Wool dryer balls help to cut down on drying time, fluff your laundry, and will not cause potential for fire like dryer sheets can do. For best drying potential I like to use 5-6 balls at a time.
Making the switch to wool dryer balls was a no brainer for me.
I started out my laundering career with dryer sheets that smelled like a lilac spring meadow (well that is what the box told me it smelled like as I have never walked through a lilac spring meadow). After learning about how synthetic fragrances are one of the more harmful groups of toxins a person can be exposed to, I switched to the plastic dryer balls that thump around as you dry your clothes.
Whelp, you probably can see where this is going. Plastic. I was voluntarily putting plastic into a hot machine and letting it rub itself all over my laundry. This didn’t resonate well with me and I started looking for another solution.
A girlfriend of mine showed me these wool dryer balls she had purchased from Etsy. I don’t even think she was finished talking about how much she loved them before I was done ordering them online.
I fell in love: they were pretty to look at, did the job well, and made me feel good about the lack of BPA floating around in my laundry. The problem was they were super expensive. I paid $35 for three wool balls.
Now, as a knitter, I had a good idea of the cost of wool yarn and felt confident I could make these for much cheaper. (Bonus! I got to pick my own colors!) This is a great activity to do while watching tv as it is pretty mindless work while you wrap up the balls.
Here is what you will need:
a skein or two of wool
A large eye needle
an old pair of pantyhose
Start making your wool dryer balls by wrapping the thread around two of your fingers over and over until a little ball forms. This is the inside of your ball! Just keep evenly wrapping the wool thread around the ball over and over until you get to the desired size (I make mine a little smaller than a tennis ball).
Once you get to the desired size leave about a foot of thread and snip it off from the skein. This is where the knitting needle comes in. Tie it to the end of the thread and sew the thread through the ball over and over until you can tie a knot and cut it off.
Next you are going to felt your dryer balls.
Cut a leg off your pantyhose and put the dryer balls into the leg of the pantyhose, tying a knot in between each ball.
Once done, put it into the washing machine with a couple bath towels. Wash with hot water and just a touch of laundry soap. Once done washing dry them (still in the pantyhose) and towels for one cycle. Remove them from the pantyhose and dry them again (still with the towels) for another cycle. They should be dry, felted, and ready to work! (If not you can run them for another cycle in the dryer).