The Easiest Eco-Friendly, Under-$20 Swap I've Made in My Home
Reusable wool dryer balls help rid your laundry of those annoying disposable dryer sheets and dry your clothes faster.
From food storage bags to straws, I’m always excited to discover and try reusable products that help reduce waste and/or toxins in my home. Some swaps are more difficult to make than others, though. Reusable alternatives often require additional cleaning and maintenance and can cost more upfront than disposable options. But that’s not the case when it comes to ditching dryer sheets. The easiest, no-brainer reusable product I’ve purchased in the last couple of years? Wool dryer balls.
Wool dryer balls help keep your clothes soft and reduce static and wrinkles, but unlike most dryer sheets, wool dryer balls made from 100 percent wool do not contain synthetic ingredients or built-in fragrance. The balls also help “fluff” clothes better, meaning they can reduce drying time by up to 25 percent and cut down on the time you have to run your dryer. For small or medium loads, use three balls, and for large loads, use five to six balls at a time. Most wool dryer balls claim to last for at least 1,000 drying cycles, so you can reuse them for at least two to four years.
Since they don’t contain any synthetic ingredients or fragrances, wool dryer balls are great for those with sensitive skin, including babies. If you do prefer a touch of fragrance, you can add a few drops of pure essential oils to the balls for a subtle scent.
As wool dryer balls become more popular (for good reason), they're easy to find but are all pretty similar in construction and quality. You don't need to spend a lot to reap the benefits. Two brands we’ve tried and loved are Smart Sheep and Woolzies. Both come in a pack of six, cost $19.95 or just over $3 per ball and have thousands of positive reviews on Amazon.
If you want to choose from an assortment of colored wool dryer balls that come in a variety of size packs, check out Maine-based, Black-owned business LooHoo Wool Dryer Balls.
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DIY Reusable Dryer Balls
Want to learn how to make your own wool dryer balls? Check out our easy how-to project for instructions on how to make them with wool yarn or old, upcycled wool sweaters.