Written by Angie Tran
In case you’ve never heard of them, wool dryer balls are roughly softball-sized balls of condensed wool that you use when machine drying your clothes. They are an effective, eco-friendly alternative to softener or dryer sheets.
It’s honestly a little baffling how liquid fabric softener and synthetic dryer sheets managed to take over the market. Wool dryer balls are 100% natural, non-toxic, and have a surprising number of added benefits.
Here at Kind Laundry, we're big fans. And we’re trying to spread the word as far and wide as possible! Check out these benefits of wool dryer balls:
1. Faster Drying Time
Using wool dryer balls means your laundry gets dry up to 25% faster. This is partially because the wool can absorb some of the excess moisture. But it’s also because the balls move around throughout your laundry, creating space between the fabrics and improving the airflow.
As you probably know from the sad little hand dryers in gas station bathrooms, airflow is important. If you do a lot of laundry, this is a serious advantage. How many times has your laundry day been held up by a load that takes too long to dry? One of the benefits of wool dryer balls is that you can choose how many you want to add to each load.
Not sure how many dryer balls to use?
- For an average load, you’ll typically want 3-4 dryer balls.
- For large loads or faster drying times, try adding 6 wool balls.
An added benefit of faster drying time is that you’ll save energy - and money on your electric bill! It’s a win-win-win.
2. Eliminate Static Naturally
Usually when your laundry spins around in the dryer, it does so in a big clump. The different fabrics cling together and that is part of what creates a static charge. Dryer sheets use chemicals to counteract this, but that can cause allergic reactions and skin irritation. (Psst — It also builds up on your lint screen, so if you use dryer sheets you should be sure to wash it every once in a while.)
The advantage of wool dryer balls is that they work by tumbling around, physically keeping your clothes separate; this prevents the static from being created.
If you live in a dry area and have trouble with static, you can dampen your wool balls before adding them to the dryer which will help. Of course, you’ll be sacrificing the faster drying time, but if the static cling is bad it could be worth it.
One underrated benefit of wool dryer balls is that they are fragrance-free. This means they are a great choice for those who struggle with allergies or asthma, or are prone to migraines. If you’re sensitive to artificial fragrances, this is the solution.
If you like fragrances and feel you would miss the fresh scent on your sheets or clean clothes, you can always add a few drops of essential oil to the wool balls for a gentle, natural scent. It can be fun to play around with different mixtures of oil, too. And in the end you’ll find a combination that’s perfect just for you.
4. Eco-Friendly And Sustainable
Of course one of our favorite benefits of wool dryer balls is that they are a reusable, renewable, all-natural resource. Your wool balls can be used up to 1000 times, which means even if you do a load of laundry every single day, they would last you almost three years! After that, they are completely biodegradable.
You can even put them in your home compost — though we suggest cutting them up into smaller pieces first. The increased surface area will help them break down faster.
5. Non-Toxic, Natural Fabric Softener
Dryer balls are a non-toxic, natural fabric softener. This works the mechanical way. As dryer balls bounce around in the dryer, they soften the fibers in your clothes. This tumbling around also helps prevent wrinkles because it keeps your clothes from getting pinned to the side and creasing.
Compare that to liquid softener or dryer sheets which work by leaving a layer of chemicals on your clothes. These build up over time and can degrade your clothes, and also makes towels less absorbent.
6. Quieter Than Other Types Of Dryer Ball
There are many options for dryer balls, including plastic versions or even tennis balls. The thing about plastic dryer balls is umm… they’re plastic. So not only are they not eco-friendly, they also cause quite the racket bouncing around inside your dryer. That’s another advantage of wool dryer balls — they’re quiet.
Even tennis balls can be pretty loud in the dryer, especially if your laundry machines are near your living area. Tennis balls can also leave an unfortunate rubbery smell on your clothes… and they won’t do anything to improve your drying time.
The Best Eco-Friendly Dryer Sheet Alternative
We find that wool dryer balls are the best all-around solution to dry, soften, and de-static your laundry. They’re reusable, biodegradable, and non-toxic as well as being fragrance-free. If you’ve never tried them before, head on over to the Kind Laundry store and give them a go! Grab the Laundry Makeover Bundle for a full sustainable laundry routine.
Angie Tran is the Co-Founder of Kind Laundry, with a mission to create a more sustainable future. As consumers, we have the power to change the world by being careful in what we buy and consume. Just imagine, one person opting to purchase a plastic-free item one day, then multiplied by billions of people around the world - that’s a small gesture with MASSIVE impact. This is why we are so passionate about Kind Laundry and the mission it stands for. We want to give people a better alternative and make a positive impact on our planet. Kind Laundry products are sustainable, contain no harmful chemicals and are much easier to use.