23 August 2013

Wool Dryer Balls & A Thank You To...


Hope you all have great weekends!!

Today we're excited to share a thank you gift with one of our commenters this week:


Sage happens to be a long-time commenter and supporter here.  Ahh....thank you so much for that, Sage.  It's amazing how connected we feel with some of you readers.  Thank you, thank you for your friendship & connection here.

Wool Dryer Balls

Today we are sending what might seem like a strange gift...but it's actually one of my new favorite things!  :)  Yes, we're talking about Wool Dryer Balls.  Recently we had a dryer repair man come to clean all the dryer ducts in the building and he basically had a stern sit down with everybody and said we HAD to stop using dryer sheets because they gunk up the ducts and the appliances with residue, they cause the dryers to not run as efficiently, and they are a MAJOR FIRE HAZARD due to the residue. He was not messing around with this.  Also, the dryer sheets are laden with harmful chemicals (see these articles here...Why You Need To Ditch Dryer Sheets, & 7 Toxic Reasons You Should Ditch Dryer Sheets.)

So - luckily there is a natural alternative for keeping the static at bay and softening your clothes...

Yes.  Put 4-6 of these wool dryer balls in your dryer load.  They really work!!  (Or well...you can also play catch with them indoors since they're super soft.  haha.  We never have toys around here, but somehow we had a good game of catch from our kitchen to our living room when these arrived.  Better yet if you throw them at people when they're not looking.  :)

Here's the deal:

-They soak up the moisture as the clothes dry, but then also keep the dryer more evenly humid during the dry cycle which dramatically reduces static cling.
-They absorb 30% of their weight in water which leads to a QUICKER drying cycle - so you save energy and $$$ on your electricity bill (they reduce the drying cycle by up to 1/2!)
-They last for years so you aren't creating more waste with every load.
-You don't have to keep spending money on new dryer sheets.
-They are chemical free as long as you get wool that hasn't been treated with chemicals.
-They lift and separate clothing, allowing for air to flow better - also leading to a quicker cycle.
-They won't cover your dryer, clothes and linens with residue and chemicals.
-These are made with felted wool, opposed to felted yarn, so they will never unravel.
-Wool is naturally mildew resistant.
-They aren't a fire hazard.

Wool Dryer Balls

I think wool dryer balls should become the norm in every household!!!  You can buy them from this shop on Etsy (owned by Bethany of The Graceful Mom.  She is lovely!).  We've been using these for a month or so and we love them.  The owner of the shop even offered a 20% discount to any readers.  So nice of her. Use this code: LOVES.  It expires 8/31.

And here are two tips from Colette Moorehead, a green cleaning consultant I highly recommend in Utah (contact her at getcleanbegreen at gmail dot com to attend one of the free workshops she does - she's SO knowledgable and wonderful.  I attended one of her workshops and learned a TON)
1.  When you decide to 'green' your laundry room, FIRST wash the inside of your dryer and the dryer vent with soap and water.  It will be covered with residue and chemicals and you don't want that residue to continue coating your clothes or dryer balls. 
2.  Don't over dry your clothes.  Over drying will cause static.  
Do any of you use dryer balls?  Or something else?

OK, signing off for now!  See you next week!


FYI, we've been giving a thank you gift each Friday to a random reader who has left ANY comment during the week on ANY post.  We just want to say thanks to the community here.  

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  1. I wish I would have won this! How awesome. I hate dryer sheets because of the chemicals. I'll be on the lookout for these. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I stopped using dryer sheets years ago and never noticed any increased static cling. I don't miss the strong smell of the dryer sheets at all... I should give these balls a try. Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. I will have to try those! I have been using the dryer balls from Norwax - a company you should really check out. I found them through a friend who sells it and they have many home and body care items!

    Here is the link:

  4. I am interested in these wool balls, so I went to the website. It isn't clear how many balls you get for $8.00. Only one? My brother complained to me once that those dryer sheets gave him a terrible rash on his neck from his shirts after using them.

