomar

The best way to guarantee that your laundry is clean and dry is to book a Laundryheap service and let us take care of it for you. To book your Laundryheap service, simply head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app.


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How to wash your dishdasha

Image by Jasmine Halki

Your dishdasha needs to be adequately cared for when being washed. This is how you should be washing it.

  • Pre-treating
  • Washing
  • Drying 
  • Ironing

Pre-treating 

Before washing your dishdasha, you need to pre-treat any stains that may linger on the material. Depending on the stain, depends on how you must pre-treat it. 

Ink- If you have an ink stain soak it in milk for 24 hours before washing it as normal. 

Sweat/yellowing- To get rid of sweat and yellowing stains, mix three aspirins with two tablespoons of water until a paste is formed. Smear the paste on the stain and leave it for an hour before washing as normal. If you don’t have any aspirin, sprinkle a handful of salt on the stain and squeeze some lemon over it until it’s soaked. Rub the lemon juice and salt until the stain has been removed or lightened, before washing as normal. 

Makeup- Whether your makeup stain is powder or liquid based, shampoo will lift the stain. Spread a small amount of shampoo on the stain, before rubbing it in with soap and water. Once the stain has lightened or lifted wash as normal.   

Deodorant- Rub a denim item on your deodorant stain, being careful to not press too hard and damage the fabric. The roughness of the denim should lift the stain from your dishdasha and leave it stain free.

Washing

Wash darker coloured dishdashas in the washing machine, on a cold cycle, using a mild detergent.  

If you have a white or lighter coloured dishdasha it is best to hand wash it to avoid colour fading. To hand-wash, fill your basin with warm water and use a mild detergent. If you do wish to use the washing machine, make sure that you wash your garment with similar colours to avoid colour running, and only on a warm cycle. 

Drying

Never use a tumble dryer to dry your dishdasha as this will put the fabric under too much strain and result in it becoming misshapen. Instead, hang it out to naturally dry, ideally in direct sunlight.

Ironing 

Unlike with other items of clothing, you want to iron your dishdasha when it is still slightly damp, using the cool setting on your iron. This being said you need to iron at the right time- if you begin ironing when it is too wet then your ironing will be useless but leave it for too long and it will become too dry. 

If you have left your dishdasha to completely dry before ironing, a steam iron will be most effective. The steam will add a bit of moisture to your garment and help smooth out the creases. 

The best way to ensure that your dishdasha is adequately cared for is by using Laundryheap’s dry cleaning service. For just KWD1.00 you can get your dishdasha picked up, dry cleaned, and re-delivered to you within 24 hours. To book your Laundryheap service head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app. 


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Hacks for drying clothes

The quickest way to dry your clothes is by using a tumble dryer. For those who don’t have a tumble dryer, or are looking to save on their energy bill, these are our top hacks for drying your clothes. 

  • Invest in a clothes horse 
  • Use a fan 
  • Utilise the outdoors
  • Hang your clothing 
  • Use a hairdryer 
  • Don’t use radiators 

Invest in a clothes horse 

A clothes horse is lightweight, foldable and an energy-efficient way to dry your clothes. You can buy heated clothes horses for faster drying, however, the plastic ones work just as well. 

For the best results, hang your clothes neatly on the rungs of your clothes horse, making sure that they don’t bunch up or overlap. Place your smaller clothing, such as underwear, on the lower rungs and your larger items, such as shirts, higher up. When compared to a tumble dryer, it can take a longer time to dry your clothes using a clothes horse, which is why you want to ensure that air can flow efficiently. 

Place your clothes horse either outside or in a sunny, open, space indoors. If you are drying your clothes indoors, try to avoid placing your clothes horse in a living area as the room can become humid and encourage mould spores. To avoid this, invest in a dehumidifier or open a window to let the moisture out. 

