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DIY Wool Dryer Balls

wool dryer balls

I’m just going to come out and say it, I have a thing against dryer sheets.  The scented ones smell too overpowering and chemically for me.  The unscented ones might smell better, but I know they’re still leaving chemicals on my clothes and I’m pretty much always going to vote against adding chemicals to my life.  At some point in the last year or so I decided that I just wasn’t going to use dryer sheets anymore, but I started the search for a replacement because, really, who wants to wear stiff clothes?

I saw some wool dryer balls on The Grommet and they got stuck in my head.  According to the description, these magical balls of wool last forever, soften clothes, remove wrinkles and static.  Those would be sooo much better than dryer sheets.  And then I realized, they’re just felted balls of wool.  Felted, like when you accidentally wash a sweater in hot water and it mats together.  Felted, like that knitting technique with yarn and your washing machine used to make funky bags and slippers.  I think you see where I’m going with this.

I made some wool dryer balls and after using them for months, I can honestly say that they make a difference.   Not only does the laundry come out soft, but I would also say it’s less wrinkled.  I also notice that when I don’t find all the wool dryer balls to put in the next load, the ball-less load is more static-y, so the static thing seems to be true as well.

Want to make some of your own?  It’s really easy.  You need some 100% wool yarn–if it’s not wool, it won’t felt.  Color doesn’t matter.  A non-dyed yarn is more natural, but if you have yarn in your stash to get rid of, like I did, that works great, too.

Here’s what you need to do:

1.  Make a ball of yarn.  I made my yarn balls 25 grams each (using my handy kitchen scale) and that’s been a really good size.  Make sure you tuck the yarn tail under other yarn to secure it.

wool dryer balls | the hobby room diaries
2.  Put the yarn balls inside a sock tying off each ball in it’s own section of the sock with an extra piece of yarn.  This will keep the yarn from unraveling during the initial trip through the wash.
3.  Wash the yarn balls on hot with a little bit of soap and some laundry.  You need agitation for felting to work, so a load of jeans or towels is perfect.  Then dry the yarn balls and repeat the cycle once again.
wool dryer balls | the hobby room diaries
4.  After two laundry cycles, free your new wool dryer balls from their sock cocoons and they should be good to go.  You will still be able to see individual yarn strands, but as long as the balls aren’t unraveling, you can start using them and they will continue to mat together with each subsequent load.
wool dryer balls | the hobby room diaries
If you want scented laundry, put a few drops of an essential oil you like on each of wool dryer balls and that will make your clothes smell nice without the nasty chemical undertones.




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