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Your guide to dryer balls

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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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