Bounce Into Eco-Friendly Laundry With Wool Dryer Balls
What Are Dryer Balls?
Dryer balls have been around for quite a significant amount of time, but not a lot of people know about them. This is because they are not as well-known and people tend to dismiss them as ineffective, but there is a lot more to these little spheres than you may think. So, what are dryer balls? Well, they are a dryer sheets alternative.
Dryer users tend to think of dryer sheets as more eco-friendly compared to using fabric softener. Little do they know that dryer balls, especially the wool dryer balls, have an even less toxic effect on the environment.
The Idea Behind the Dryer Ball
Putting them into the dryer with a load of wet laundry speeds up the drying process. Not only do they save time, but they also save electricity. This alone should be reason enough to try them, as we should all be doing our part in reducing the carbon emissions electricity use causes, no matter how great or small it may be.
The function of this laundry product is to separate the laundry inside the dryer, thereby allowing the hot air to circulate between the layers more efficiently. Think about a load of wet towels and how they cling together when you move them from the washer to the dryer.
It takes a long time before they are dry enough to start separating from one another. They help to create spaces between the towels so that the hot air moves between them.
Plastic Dryer Balls
While these types of balls do an excellent job of creating air pockets between wet laundry items during the drying process because of the spikes on the surface, most users say that they do not negate the need for fabric softener. However, they have indeed been shown to drive up the efficiency of your dryer, saving you time and money.
In addition, plastic ones are hypoallergenic, which is a great help if you have family members who suffer from conditions, such as eczema. A lot of people are allergic to wool, which makes the other type counterproductive.
Wool Dryer Balls
What distinguishes the wool type from its rubber and plastic cousins is that it also softens the fabric and removes static. These are the two primary reasons that people add fabric softener to their laundry.
The fact that the wool type can replace the need for fabric softener makes them even more eco-friendly than their counterparts. Most fabric softeners are chemical based and the chemicals enter the greywater system when they are pumped out of the machine and down the drain.
Another fact that makes this product better than the plastic and rubber variants is that they make less noise while the dryer is running. You can also add a few drops of lavender essential oil before you place them in the dryer, which gives your laundry a pleasing scent.
Will the Dryer Ball Replace Dryer Sheets?
Dryer sheets reduce the static electricity that forms when too many loose electrons create a negative charge in the fabric particles. At the same time, they soften the fabric conditioner, allowing it to coat the fabric, giving it that soft to the touch feel we all love.
However, they are less eco-friendly because they still require the use of fabric softener and they do little to reduce the time your laundry spends in the dryer. While many users swear by them, perhaps it is time to give dryer balls a try.
How to Use a Dryer Ball
The process could not be more straightforward. When you load your dryer, put the balls into it by packing them between the laundry you want to dry.
Taking the time to insert the balls in a way that separates the items makes them more effective. Set your dryer as you usually would, but be sure to check it before it is due to finish the cycle, as there is a good chance that your laundry will dry sooner.
The Pros and Cons of Using Dryer Balls
While there are many pros of using dryer balls mentioned above, they do have some perceived disadvantages as well. A lot of users say that the dryer balls do not do as good of a job at reducing static electricity like dryer sheets do.
However, those who have tried all the ball types say that the wool ones are better at eliminating static than plastic balls. Another common complaint is that laundry is nowhere near as soft after, compared to using dryer sheets.
However, given the reduced carbon footprint dryer balls might offer, they are well worth trying. Added to their eco-friendliness is the fact that many users report that dryer balls are better at minimizing wrinkles than any other products.
How Long Do Dryer Balls Last?
How many loads you can do using a set of dryer balls depends on the material used for production and the brand you buy. Read the instructions and other information carefully so that you know how many loads to expect from your dryer balls.
Popular Dryer Ball Brands
Now you know how dryer balls work, how they function and their pros and cons. But what are the best brands to invest in? Let’s check it out.
Whitmor plastic rubber balls come in a set of four. The soft spikes help to prevent laundry items from rubbing up against each other during drying, which eliminates a lot of static electricity.
Smart Sheep wool dryer balls come in a pack of six. They are extra-large premium dryer balls and are said to be effective for more than 1,000 dryer loads.
SnugPad wool dryer balls are made from 100% premium New Zealand wool and are chemical free and baby safe.
S&T INC. 534401
S&T INC. 534401 reusable dryer balls are plastic and come in a pack of six. Each ball is 2.5 inches in diameter.
The Ball’s In Your Court
Given the rave reviews many brands receive on online shopping platforms, it seems that there is enough justification for trying them. If you are using your dryer all the time, you will most definitely save some time and money, and you will be making your contribution to conserving our planet.