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How To Clean Wool Dryer Balls and When You Should

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Clean Wool Dryer Balls

Are your wool dryer balls in need of a recharge? In this article I will tell you exactly how to clean wool dryer balls. As well as when you need to clean them to keep them working at their best.

how to clean wool dryer balls by putting them in the washing machine pin

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Related Article: How To Use Dryer Balls In Your Laundry and Why It’s Good

Why I Started Using Wool Dryer Balls

I started using wool dryer balls 12 years ago. I wanted to remove some of the toxic chemicals my children were exposed to in our home. Like from cleaning products and laundry products.

At first I didn’t think I would like it. But here I am 12 years later writing articles about how much I believe in it.

Related Post: The Most Remarkable Benefits Of Using Natural Vinegar To Clean

When You Should Clean Wool Dryer Balls

Over time your wool dryer balls will need to be cleaned, or as some call it, “recharged”.

A good time to clean your wool dryer balls is if you notice any of the following:

  • a foul smell
  • increased amount of static in your dryer
  • noticeable dirt or grime on the wool balls
  • griminess, oiliness or discoloration from using essential oils

I have been using these wool dryer balls for the last 12 years. I have only had to clean them a few times, like about every 6 months to a year.

Wool dryer balls are the only dryer balls that need cleaning or “recharging”.

If you are using plastic dryer balls, tennis balls, or even foil balls in the dryer, then you will not need to clean them in this way.

womans hand placing wool dryer ball into dryer

How to Clean Wool Dryer Balls

Cleaning your wool dryer balls is as easy as doing a load of laundry. Here are the steps you can follow:

1// Place the wool ball inside a clean sock and tie the end.

2// Place the sock with the wool dryer ball in the washing machine. Wash with hot water on a gentle cycle.

3// You can add them into an existing laundry load if you want… two birds one stone.

4// Put the dryer balls in the dryer and dry them thoroughly on high heat.

How to clean lint and pilling from wool dryer balls

You may notice over time that pilling and lint build up on your dryer balls. Pilling and lint causes are soft and fuzzy laundry items like sherpa, fleece, or even your bath towels.

Believe it or not, the lint and pilling on your wool balls will not effect how well they work. But you can easily use a lint remover to remove the lint and pilling from the balls.

Related Post: 5 Best Lint Removers To Remove Lint From Your Clothes Fast

folded tan wool

How Are Wool Dryer Balls Made?

You should look for high quality wool dryer balls like these. They are made by pulling very fine strands of wool and forming a tight ball.

The tightness of the wool is what gives the ball enough weight to help with air flow in the dryer. It also helps with wrinkles and making clothes come out soft. [source]

Many people also make their own wool dryer balls at home with wool yarn. The balls will most likely not be as dense and heavy. But they will still help decrease the amount of toxic chemicals used in your laundry and decrease drying time.

If you have made your own dryer balls, you may have to take more care in knowing how to clean your wool dryer balls. Because they could fall apart in the wash.

Related Post: 6 Easy Fabric Softener Substitutes To Make Your Laundry Healthier

Allergies and wool dryer balls

If you are allergic to wool, that could be a problem, but it doesn’t have to be.

My son is allergic to wool. So I actually place my wool dryer balls in a tube sock and tie the end. That way they don’t come in direct contact with the clothes. So far, the dryer balls still work great.

Another option is to use a synthetic dryer ball or a tennis ball. You will not reap all of the benefits of wool dryer balls, but there are still some great advantages.

One thing to note if you use a tennis ball. When it heats up it could make your clothes smell like a tennis ball. Just something to keep in mind.

multi colored wool dryer balls in a wooden crate

Benefits of Using Wool Dryer Balls

By using wool dryer balls in your dryer, you can eliminate many things from your laundry.

You can completely get rid of fabric softeners and dryer sheets.

Wool dryer balls will decrease your dry times.

They will decrease the harmful chemicals your sensitive skin is exposed to.

These little balls of wool will decrease static cling, and make a positive environmental impact.

These are my favorite wool dryer balls to use.

Create Soft Laundry With Dryer Balls

Have ever run out of traditional dryer sheets or liquid fabric softener? So I bet you tried not using them and your clothes came out stiff and weird feeling.

Unlike that experience, dryer balls actually help to soften your clothes. They “beat” the fabric and keeping it pliable without using chemicals.

Get The Wrinkles Out Of Your Laundry

You can use dryer balls in two different ways to get the wrinkles out of your clothing.

