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Wool dryer balls may look like something your grandma used way back in the day, but these natural alternatives to fabric softeners and dryer sheets are making a comeback. People looking to avoid using harsh chemicals in their laundry have known about these helpful little clothes rollers for years.
What do wool dryer balls do to your laundry? First, you can add essential oils to the wool balls to naturally scent your wardrobe. Love lavender? Add a few drops to the wool dryer balls, toss them into the dryer and let these little babies do their magic.
Also, the balls get in between the wet layers of clothes while they spin in the drum and reduce the drying time needed. This saves time and can smooth out wrinkles. Who doesn’t love having to skip the ironing?
Instead of buying expensive, pre-made wool dryer balls, you can make them at home. They’re not difficult to put together and they require no crafting skills at all.
You’ll need to pick up the following supplies, as recommended by Erika over at A Little Insanity:
- 4 to 6 skeins (3.5 oz each) worsted 100% wool yarn. Erika recommends Paton’s Roving or Worsted 100% yarn. Whatever yarn you use, make sure it is suitable for felting in the dryer. This means staying away from acrylic yarns, which would fall apart in the heat.
- Crochet hook or tapestry needle for finishing off the yarn balls
- One pair of pantyhose or stockings
- 1 yard of yarn or string (any kind will do)
- A washer and dryer
How To Make Wool Dryer Balls
- Creating the actual dryer ball starts out as easy as making — you guessed it — a yarn ball. Simply find the end of the skein of yarn and roll it into a ball. If you’ve ever done this for knitting and crocheting, it’s the same thing.
- When you get to the end of the skein, use the crochet hook or tapestry needed to tuck the loose end deep into the ball. This helps keep it intact.
- From there, put your rolled yarn into the stocking, making sure it’s fully covered. You can put multiple balls into a stocking leg, securing each ball with the separate yarn.
- Toss covered balls into the washing machine on the hot water cycle.
- Once washed, put the balls in the dryer on the hottest setting.
According to Erika’s directions, you may need to repeat the wash/dry cycle a few times to get the desired felting effect. Once they are felted, you can use them in the dryer with your clothes to make them look good and smell even better!