Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Make Your Own Dryer Balls

I’ve been reading about dryer balls, trying to figure out what they’re supposed to do and whether or not they actually work. Theoretically, dryer balls absorb moisture, serve as a fabric softener, and improve airflow between clothes items as they toss about in your dryer.

The mission is to avoid chemicals, decrease drying time to save energy, soften fabrics, and save money. Dryer balls purportedly accomplish all that. Do they work? I don’t know, but I’m going to find out.


Source: AsSeenOnTV.com

First, there are the nubby dryer balls offered by AsSeenOnTV.com. They assert their version is hypoallergenic, reusable, cuts dryer time, softens fabrics naturally, saves money, and doesn’t contain any chemicals. But they don’t cite the material used to make their balls which look like some form of rubber to me—I really cannot tell from the picture or their product description. They are priced at $9.95 for 2, plus $6.95 postage/handling.

Consumer reviews of this product are mixed. Some say no drying time is saved, wrinkling still results, and so on. You can read these reviews here or on Amazon.com where the product is offered at a lower price. An increase in static electricity has been noted in both good/bad reviews.


© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

If you do a Google image search, you can find all kinds of variations of dryer balls. However, based on the reviews, I’ve opted not to purchase any but try a Make Your Own Wool Dryer Balls
tutorial found at GoodMama blog. You can also find wool dryer balls on Etsy. Making them was easy, now let’s hope they work. I’m going to give them a run through the dryer today as I do laundry.

Have any of you tried dryer balls—either the original product or the wool version? I’d be interested in hearing whether they work for you or not.

17 comments:

Storybook Woods said...

I have been intersted in these. Please let us know what you think. Clarice

albertaphotography said...

June, you are so wise in your assessment of the plastic ones. As we know plastic not only uses a lot of non-renewable resources but it gives off dangerous dioxins when heated. Bravo for your great deductions!
I LOVE the idea of a wool dryer ball. I don't use a dryer this time of year; only in winter when the clothes freeze on the line. Thanks for the Etsy link because I love supporting people who are making their own goods and offering them for sale. Great stuff!

sassypriscilla said...

I am real curious to hear of your results. I haven't used fabric softener for years. I use white vinegar in the rinse cycle, usually with a few drops of essential oil of lavender. My clothes are pretty soft and cling free except in the worst of winter dryness.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. You know me and my aversion to the laundry. I haven't even heard of dryer balls,until now, but it's an interesting idea.

xo
Lena

kari and kijsa said...

This is a great idea- Kijsa uses the rubber kind (the ones that look like little blue numchucks!!! : 0)
She likes the way they work to move the clothes around as they spin in the dryer- they work great with heavier items such as jeans! Love the wool ones-will have to try those as well!
smiles,
kari & kijsa

shenry said...

I never knew such a thing existed. Dryer balls... go figure. You're blowing my mind.

Rose said...

Hello, If you are looking to buy Wool Dryer Balls, I hand make and sell them. I had to start using them because my son had bad eczema when I used softeners. I no longer use softeners, my clothing gets dryer faster and it has helped some with static absorbtion. No dyes, will not unravel and no pricey patterns to get all pilled up! To see more information and testimonials, please visit me at www.WoolDryerBalls.com

Fiona @ Dragonfly-Crafts said...

Oh June, I've never hear of them before. You must let me know how they go?

Lorrie said...

I made some using the same tutorial. I like them, but they do increase static electricity. I use white vinegar in the rinse water which reduces the static, and softens the clothes. I've found I only need to use the dryer balls when I'm drying towels or jeans, in which case the static is minimal and doesn't matter. I'll be curious to hear about your results.

Lorrie

rohanknitter said...

I have tried the plastic ones, altho I was highly suspicious of all the claims on the packaging. (My husband got them for free with a bunch of stuff he bought for the farm) Anyway, I couldn't notice them doing a thing - the wool ones make more sense to me. I'll be interested to see how you like them!

Jane said...

I have those "As Seen on TV" ones. I got them at an "As Seen on TV" store, so no shipping. I think you could also use some sturdy dog toys and get the same results. I do like that they seem to help toss things like towels around. I think it helps. The time is the same because I use a pay machine and you get what you get. :)

Anonymous said...

How interesting! Do let us know how they work, June.
Jane - Jacksonville, FL

zarah said...

My sister bought me some of the wool ones from an etsy shop... I think they do help the clothes dry quicker, but they definitely don't help with static - if anything they make it worse. I just bought some eco-friendly dryer sheets (I missed the scent anyway) and voila! Problem solved.

nicolette said...

Never heard of dryer balls. We try to use the dryer as less as possible. Only for towels and sports t-shirts. And we don’t use softeners. Using the dryer for clothes and towels makes them already very soft compared to drying them in the air, though I love the smell of fresh laundry that was dried outside!
I hope this still makes any sense...LOL!

Saucy said...

I have heard of them but not tried either version. I air dry as much as possible!!

R said...

Greetings! A couple of tips
First off- three is not enough (good for a single person running small load a day of clothing- 4-6 balls are recommended. Second- it is near impossible to eliminate static from polyester- and wool fibers "felt" to polyester- hint the marriage part. If you dampend at least one ball by a quick shot of tap water to the center of ball and toss it in- it will help solve static. Hope this helps!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

My daughter uses tennis balls in her dryer --she says they help keep large items detangled and speed up drying time.