DIY Felted Wool Dryer Balls

I love my homemade fabric softener but wouldn't it be better not to have to use softener at all? Wool Dryer Balls eliminate the need for fabric softener or dryer sheets. To be honest the only reason I use a fabric softener is to help remove pet hair from our clothing, so that will be the big test for me. Wool dryer balls also cut drying time by as much as half!! Wow, now that's a big savings on the electric bill. And, they last for years.

When I first saw these on I knew I had to try them out. I'm thinking they would make great gifts too.

Some benefits of using wool dryer balls

  • Eco-friendly
  • Eliminate the need for fabric softeners and dryer sheets
  • Does not add chemicals or artificial fragrances to your laundry
  • Cut drying time saving money and waiting for clothes to dry
  • Will not lessen the absorbency of towels and diapers like commercial products will
  • Soften clothing naturally
  • Made from a renewable resource
  • Increase fluffyness and static in laundry

Here's how they work!

As your dryer is tumbling these dryer balls tumble throughout the laundry and help separate the items. This allows the hot air to get into all the nooks and crannies, helping them dry faster. On top of that the gentle friction from the wool fibers help soften clothing naturally, eliminating the need for fabric softener.

But don't rush off to buy them just yet, they are pretty expensive. Instead consider making your own. They are quite simple and inexpensive to make.

Here is what you will need.

  • One skein pure wool yarn, 220 yards (for 4 balls) Note: do not use if label says "superwash" or "machine washable". These will not felt.
  • Old pantyhose
  • String, twine, embroidery floss...just something to tie with (do not use the wool yarn)
  • Sizzors
  • Crochet hook (optional)

Here is what you do

First you will want to wind your yarn up into balls. Start by winding the yarn around three fingers about 12 times.

Remove from fingers and wind yarn around that about 12 times.

Now fold in the ends and begin winding the yarn snuggly, changing direction as needed. Once your ball is made use the crochet hook or fingers to tuck the loose end under. I actually tied a knot and then tucked the end under the other strands.

Once your wool balls are made you will need to felt them. That's easy too.

Cut one leg from the panty hose and place the balls inside, all the way down to the toe.

Tie off the pany hose after the last wool ball and tie with string or whatever you are using. DO NOT use the wool yarn as it will felt and you will have difficulty removing the ties.

Tie a tight knot in between each ball. Now you have your "snake".

Wash the "snake" in your washing machine with some towels using the hottest water possible to wash and cold water to rinse.

Dry in the clothes dryer, again using the hottest setting possible.

Now the dryer balls have begun to felt. You can stop here or you can wash and dry again to create even more felting. Since my washer and dryer both have an extra hot setting, I only needed to do this once.

How to use them

Place four balls in the dryer with a regular load of laundry. The more balls you use the quicker the drying time. Four balls are supposed to cut dryer time 25 - 50%.

For an extra nice touch, add a few drops of essential oil to the dryer balls. Lavender would be lovely.

Result? My clothes did dry much faster! And they were soft, static free, and it helped remove pet hair as well as any softener I have tried.

Comments or questions? I would love to hear from you. ♥

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