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.
The basic steps of making your own dryer balls:
- You will need: Wool Yarn, Nylon Hose, Twist Ties (optional) and a Washing Machine
- Roll yarn into a ball
- Cut off the pants part of the hose
- Place yarn balls inside hose and secure with knot or twist tie
- Wash in machine with hot water until yarn is completely felted
In This Article
- What are wool dryer balls?
- What is the purpose of dryer balls?
- Supplies needed
- Prepare the yarn
- How do you make wool dryer balls
- How do you use dryer balls?
- How long do they last?
- Can I make dryer balls with acrylic yarn?
- Can I use superwash merino wool to make them?
- My yarn is dyed. Will it bleed?
- Can I use tennis balls?
Last year, I showed you how to make diy wool 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.
You may be interested in … Wool Moths? How to get rid of moths in your clothes, yarn or wool. How to Scour or Wash Raw Wool
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, 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 DIY 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 often 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 🙂
Supplies for making dryer balls:
- 100% Wool Yarn (check the Sale Page at Knit Picks)
- Nylon Hose
- Twist Ties (optional)
- Washing Machine
- Laundry Detergent
Preparing the yarn for felting:
If your yarn is rolled in a ball, great! You are now ready to move to the next step. If, however, 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:
First, you will need to cut the pants part off of your nylon panty hose. Next, take one of your yarn balls and put it inside the nylon hose. Secure it with one of the twist ties.
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.
Now, add a second wool ball and tie it off. Repeat with all of your wool balls.
Next, you will place your yarn balls in the washing machine and wash with hot water and a bit of detergent. After the first wash, take out one of the balls and check the felting process.
If the yarn is still loose, pop it back in the washing machine. This time, I washed mine through 3 regular washing cycles.
Hint: If you can catch the machine before it drains, just reset it to the agitation cycle. The longer they agitate, the better.
Again, 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 are ready to use!
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 they 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:
Can I make Dryer Balls with Acrylic Yarn?
No, synthetic yarn made with acrylic cannot be felted. If you look at Wool fiber (animal fiber) under a microscope, you will 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 such as acrylic or yarn made from plant fibers are slick and will not felt.
Can I Use Superwash Merino Wool to make Dryer Balls
Nope. Superwashing is a process which makes the wool machine washable, without felting. Great for socks, but not dryer balls.
My Yarn is Dyed. Will the Color Bleed on my Laundry?
The short answer is that it shouldn’t bleed but it might. Professionally dyed yarn has been heat set to make it colorfast.
If there is leftover dye in your yarn, however, it will get washed out of the dryer balls with the felting process.
If you are concerned about it, I recommend washing your diy dryer balls separately once or twice. That should wash out any excess dye.
Can I Use Tennis Balls in the Dryer?
Well sure, you can. But the question is, do you want to? Tennis balls will work the same as wool balls for fluffing your laundry.
However, keep in mind 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!
Related Wool Felting Articles:
Wool Moths? How to get rid of moths in your clothes or yarn
Felting: A Complete Beginner’s Guide
How to make Felt Soap
Nuno Felting Method
How to Make Cobweb Felt
DIY Wool Dryer Balls with Needle Felt Designs
Beginner’s Needle Felting