The Complete Guide to Wool Dryer Balls

By Nicole Moore | Oct 27, 2022

The Complete Guide to Wool Dryer Balls

By Nicole Moore | Oct 27, 2022

The Complete Guide to Wool Dryer Balls

Want to know a laundry room secret that will save you time and money and help the planet in the process? Yes? Well, you're in the right place! Learn everything you need to know about our little miracle workers – wool dryer balls!

What Are Dryer Balls and What Do Dryer Balls Do?

Dryer balls are an eco-friendly alternative to synthetic dryer sheets and fabric softeners. They are available in several materials, including plastic varieties, felt, and wool. Dryer balls work by bouncing around with your clothes or bedding in the dryer, helping to separate the fabrics, absorbing moisture, and reducing static and wrinkles.

When comparing dryer balls vs. dryer sheets, the choice is simple. Here are some advantages dryer balls have over sheets:

  • Dryer balls can be made of all-natural ingredients like wool. Dryer sheets are made from synthetic polyester, making them a single-use plastic that will take forever to break down and add to overloaded landfills.
  • Dryer balls can be made without toxic chemicals. Dryer sheets contain toxic chemicals that target electrostatic charges to reduce static in your laundry.
  • Dryer balls can be reused over 1,000 times! Since dryer sheets are not reusable, they must be purchased often – a cost that can add up quickly over time.

What Material Is Best for Dryer Balls?

With so many choices, you may be wondering which material is the best choice for dryer balls. While opinions vary wildly online, wool dryer balls are a clear winner. Here are a couple of comparisons between wool and other popular options.

Wool vs. plastic dryer balls

Wool dryer balls are made from 100% natural fiber, which makes them very earth friendly. Plastic is not an environmentally friendly material because it's made from fossil fuels. Reducing our plastic use – even when it’s a reusable product – will always be a more eco-friendly choice in the long run. However, if you live a vegan lifestyle, you may prefer plastic dryer balls as a plant-based alternative.

Plastic dryer balls tend to be cheaper than wool dryer balls, but they are not biodegradable, they’re noisy, , and they can leave a faint odor on your clothes.

Wool dryer balls vs. tennis balls

Another misleading statement we often see is that tennis balls are a cheap alternative that will work as well as dryer balls.. While the price comparison may be true, the rest is an urban legend. Tennis balls will bounce around in the dryer and help separate layers of fabric like dryer balls, but they can leave your items stained, cause a loud raucous, and leave a burnt rubber smell on your clothing and sheets.

On the other hand, wool dryer balls are free of dyes so they can't cause staining. They are softer and much quieter – nearly silent! And they are odor free. In fact, if you prefer a light scent to your clean laundry, you can add a few drops of essential oil to wool dryer balls such as lavender or lemon.

How to Use Wool Dryer Balls

Now that you understand why they are the better choice for your drying process, here are some tips for how to use wool dryer balls for the best results:

  1. Start with high-quality wool dryer balls. Well-made dryer balls can last for over 1,000 washes. Cozy Earth's wool dryer balls are crafted from 100% wool and measure an optimal 3 inches in diameter.
  2. Know how many dryer balls to use per load. You'll want to use at least three dryer balls per load. For larger loads or bulkier items like bedding, you may want to add more because the additional dryer balls help to ensure the fabrics are separated during the cycle.
  3. Use dryer balls for pet hair. Wool dryer balls help soften your clothes and promote airflow in the dryer, so if you have a pet – or pets – with stubborn fur that sticks to everything, they can help loosen and remove clingy strands during the drying process.
  4. Reduce your drying time. Of the many benefits dryer balls claim, reducing the time it takes to dry a load by up to 50% is a big one. They not only save you time on a weekly chore, but they can help reduce your electric bill.
  5. Refresh your dryer balls. On occasion, you may feel they are becoming a little stale or musty, but it's easy to recharge dryer balls. Simply machine wash them in warm water on the gentle cycle and throw them in the dryer on high heat.
  6. Prevent new wool dryer balls from shedding lint. Sometimes, new dryer balls leave lint on the first couple of loads. If you find this has happened, or to take preventative measures, throw your new balls in the dryer with a few damp towels for a cycle.

How Long Do Dryer Balls Last?

Wool dryer balls can last for over 1,000 loads. The length of time really depends on how often you do laundry. If your household goes through three to four loads of laundry each week, for example, your dryer balls should last almost five years.

In case you're wondering what to do with old dryer balls once they've reached the end of their laundry life, we have a few suggestions. Because they are all-natural and biodegradable, wool dryer balls can be composted to nourish soil instead of being added to the landfill. You can upcycle them and use them as pet toys or donate them to animal rescues. Use them in crafts that require soft balls of fabric. Or you can freshen the air with them by recharging them, adding a few drops of essential oil, and hanging them in the car, a closet, or even the laundry room!

If you're still asking, "Are wool dryer balls worth it," we think the best way to answer that question is to try them for yourself. Order a set of Cozy Earth's wool dryer balls to see how much of a difference they can make for you.

Shop Now Back To Blog