  1. The “beating” that the balls give your fabric that makes the fabric soft. This also helps beat the wrinkles out of the fabrics. The constant moving around of the fabric caused by the wool balls helps keep the fabric from staying in one place too long. Which creates wrinkles.
  2. If you find that you have left your fabric in the dryer after the dryer has shut off, you can moisten your dryer balls, throw them back in with your laundry items, and restart your dryer for a few minutes. The steam created from the wet dryer balls will help release the wrinkles from your clothes.
womans hand placing wool dryer balls into dryer

Decrease Drying Time

If you have ever had the chance to watch clothing circulating in a dryer, then you know that they all travel around the dryer drum in one large clump.

Dryer balls, when added to wet clothes in the dryer, create gaps in the clothing. This allows warm air to get in between the clothes and dry them in less time.

Click here to buy wool dryer balls on Amazon.

Decrease Static Electricity

The hot air in the dryer removes moisture from the clothes and air in the dryer.

Therefore, as the clothes tumble around and rub against each other in that hot dry air, they create static electricity…which causes static cling.

Wool dryer balls help with static by retaining some moisture in your dryer as the clothing dries. So as long as you are not over drying your clothes…along with the dryer balls, they will help with static cling.

Related Post: 11 No-Fail Ways To Reduce Static In The Dryer Without Fabric Softener

woman in white tank top scratching her back and leaving red marks

Decrease Skin Irritation

Have you ever noticed skin irritation such as rash and eczema? Your skin problems could be caused by harsh chemicals in fabric softener and regular dryer sheets.

You can use wool dryer balls as a natural fabric softener. They contain no chemicals of any kind as long as you opt for organic dryer balls.

These organic dryer balls are a great option for baby clothes as well. They are the best way to keep clothes soft without chemicals.

Save Money

The average household does around 416 loads of laundry per year. They spend around $65 per year on liquid fabric softener alone. And even more in electricity (between $.24-$.72 per load depending on where you live) to heat the air in the dryer.

Dryer balls decrease the amount of money you spend each year. They do this by decreasing drying time and allowing you to forego the fabric softener all together.

By adding dryer balls like these to your clothes dryer, you can save at least $65 per year. And also some of the dryer electricity costs.

three wool dryer balls with leaves in between

Decrease Energy Consumption

Energy consumption in America is ever increasing, using up the world’s supply of natural resources faster than it can replenish them. [source] Using wool dryer balls can help you do your part by decreasing the amount of energy needed to dry a load of laundry by decreasing drying times.

Decrease Carbon Footprint

The current carbon footprint per person in the US is 16 tons. [source]

Your carbon footprint is created by single-use items such as single-use dryer sheets, that emit greenhouse gasses into the air.

According to Bounce, they recommend adding one dryer sheet to small loads, 1-2 dryer sheets to medium to large loads, and 3 dryer sheets if you have a dryer that can hold extra large loads of laundry! [source]

A better option for the environment (and your money) is wool dryer balls. Since they can be used for over 1000 loads of laundry or more. But only if you know how to clean wool dryer balls and keep them working at their best.

rows of bottles of plastic fabric softener bottles

Adding Scent To your Laundry

Many people prefer liquid fabric softener and dryer sheets because of the fragrance they leave on their clothes. I have to admit, that is one thing I missed for a long time.

Many sites will recommend adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the dryer balls…but I DO NOT recommend this!

Essential oils actually have a very low spark point which can ignite the clothes or lint in a dryer. So essential oils could be a fire risk.

Instead, try wrapping your mind around the fact that no smell is actually the cleanest smell.

yellow lemons green leaves and a brown bottle with a white top laying next to it

When to get rid of dryer balls

Although wool dryer balls last a long time, the do not last forever. Get rid of old wool dryer balls when they begin to come apart, unravel, no longer recharge to remove static from your laundry or get too gross to use.

Remember that wool dryer balls are 100% natural, so don’t throw them in the garbage, add them to your compost pile.

You can buy replacement wool dryer balls here on Amazon.

Why You Should Know How To Clean Wool Dryer Balls

I know it may sound like a hassle to have to know how to clean your dryer balls. But by giving them a good cleaning, you not only don’t have to buy more, you can restore them to their original effectiveness. This small task saves you so much time and money personally. And helps save our planet by taking care of it in a better way.

Clean Dryer Balls and Better Laundry Options

Overall, knowing how to clean dryer balls will help you get years of use out of those little balls of wool.

And by using dryer balls in your laundry, you are removing toxic dryer sheets and fabric softener, saving money, helping the planet, using less energy, and doing yourself and your family a huge favor.

Next step is figuring out how to get rid of laundry detergent and opt for something more natural. But that is for another article!

So happy drying!

Julie signature

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