I’m talking wool dryer balls.
Have you heard of them? They’re great! As I mentioned in this previous post, prefolds take a lot of time to dry. I read about wool dryer balls from Hobo Mama on That Mama Gretchen’s Wool Week, but everywhere I found them wanted to charge what seemed like a lot of money for a few balls. So when Anktangle wrote this tutorial on how to make wool dryer balls, I decided to try it out! It’s a great way to use scrap yarn from wool diaper covers.
And I’m here today to tell you they are fantastic!
I can’t testify as to how they soften clothes (many people use them as an alternative to fabric softener) because we don’t use fabric softener. I wasn’t horribly attached to it and it makes my husband’s eczema flare up. As for drying though, they work miracles! Or at least decrease drying time, thereby saving time and money. That counts as a miracle, right?
So here is my testimony with evidence, albiet pretty non-scientific evidence.
Here is my very plain dryer’s dial. I pretty much only use the “auto dry regular fabrics” side, so that’s what I’m focusing on today. As you can see, the dial goes from “more dry” to “less dry” and has lines between. For prefolds, I used to have to dry them twice on more dry for them to be dry and occasionally they were slightly damp. By adding the 3 small wool balls pictured above, I only need to dry them once on more dry and they’re fully dry every time. It halved the time to get them dry!
With the regular laundry (which includes all of our laundry except shirts and pants, which we hang dry), I used to dry them once on more dry. I’m not sure if I was over-drying them or not though. Now that I’m using the wool dryer balls, they’re dry on the line above less dry (pictured above).
There are a few minor downsides.
- They can unravel. I’ve had one unravel completely and one that’s just starting to. This can be solved by knitting or crocheting a cover around them, but I’ve been too lazy to do this. Eventually I’ll get around to it.
- You have to search for them through your clothes when you take them out of the dryer. As I said, it’s a minor downside. I just go through the clothes and throw the balls back in the dryer (where they hang out until the next load) as I find them. This can be more annoying when they get stuck in fitted sheets, but still not that big of a deal.
Even with these small problems, wool dryer balls are still very much worth it. Try them out and you’ll see the difference.