Dryer balls have gained lots of popularity in the last few years, thanks to the potential benefits they offer. Also known as laundry balls, these products provide health-conscious homeowners the natural, nontoxic, affordable and easiest alternative to toxic fabric softener!
If you are committed to keeping your family healthy and safe from potentially harmful chemicals, then the chances are high that you are already using dryer balls.
What are dryer balls?
As the name suggests, dryer balls are baseball-sized balls which are typically made of plastic, wool or rubber and are quickly becoming a popular commodity in health-conscious and eco-friendly homes.
Dryer balls help prevent your laundry from clumping in the dryer and this implies that they allow the laundry to dry more efficiently. It is also imperative to note that these balls retain heat hence boosting the drying process by passing along their warmth. It is always disgusting when your dryer doesn’t fully dry your clothes.
It’s even more annoying when the cycle ends only to have wrinkled clothes covered with a generous amount of pet hair! Premium quality dryer balls not only eliminate wrinkles, reduce static, shorten the dry time, soften clothes, but are equally durable enough to last more than one thousand loads!
How do dryer balls work?
These incredible pieces of fabric softener take the stiffness out of your clothes, towels, and sheets naturally, without the involvement of either toxins or harmful chemicals.
Generally, the science behind laundry balls is fairly simple and straightforward. During drying cycles, dryer balls somewhat create some form of ‘separation’ between the layers of the clothing hence allowing hot air to circulate easily and dry the laundry at a relatively faster rate.
For instance, when drying a load of sheets, imagine a bunch of wet fabric flapping around and clinging together for an extended period before they are dry enough to separate to allow sufficient warm air to circulate. Typically, dryer balls can accelerate this whole ‘separation’ process by allowing warm air to flow freely between garments easier and faster.
They help prevent laundry from clumping in the dryer. As they bounce around, laundry balls gently agitate the fibers of the clothing and this results in the softening of the fabric, a factor that helps eliminate wrinkles.
Dryer balls also retain the heat they absorb from the dryer itself to help boost the overall drying process. This way, your laundry dries fairly faster and more effectively, thus reducing the drying times in your load of laundry.
What are the benefits of dryers balls?
The primary benefit of dryer balls is they allow your laundry to dry fairly more quickly. However, there are other benefits you’ll likely enjoy when you embrace the use of these highly innovative laundry accessories
Dryer balls eliminate static
Static build-up occurs in the dryer because your clothes cling together. Fabric softeners coat them with chemicals which counteract the static charge from heat, leaving your laundry fragranced, soft and nicer-looking. However, the chemicals emitted by fabric softeners come at a cost, mostly in the form of allergic reactions and skin irritation.
When you employ the use of non-toxic dryer balls, you are simply eliminating the need for chemical softener! Dryer balls tumble with your clothing, absorb moisture to ensure they remain separate. This implies that you won’t experience any static charge, and your clothing will be fresh, sparkling and wrinkle-free.
Did you know that the scent produced by fabric softeners can be highly toxic to your body?
Some of the most common ingredients found in conventional fabric softeners include alcohol ethoxylates, and cetrimonium chloride can potentially exacerbate respiratory issues, especially asthma, or trigger headaches and migraines.
If either you or someone in your family is particularly easily irritated by harmful fragrances, you need an alternative. Dryer balls are natural, non-fabric softeners that are fragrance-free. Of course, if you feel you need to add fragrance, you are free to use a few drops of essential oils to enjoy a highly captivating scent.
Sustainable and eco-friendly
Dryer balls are made of sustainable resources such as wool which are equally environment-friendly. You can use your laundry balls over and over for a year or more and this makes them extremely eco-friendly.
They allow your clothing to dry faster
This is arguably the biggest benefit of dryer balls! Wool dryer balls, for instance, dry 40% faster because they absorb moisture. This implies that you are saving money on your monthly electricity bills for one, and two, you are getting through laundry much quicker!
Dryer balls will save you money by reducing the amount of energy needed to dry your clothing. The larger your wash load, the more you’ll save. Using six laundry balls will potentially reduce the time it takes to dry your clothes by close to forty percent. Heavy loads like diapers benefit the most from your use of laundry balls.
Which dryer balls are the best?
Dryer balls are available in a variety of materials and sizes. However, the most popular types of dryer balls are plastic and wool dryer balls. Plastic dryer balls are non-toxic, hypoallergenic and practically safe for all types of clothing materials.
Their sparks get into the folds of laundry allowing them to effectively create separation and enhance air circulation which in turn, helps accelerate drying time. There are potentially endless sub-brands of plastic dryer balls out there on the market and you can always find the ones that suit your needs and preference.
Wool dryer balls are all-natural and do not contain any chemical. Although they don’t produce spikes like their plastic counterparts, wool dryer balls are just as effective. They are relatively heavy, yet soft and don’t produce as much noise as the plastic ones.
Wool dryer balls absorb moisture which helps in drying and also releases moisture which enables them to effectively combat static and wrinkles. Like their plastic dryer balls cousins, wool dryer balls are also extremely affordable and there are several options to choose from.
If we had to pick one, we would choose the wool dryer balls.
