A natural solution to lowering carbon dioxide emissions and reducing energy consumption, dryer balls are an eco-friendly way to use your clothes dryer. These fluffy little balls are gaining popularity as a sustainable alternative to chemical fabric softeners and dryer sheets.
Here we’ll explain everything you need to know about dryer balls and their impact on energy costs.
What Are Dryer Balls?
Dryer balls are small orb-shaped balls that you place in your tumbler dryer together with your clothes.
The balls bounce around inside the dryer, separating the laundry, reducing tangles and allowing warm air to circulate efficiently. This reduces static and also drying time, keeping your utility bills low.
Wool is the most popular dryer ball material because it’s highly durable, completely natural, and eco-friendly. You may also come across dryer balls made from felted wood, plastic, or rubber. But plastic dryer balls can release harmful chemicals once they become hot, and they also make lots of noise when bouncing around the tumble dryer. Meanwhile, rubber balls can be extremely noisy and may damage some tumble dryers.
On average, dryer balls will last for up to 1,000 washes—about two to five years—depending on how frequently you tumble dry your clothing.
In terms of how many you need to use per wash, the answer changes depending on the size of your laundry load. You can use up to six dryer balls for large loads or at least three for smaller laundry.
Benefits of Using Dryer Balls
Chemical softeners have been coming under intense scrutiny, especially on how they affect the environment and people with sensitive skin. In contrast, dryer balls offer various environmental and personal benefits:
- They reduce drying time, keeping electricity costs low
- They’re reusable for up to five years
- Most are made from biodegradable wool so you can compost them when they’re no longer effective
- They reduce wrinkles because they keep the laundry from clumping up together
- They reduce static electricity build-up by elevating the humidity levels in the tumble dryer, limiting the chance of static
- They’re safe for people with sensitive skin and work well with non-disposable cloth diapers
- They’re compatible with all types of dryers
How to Use Dryer Balls
Using dryer balls is relatively easy. Consider using three or six dryer balls at once to maintain efficiency, balance, and consistency.
- Place the dryer balls inside the dryer with your wet washing. Dryer balls require some space to bounce around and circulate air. It would be best not to stuff the tumble dryer too full.
- Shut the door and initiate the drying process.
- Remember to keep a close eye on the laundry since dryer balls will reduce the drying time you’re accustomed to.
- Remove the laundry and the balls from the tumble dryer, and store them in a dry place to avoid dampness and odors.
Bonus Tip: If you want your clothes to smell fresh, you can add essential oils to the dryer balls. After your clothes have dried, add three to four drops of essential oils to the dryer balls and rerun the tumble dryer on a cool cycle for 10 minutes.
While dryer balls can last up to five years, they often get frayed and lose effectiveness. But you can refresh them by placing them inside a pillowcase and running them through a gentle hot wash cycle. Then, be sure to dry them thoroughly. If you do this twice a year, it will help remove lint and rejuvenate the wool.
Final Thoughts on Dryer Balls
From reducing energy costs to slashing your carbon footprint, dryer balls may be the simplest way to live an eco-friendly life. Remember to choose wool dryer balls instead of plastic or rubber versions, refresh them twice a year and you’ll wonder how you ever dried your clothes without them.