  5. This is the best idea ever. I need to look into these. It would be great option to replace dryer sheets.

  6. I bought mine from a mom who started Shep's Wool Dryer Balls in 2007. At WoolDryerBalls.com Our purchase was for the same wax build up reason. Our heating element in dryer burned out because of the waxes of fabric softener. We LOVE these wool dryer balls, they have saved us alot of $$$ and prevented another dryer meltdown :)

  7. Thank you, thank you for sharing. I dislike dryer sheets so I think these are awesome.

  8. WOW. Who even knew? I have been aware of the power of felted wool, but now I can ditch those dryer sheets. My daughter has asthma and you never know what can help. It definitely can't hurt. Do they make the dryer loud though?

  9. No way! I'm definitely getting some of these AND checking out Colette's classes. Thanks for all the great tips. This is right up my alley. With 3 boys, 7, 5, and 2, I'll be lucky if I can keep them rounded up in the dryer.

  10. Mara, did you know these are really simple to make at home. The statement *these are made of felted wool, as opposed to yarn* is misleading because they are made of wool yarn. To make you own just buy some UNWASHABLE organic wool yarn. Then wrap it into balls, wash in socks several times to felt them. It is really that simple! There are several tutorials if you google it. Or if you don't have the time your source looks like a great place to get them (you can tell by the picture of the yellow ball that is less felted that they are balls of wool yarn.)

  11. Dryer balls. Am I the only one who just likes saying the name?

    And I didn't know Colette did that? Does she have a blog? And I haven't used dryer sheets in forever, but use those dryer bars that just stick in the dryer and stay there until they run down...I'm assuming they're about as chemical laden as the sheets...

  12. We've been using a giant drying rack (exclusively) for the past nine years. It gets a workout around here--there are 7 people in our house and we've cloth diapered all our babies. I don't miss a dryer at all. Our clothes last longer, stains never set, and we save fortune on our electric bill. In the summer it goes outside, in the winter it sits near a heating vent. In the wet spring and fall we may need to turn on a fan nearby, but not always. It took a little getting used to at first, but now I prefer my slightly crunchy towels. :)

  13. I definitely want to try this out! I have to dry put the clothes (for a family of six) through the dryer for 2 cycles just to dry them. I hate laundry :(

  14. We hang dry most of our clothes, but use of the dryer for socks and underwear. I love the idea of wool dryer balls. Cool idea!

  15. I never use dryer sheets when I use the dryer but when I do I struggle with static...I am definitely curious to try these out!

  16. Thanks, Mara! These are perect for me since I never use dryer sheets (allergic to frangrances)! Feeling the love! :-)

  17. totally ordering these. Sick of dryer sheets and the waxy residue they leave on my hands (even the mrs meyers ones)

  18. COOL!!!! Never heard of these!

    When I was younger, I remember my mom using these rubber-like rounded-spikey 'balls' in the dryer; same idea but I guess those didn't absorb extra moisture.

    Also, when I worked in retail and we sold down-filled winter jackets, we always advised customers if they were to wash their jacket, when they put it in the dryer, throw a tennis ball in with it to fluff up the down/feathers inside as it dried :)

  19. These look so great and I've been tempted or order some. I hear you can put a few drops of essential oil on the balls if you want some non toxic fragrance.

    I did read that they smell 'sheepy'. Have you noticed that? I'm dying to get rid of my dryer sheets and take the plunge!

    1. haha. yes, we did notice a very slight sheepy smell. :) But it's not that noticeable and it hasn't changed the smell of the clothes. And yes, the essential oils are an option. So glad you'll give these a try! I think you'll love it!!

  20. Hello there :) I made a short video tutorial on how to make wool dryer balls. It's very easy and simple, just watch the video and start making them http://allurewool.com/how-to-make-wool-dryer-balls/


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