A few months ago I purchased some PVC dryer balls and although I was happy with the way they softened my laundry I was disappointed to find they split after just a few weeks.
If you are unaware of what dryer balls do here is a quick description
Dryer balls mechanically soften your laundry without any of the harmful chemicals you find in fabric softener or dryer sheets. They lift up and separate your laundry whilst drying, reducing both the drying time and any creasing.
Dryer balls will also retain the heat which it then transfers to your clothes as they tumble, this further speeds up the drying process saving energy and money.
So when I came across an article on homemade dryer balls I decided to have a go at making my own….. Three months later most of my friends and relatives have also made them, so I thought it only fair that I would share the idea with you.
What you will need:
- Wool (try using up any odd scrapes you have)
- Crochet needle or a large darning needle
- Old pantyhose or sock
You need to use 100% pure wool, the type that shrinks when machine washed, don’t try to use a machine washable wool, it won’t work.
How To Make The DIY Dryer Balls:
- Start by winding the wool around two fingers. After a few winds slip the wool off your fingers, fold it in half and wrap more wool tightly around it. Continue to wind the wool round and round to make a small tight ball about 2 inches in size.
- Now cut the wool and then push a crochet needle through the wool ball, hook the end of the wool and pull it through into the center of the ball to secure it.(it may be too difficult to go through the middle so go through the wool ball near outside edge.) If you’re using a darning needle simply thread the needle with the end of the wool and secure by sewing, so that your wool ball won’t unravel.
- Cut the legs off the pantyhose, then place the balls into one of the legs and secure by tying a knot after each ball.
- Place in the washing machine and then the tumble dryer with your next wash load. Resulting in a tight hard shrunken (felted) ball.
- Start winding more wool around the ball again, nice and tight just like before until its about three inches. Or as big as a small apple, then secure the end of the wool again as I described earlier with the crochet or darning needle. Then repeat the washing and drying process using the pantyhose leg again.
Your dryer balls are now ready to use, don’t worry if they are not entirely hard, the more you use them the better they get. However they sometimes become bobbly over time, and if this bothers you just use a wool shaver to remove them.
Comments for Homemade Dryer Balls
by: Mari the Kiwi
I have never seen homemade dryer balls here in New Zealand but I picked up an easy and simple solution to the ‘shock’ treatment my clothes got since going chemical free and drying in a dryer. I keep a roll of aluminium foil on top of the dryer and rip off a couple of pieces – roughly square, crumple them loosely and throw 3 or 4 in with the load. They are reusable for several loads. Also using white vinegar instead of awful nasty fabric softeners in the washing machine softener draw is part of the process too. You only notice the vinegar smell when clothes are wet and not when dry, even if dried on the line.
I have not used brought laundry powder/liquid or fabric softener for about 5 years. If I want some fragrance added, I have an old facecloth that I sprinkle some essential oils on and throw it in with the wet load in the dryer. This is also reusable for many washes without adding more oils. I use lavender or jasmine or eucalyptus.
This does look like a great idea.
And I don’t see why you couldn’t use a drop or two of essential oil, like lavender or even vanilla (mm!) if you really want your clothes to smell nice…
What a wonderful idea!
Great gift idea
SERIOUSLY, these would make great homemade/homespun gifts for sisters, mother’s, friends, etc.!