So you have decided to take steps toward a healthier home! I am excited for you! And cleaning up your laundry products is a great and easy way to start. And I want you to know that there are many benefits to using dryer balls in your laundry.
For years I was using regular fabric softener dryer sheets in my laundry. But when both of my kids began getting eczema, I decided to find ways to make the clothes they were wearing, a little bit healthier.
And I didn’t just change out my dryer sheets for dryer balls. I also added vinegar to my wash load. When you are finished here, you can also read about the benefits of using vinegar in your laundry!
What are the benefits of using dryer balls?
The benefits of switching from dryer sheets to dryer balls are very important to know so you can make an educated decision.
Dryer sheets are coated with chemicals that are created specifically to stay on your clothing making them softer, have less wrinkles, less static, and a wonderful smell.
But in the process, you are putting chemicals on your clothing and then wearing those clothes against your skin all day long.
When I switched out the dryer sheets in my dryer, I noticed that my kids were having less flare ups from their eczema, but there are other benefits from dryer ball that do the same thing as dryer sheets.
Here are a few of the benefits that you can expect when you switch out your fabric softener for dryer balls:
- Faster drying
- Less static
- Eco friendly
- Scent free or can add your own essential oils
- Good for allergies like eczema
- Less chemical residue on clothing
Can you wash dryer balls?
Yes! You will definitely want to wash your dryer balls now and again. Not because they are getting dirty helping all that clean laundry get dry, but because they lose the “stuff” that makes them helpful over time.
By “stuff” I mean their ability to stop static and dry your clothes faster. For that reason you want to wash your dryer balls about every 20 loads, or when you start to notice your clothes coming out of the dryer with static.
This is called recharging your wool dryer balls.
How do you recharge your dryer balls?
When people say to recharge your dryer balls once in a while, all they mean is to wash them from time to time.
To wash them, do so on a gentle cycle with hot water and then dry them on high heat. This will give your dryer balls back their dryer ball qualities that you grew to love when you first stared using them.
Do Dryer Balls damage clothes?
There are different kinds of dryer balls on the market. Wool is the most organic, natural, and sustainable of the options, but here are a few other options:
Silicone or plastic dryer balls work the same way as their wool counterparts, but can cause some damage to clothing. This comes from the fact that most of these products have spikes on the outside of the ball.
I believe the purpose of the spikes is to help with wrinkle reduction. But in my experience, the spikes are not good for my clothing. The spikes easily cause runs, snags, and pilling on many clothing materials.
Is it safe to use essential oils on dryer balls?
Many people put essential oils on their dryer balls to try to replicate the scent of dryer sheets and fabric softener. I did use this technique for a little while but decided it was not necessary for my laundry.
I found out that essential oils on your dryer balls can cause oil spots on your clothing. But and even bigger risk is that they are a fire risk.
All essential oils have something called a Flash Point temperature. Many of the oils that are used to make our homes and clothing smell good, fall into the flashpoint range of 102 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Most dryers run around 125 degrees Fahrenheit.
So, it is completely possible for your essential oils to catch on fire.
What kind of Dryer balls are best?
I like wool dryer balls the best. The plastic ones work okay, but can cause some damage to clothing.
Do dryer balls cause pilling?
Yes, on some fabrics, and depending on which kind of dryer balls you are using. Plastic or silicone dryer balls seem to cause more damage to more delicate fabrics.
Wool balls are smoother and therefore will not damage clothing or cause pilling.
How many dryer balls do I add?
Anywhere between 6-12 dryer balls is sufficient for any dryer load. The more balls you add, the more you will cut down on the drying time.
Also, if you are drying a smaller load, you could use closer to 6 balls, whereas if you are doing a large load, you would want to use 12 balls.
How Do Dryer Balls Work to dry your clothes?
Dryer balls actually work by tumbling around with your laundry and creating gaps between pieces of clothing. By doing this, the warm air can reach deeper into the load of clothing and dry it faster, saving you time and also money.
Without dryer balls, your clothes all tumble as one giant clump and stick together which can lock moisture into those deeply stuck spaces and then your laundry comes out still wet or damp.
How Long Do Dryer Balls Last?
I have had my wool dryer balls for the last 9 years. And they still work fine. They do however need to be recharged whenever you start to notice that your clothing is no longer static free. I talked about recharging your dryer balls at the top of this post.
Last But Not Least, How Do You Deal With The Wrinkles?
Nobody wants to wear wrinkled clothing, except maybe your kids. But as moms we care what our family looks like so we need to tackle the wrinkles.
Before, fabric softener or dryer sheets would have helped with the wrinkles, but now that you are going natural, you may be wondering “what are some things you can try?”
First of all, your clothes will have less wrinkles because the vinegar will keep your clothing soft, not stiff.
Second of all, the dryer balls literally beat the wrinkles right out of your clothes.
The only thing you will have to do is be PROMPT. Set your dryer timer or a kitchen timer so you know exactly when your clothes are done drying. Pull them out immediately and hang or fold them for the least wrinkles.
What to do if you forget to take your clothes out of the dryer
If you forget to set that timer and realize your laundry has cooled off and become a big old wrinkled mess, then grab a few pairs of underwear, or socks out of the load (anything small will do), run it under some water to get it a little bit wet, and then throw it in your dryer with the wrinkled clothes.
Turn your dryer back on for about 10 minutes and then make sure you start folding right away this time when the load is finished. The addition of water creates a little bit of steam that helps get the wrinkles out again along with the help of the dryer balls and the heat from the dryer.
You can also do that same method using your dryer balls. Just get them wet, throw them in the dryer and turn it on. Your wrinkles will be gone in no time!
I hope this helps you feel like going natural with your laundry is not as scary and un-doable as you thought!