Wool Vs Plastic dryer balls
Whether made of plastic or wool, dryer balls separate clothes better than dryer sheets. They allow hot air to circulate more efficiently and evenly, which then incredibly reduces drying time. However, research has also indicated that wool dryer balls are better than their plastic counterparts and there are several reasons to support this:
Wool dryer balls offer versatility
If you want your clothes to smell glorious, and you are missing your old favorite scented laundry detergent, you can add a few drops of essential oils to scent your clothing.
All you need is add two to three drops to your wool dryer balls when your load is dry and set your dryer to fluff (no heat) mode for ten minutes. Lavender and lemongrass essential oils are always preferred, as they give your home a captivating and amazing scent!
Wool dryer balls are natural hence eco-friendly
They are non-polluting, and unlike their plastic counterparts, break down naturally in the compost when you are done with them. What’s more, wool dryer balls don’t emit toxic fumes when they are heated in your dryer.
This implies that they will help keep your indoor air clean and fresh at all times. Being a petrochemical, plastic dryer balls will likely gas off into your house during the dryer cycle and you may not even smell any danger!
Wool dryer balls are highly durable
Plastic dryer balls will become brittle with constant use and eventually break down. As they release gas into your gas they are breaking down one layer of molecules at a time and this will eventually shorten their life cycle. On the other hand, wool dryer balls will remain firmly felted even with regular use. They will last for years!
They are less noisy
Another nice perk to using wool dryer balls over plastic ones is that they are much quieter. Plastic dryer balls are known to produce lots of clattering noise when is used inside the dryer.
Wool dryer balls eliminate odors from your clothing
Natural wool dryer balls absorb smell from your clothing, leaving it smelling fresh. They are naturally anti-bacterial!
They are fairly more effective
Wool dryer balls will help keep your clothing smooth and fluffy. They are proven to be the best when it comes to tackling wrinkles and static.
Will dryer balls damage my dryer?
Dryer balls will not damage your dryer in any way whatsoever. They are easy to use and you only need to grab your dryer balls and throw them into your dryer along with your laundry. It’s that simple. Your dryer and dryer balls will perform the rest of the task.
Can dryer balls replace dryer sheets?
Yes, Dryer balls can replace dryer sheets. Dryer sheets serve three purposes.
- Reduce static cling
- Soften clothing
- Add a fresh fragrance to each load.
Dryer sheets are made of polyester and are usually coated with uniquely formulated compounds and chemicals. These compounds and chemicals become activated by the hot air inside the dryer and friction with the laundry. Once activated, they transfer those chemicals onto your clothes to start working the magic.
Dryer sheets are can effectively soften clothing, add fragrance and reduce static cling and are equally affordable. However, they do have their fair share of criticisms which make them less preferred compared to dryer balls.
There are claims that they are filled with toxic chemicals which can potentially irritate your skin and can also result in serious illnesses after regular use.
Unlike their dryer balls counterpart, dryer sheets never reduce drying time. Whereas dryer balls are reusable, you can only use dryer sheets once and this implies that over time, they can be quite costly. It has been proven that the fatty molecules released by dryer sheets make your towels less absorbent.
These are some of the most compelling reasons why you would want to replace your dryer sheets with dryer balls. They are eco-friendly, affordable, reusable, reduce the time it takes for clothes to dry which can potentially save you hundreds of dollars in energy bills over time.
What’s more, dryer balls present no significant health-related dangers because they don’t emit any potentially harmful substances. They also fluff laundry as it dries which contributes to softening clothes, reducing static and wrinkles!
Can dryer balls be washed?
Of course, you can wash your dryer balls. When used at relatively high heat settings, dryer balls, especially those made of wool, may tend to shrink.
However, this does not affect function. To refresh your dryers’ static-reduction quality, you can wash them. Just place of the balls in a clean sock and run through a wash and rinse cycle on the hot water and detergent. After this, dry them on the highest heat setting as thoroughly as possible.
When do dryer balls need to be replaced?
Dryer balls, regardless of the material they are made of, will need to be replaced every two to four years depending on how often you do laundry. As a result of regular use, dryer balls tend to collect lint and pet hair.
Gradually, dryer balls will also begin to pill and shrink. When you realize they have become somewhat too small to be effective, this is when you’ll want to replace them with new ones.
How long do dryer balls last?
Generally, dryer balls are super durable! They will serve you for years without wearing out and you can expect between 1000 and 1600 dryer cycles or about two to four years with premium quality dryer balls!
Are dryer balls safe for the environment?
As we previously mentioned, dryer balls come in two distinct varieties; wool and plastic. Both types of dryer balls are non-toxic, hypoallergenic and practically safe for all types of laundry materials. Also, they function the same way.
However, when it comes to environmental sustainability concerns, there is a huge difference between the two. While plastic has many immediate benefits, one frequently cited problem with this material is that it’s usually not biodegradable, or able to decompose naturally.
This implies that if carelessly thrown away instead of being recycled, plastic can create a lot of waste and this may not bode well with our constant quest for environmental sustainability.
Wool dryer balls, on the other hand, are made of 100% natural wool hence biodegradable and safe for the environment. Once used, you can easily decompose them to serve other purposes!
They offer a great alternative to those potentially toxic dryer sheets. To help enhance your knowledge about these beautiful and useful items, we have provided you with a whole coverage of all you need to know about them.
Dryer balls are arguably one of the latest laundry accessories, artistically designed to shorten dryer time, help you save energy costs and eliminate static cling from your clothing.