Use a fan 

If you have decided to use a non-heated clothes horse but want your clothes to dry at a faster pace, try using a fan. Hang your clothing on your clothes horse and place it in an open and airy space. Position your fan nearby and put it on a high setting- make sure that your fan isn’t on too high a setting as you don’t want your clothes being blown off. Make sure that you rotate your fan every 30 minutes to ensure that all of your clothes are benefiting from the increased airflow the fan produces.

Utilise the outdoors 

Weather permitting, the best way to dry your clothes is by letting them dry naturally outside. Either hang your washing on a washing line or place your clothes horse on some stable ground outside. The natural breeze and fresh air will swiftly dry your clothes, plus, if the sun’s out it will warm your clothes in the same way as a tumble dryer. An added bonus to drying your clothes outside is that you will be left with fresher, cleaner, smelling clothing. 

Try to avoid hanging woolen clothing on washing lines as the weight of the wool, plus the excess water can drag the item downwards, causing it to become misshaped. Rather than drying outside, place your woollen items flat on a surface to dry.

Hang your clothing 

Whether you’re drying your clothes indoors or outdoors it’s always best to hang them at their full length. Hanging your clothes at full length will ensure that air can easily travel through the material, resulting in them drying faster. In addition, hanging your clothes up will prevent wrinkles, meaning less time spent ironing out creases, and stops your clothes from losing their shape. 

Use a hairdryer 

This hack is only useful for your smaller garments, such as underwear, socks, or hand towels. Begin by removing as much excess water as possible. You can do this by using a high spin cycle on your washing machine or by hand wringing your items. For the best result, set your hairdryer on a medium to high speed and medium heat. Remember, the hairdryer is to increase airflow, not temperature- if you use too high a heat setting you will damage the fibres in your clothing. Make sure you distribute the airflow of your hairdryer evenly, turning your items every few minutes until they are dry. 

Don’t use radiators

Using a radiator will dry your clothing in a timely manner, however, will cause damage. Exposing your clothing to the heat of a radiator will damage their fibres and cause them to weaken. In addition, placing your clothes on a radiator blocks the vents, causing the radiator to use more energy to heat your room/clothing, resulting in a higher gas bill.

If you want your clothes laundered, dried and delivered to you within 24 hours, book your slot with us today. Visit the Laundryheap website or download the Laundryheap app. Now servicing Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.


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How To Dry Clothes Quickly Without A Tumble Dryer

If you don’t have a tumble dryer/ machine dryer in your home but are looking for ways to dry clothes quickly after doing the laundry, here are some quick tips for drying your clothes without a tumble dryer.

How To Dry Clothes Quickly Without A Tumble Dryer

  • Use the spinning setting on your washing machine: The spin cycle on your washing machine helps to remove excess water from your clothes before you go to dry them. This process will help speed up the drying time, even when you hang your clothes up to dry.
  • Use a towel: Lay a clean towel flat down and place the item of clothing on top of it. Then, roll up the towel with the garment inside it into a sausage and wring out the excess water.
  • Place your clothes in a warm area: Place your clothes to dry in a warm area in your home, like on the radiator or in the boiler cupboard. The best option is to hang dry your clothes outside when the sun is out.
  • Dry clothes with an iron: Place your clothing flat down on an ironing board and put a thin clean, dry towel on top of it. Then, iron the clothing under the towel, not forgetting to turn the garment over. This will help the garment to dry without damaging the fabric.
air dry


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Air Dry Vs. Tumble Dry Infographic

There have been questions as to whether natural air drying or tumble drying is the best option to dry clothes. 

It all really comes down to what the care label says on your clothes AND personal preferences. Like, personally I don’t own a tumble dryer and I don’t feel like there is a need to invest in one really. 

But hey! Everyone has different opinions, so let’s look at an unbiased infographic comparison of the two drying solutions.

Air dry vs tumble dry infographic

There’s a little bit of good and bad stuff about both drying solutions. It’s really all about what’s convenient and most importantly what’s best suited for your clothes. If you have delicate clothes made from natural fibres, these should NOT be tumble dried.

Tell us, what is your preferred drying solution?