Save money by making your own DIY Homemade Dryer Balls
Wool Dryer Balls are an eco friendly, all natural, chemical free alternative to dryer sheets and a great way to fluff your laundry.
Who wants all those chemicals from dryer sheets when wool dryer balls are so easy to make. All you need is inexpensive wool yarn, some hose and a washer and dryer.
Plus, you don’t need any previous wool felting experience to make these. Anybody can make felted dryer balls.
Last year, I showed you how to make dryer balls using mostly wool roving. Since then, many people have asked me … what is roving and where do I get it? Well, unless you happen to be a felt maker, spinner or have a sheep farm, you wouldn’t know.
A much easier way to make homemade dryer balls is by using just wool yarn, which is much more readily available. You really only need cheap wool yarn for these dryer balls – just make sure it’s all (or mostly) sheep, alpaca or other protein fiber. Synthetic or cotton will not felt.
Oh, also make sure your wool yarn is not labeled “Superwash”. This yarn has been coated with a substance to make it machine washable. Meaning… it won’t felt.
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If you’re interested in learning about wool felting, you may be want to see my Beginner’s Guide to Felting
What are Wool Dryer Balls?
Basically, wool dryer balls are exactly that … balls made out of wool fiber, roving or yarn which has been felted to make it hold together. Felting just means you add hot and cold water, soap and some form of agitation. This will cause the wool fibers to adhere to each other.
What is the Purpose of Dryer Balls?
Wool Dryer Balls are used in your clothes dryer instead of dryer sheets to fluff your laundry. These homemade dryer balls are eco friendly and all natural with no chemicals.
They fluff your clothes, cutting the drying time (saving you money) and help to eliminate static cling.
Commercially made dryer sheets are made with toxic chemicals which you really don’t want on your clothes. Wool dryer balls are cheap, easy to make and will last for years.
Bonus … Wool Dryer Balls are a Great DIY Gift Idea.
Oh, and if you don’t want to make your own dryer balls, you can actually just buy them here 🙂
Felting Supplies Needed:
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– 100% Wool Yarn s.a. Sheep or Alpaca wool. appr. one skein per homemade dryer ball. Check KnitPicks Sale Yarn, too.
– One pair of cheap panty hose
– Twist ties (optional)
– Washing Machine
– Laundry Detergent
Preparing the Wool Yarn for Felting
If your yarn is rolled in a ball, great! You’re ready to move to the next step. If it is in skein form (photo above), you will need to roll it up.
Simply start by wrapping the yarn around your fingers, then remove it from your fingers and continue wrapping it into a ball, roughly tennis ball size or larger. Approximately one skein of wool yarn makes one dryer ball.
How to Make Wool Dryer Balls
Cut the pants part off of your panty hose and place the yarn balls inside the leg. Tie a twist tie between each ball.
If you don’t have twist ties, you can tie the hose in a knot. You want them to be fairly snug inside the hose so the yarn can’t unravel in the wash.
Place your wool dryer balls in the washing machine and wash with hot water and a bit of detergent. I washed mine through 3 regular washing cycles. If you can catch the machine before it drains, just reset it to the agitation cycle. The longer they agitate, the better.
Take the wool balls out of the hose and check for felting. If the yarn does not separate from the rest of the ball, they’re ready!
How Do You Use Dryer Balls
To use your wool dryer balls, simply toss 4 or 5 balls into the dryer with your laundry. I like to use more for heavier laundry such as blue jeans or bath towels. The more balls you use, the quicker your laundry dries.
How Long Do Dryer Balls Last?
Good question! I made my first batch about 8 years ago and I’m still using them. Homemade dryer balls will shrink the more you use them. Mine started out the size of baseballs and are now about the size of small oranges. They still work fine, I just need to use more wool balls per load of laundry.
Have you used wool dryer balls in your laundry? What do you think? I’d love to get your feedback in the comments.
Frequently Asked Questions about Wool Dryer Balls
Can I make Wool Dryer Balls with Acrylic Yarn?
No, synthetic yarn made with acrylic will cannot be felted. If you look at Wool fiber (animal fiber) under a microscope, you’ll see notches or scales along the shaft of the hair. Hot water, soap and agitation opens up these scales which then tangle together to make felt. Synthetic yarn s.a. acrylic or yarn made from plant fibers are slick and won’t felt.
Can I Use Superwash Merino Wool to make Dryer Balls?
Nope. Superwashing is a process of coating yarn with a type of plastic, making it non-felting. Great for socks, but not dryer balls.
My Yarn is Dyed. Will the Color Bleed on my Laundry?
It shouldn’t but it might. Professionally dyed yarn has been heat set to make it colorfast. If there is leftover dye in your yarn, however, it’ll get washed out of the dryer balls with the felting process.
Can I Use Tennis Balls in the Dryer?
Yes, you can. And tennis balls will work the same as wool balls for fluffing your laundry. Keep in mind, though, that tennis balls are made with toxic chemicals which will be released the more you use them in the dryer.
Don’t want to make your own homemade dryer balls? Order them here
Wool Dryer Balls with Free Gift Bag
Save more money by making your own DIY Foaming Soap. It’s super cheap and easy!