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Are you looking for an alternative to dryer sheets. I've been using dryer sheets my entire life because that's how I learned it when I was young. But now, as the population deals with increased sensitivity resulting in skin conditions, I begin to wonder how laundry detergent and dryer sheets play into residues that may be left behind on clothes. That clothes is then directly contact my skin. So aside from finding more natural soaps, an easy solution I found to get rid of dryer sheets is to dry clothes with dryer balls made completely of wool. My recommendation is to purchase dryer balls made completely of wool, and not the plastic dryer balls. As the writing of this article, the most popular wool dryer ball has over 18,500 reviews.
The Advantages of Wool Dryer Balls
- Speeds up drying timing
- Save money by using Less power drying clothes
- No chemicals, just 100% natural wool
- Long lasting means less dryer sheets into the trash
Wool Dryer Ball Complaints
- Does not get rid of static electricity
- Difficult to find at the end of the drying cycle
- Reviews of dryer ball unraveling or pilling (I haven't experienced this)
- Bad smells of farm and urine (I haven't experienced this)
Using dryer balls is easy. Just pop them into the dryer (not to be used with the washer) with your wet and clean clothes. After the drying cycle is complete, find them and set them aside to dry and wait until your next cycle. I've been using my wool dryer balls for 1.5 years in my HE dryer, doing one load a week. It is still perfectly circular in perfect like-new condition. There has been no damage to my HE dryer. Sometimes when I can't find all the dryer balls when taking out my clothes, I use them as snowballs while folding laundry. The manufacturer states the dryer balls are good for 1000 uses. At 52 users per year, these should theoretically last a bit longer than 19 years!
Some are concerned dryer balls my cause a nosier dry time, as the wool dryer balls are bouncing around the dryer. However, this isn't the case as these dryer balls are very soft. Soft enough I don't mind it when one is thrown at me. They're about the size of a tennis ball, but definitely softer than one. Regardless of the size of my load, I always use all six dryer balls.
One complaint I see and agree with is static. Though this may depend on your region, as more arid regions tend to have more static in their clothing, there are some suggestions. If you're dealing with a lot of static while using wool dryer balls, reviewers have suggested separating clothing made from synthetic materials (such as polyester, rayon, acrylic, nylon, etc) from natural materials. Spraying the wool dryer balls with water or adding a couple drops of essential oils before starting can also help cut down on static. At the end of the day, a bit of extra static is worth a more natural clean.
Another complaint is that the dryer sheets unravel. My guess to wool dryer balls unravel is you have clothing with big buttons or other sharp items that stick out which may stab into the dryer balls causing them to unravel. One solution would be to put any of those types of clothes into a dryer bag.
Do you have concerns on where the wool for dryer balls are sourced? If you go Smart Sheep's Wool Dryer Balls (the one I purchased and have been using), the wool is ethically sourced in New Zealand in Nepal and packaged in the US.
The effectiveness of dryer balls have been so successful there are many different types of dryer balls. Some dryer balls are plastic. Some dryer balls are wool. Some dryer balls have different shapes. Some dryer balls have animals (pokemon ball, sheep face, sloth face) painted on it. But my suggestion is to go with the 100% wool dryer balls for a completely natural drying solution. Some reviewers had mentioned that they work well in drying 100% bamboo towels, which hold lots of water.