- February 25, 2014 at 2:41 pm #339225
I love my homemade wool dryer balls. It costs a little to make them initially but once made they last for many years and you can scent them with essential oils to scent your laundry without chemicals.
What are the benefits of using wool balls in your dryer?
They decrease drying time, saving you money on utility bills.
Commercial fabric softeners and dryer sheets are filled with harmful chemicals and perfumes that coat your clothing, eventually ending up on your skin. These chemicals can be especially harsh on sensitive skin. There are no chemicals in wool dryer balls!
Commercial dryer sheets can be costly, and are thrown away after use. Wool dryer balls can be re-used for years, saving you hundreds of dollars.
Commercial fabric softeners shouldn’t be used on cloth diapers. Wool dryer balls are perfect for keeping your cloth diapers soft and chemical-free.
Wool dryer balls won’t affect the absorbency of your towels, kitchen cloths, or cloth diapers –commercial softeners will.
100% wool dryer balls increase fluffiness and reduce static as dryer loads tumble.
Dryer balls help to soften clothes naturally.
Dryer balls are made from a renewable resource.
How do they work?
It’s simple. They bounce around in the dryer separating clothes, allowing more hot air to circulate through all the garments. As they tumble, the wool balls fluff your laundry, reduce wrinkles, and basically pummel the laundry to make it softer.
They do so much more than a dryer sheet by pulling moisture out of your clothes so you don’t have to run the dryer as long. The more dryer balls you have in a load, the shorter the drying time will be.
Choosing Your Yarn
Finding the right yarn is the most critical part of making these wool balls. Look for 100% wool yarn. Most hobby stores sell it, or you can purchase it online.
Note: Stay away from any wool labeled “superwash” or “machine washable.” This type will NOT felt.
You Will Need:
Skein of 100% wool yarn (NOT wool labeled “superwash” or “machine washable”)
Blunt-tipped needle or crochet hook
String or cotton/acrylic yarn (to secure the wool ball in the pantyhose)
1. Begin wrapping your wool yarn around your first two fingers about 10 times.
2. Pinch the bundle of yarn in the middle and pull off your fingers. Wrap more yarn around the middle of this bundle.
3. Wrap yarn around the entire bundle until you have the beginnings of a ball.
4. Continue wrapping tightly until your ball is the desired size. (Softball-sized will help cut drying time more, but tennis ball or baseball-sized will help save money on yarn.)
5. Use a blunt-tipped yarn needle or crochet hook to tuck the end of the thread under several layers of yarn. Pull it through and cut the end.
Repeat these steps with more yarn until you have 4-6 balls.
6. Cut the leg off an old pair of pantyhose or use a knee high. Put balls into the toe of the pantyhose, tying tightly in between each one with string, or cotton/acrylic yarn.
(Just don’t use wool yarn or it will felt around the pantyhose.) Tie off the end.
Felting the Dryer Balls
7. Throw the entire yarn caterpillar into the wash with towels (or a load of jeans if you used brightly colored yarn).
8. Wash in a hot wash cycle with a cold water rinse cycle. Dry with your laundry using the hottest dryer setting.
Remove balls from pantyhose and check f or felting. Some types of wool yarn will not felt well on the first try.
You may need to repeat the washing and drying cycles up to 3 or 4 times. You’ll know felting has occurred when you can gently scrape your fingernail over the ball and strands do not separate.
Using your wool dryer balls:
Just throw them in the dryer with your freshly washed clothes, and let them do their work! For regular loads, use at least 4-6 balls to notice a decrease in drying time. For large loads, use 6 or more wool balls.
The more you use, the more quickly your clothes will dry.
Store your dryer balls in the dryer between uses or display them in a basket in your laundry room.
If you want to lightly scent your laundry you can add 1-2 drops of your favorite essential oil to each ball before throwing in the dryer. If you’re using a good quality, pure essential oil, you will not have trouble with the oils spotting your clothes.
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