How To Use Dryer Balls

If you decided to leave behind all traces of fabric softener and dryer sheets, you probably bought a box of dryer balls (either wool dryer balls or plastic dryer balls), and now find yourself with the question of “how are you supposed to use dryer balls?” Well, believe it or not it’s quite simple. However, the internet has shown us quite a few tricks to maximize the use and effects that dryer balls have on clothes. Extra fragrance, less drying times, and better static removal are just some of the things that you can obtain from your dryer balls if you know how to use them correctly.

What you need: You can pick up a box of dryer balls online, on your grocery store or even on department stores! There are a bunch to choose from and usually come in two iterations: wool dryer balls (the most natural and eco-friendly option), and plastic dryer balls (sure, you can replace dryer balls with tennis balls, but the sound might be unbearable). Generally, we find that XL dryer balls work better than regular sized dryer balls in reducing drying times and in softening clothes. Dryer balls can actually last a long time and work on many, many loads. So, in the long run, you’ll end up spending way less on dryer balls than on fabric softener.
In addition to your trusty dryer balls, you might want to pick up some essential oils (lavender, lemon, and orange are best!). Dryer balls and essential oils make a great combination since the oils add an extra, gentle fragrance to your dryer balls that get passed onto your clothes.

How to use them: Using dryer balls is extremely simple. Whether you decided to go for the regular sized balls or the XL balls, the main process is: 1. Just open up the package that your balls arrived in. 2. Get the balls out. 3. Throw the dryer balls into the dryer. 4. Throw in the clothes to be dried and start the dryer!

Dryer balls work by separating clothes and letting hot air circulate between them, so you can’t use dryer balls with gigantic loads of laundry! Use dryer balls on medium, regular-sized loads.

If you’re looking to add fragrance to your clothes, we recommend essential oils and wool dryer balls. The most popular scent when dealing with clothes and garments is lavender. It’s gentle, long-lasting, and smells fresh. You could also go with orange, lemon or any other citrus scent. These citrus scents penetrate deep in clothes and smell sparkling and lively. To add fragrance simply use the dropper included with your essential oils and place about 10-15 drops on each of the balls (if using XL balls) or 5-10 drops on each of the balls if using regular-sized balls. Remember, this only works on wool dryer balls!

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Static a problem?

When your clothes come out of the dryer with too much static, chances are you’re leaving them in the dryer too much extra time. Reduce the time you leave your clothes in and you’ll see that they are dried and free of static when they come out.

If the static problem persist when using wool dryer balls, there is an easy fix. Just spray each ball with water until they are slightly wet or damp. Then throw them in the dryer with your clothes. This will help to create steam in the dryer, which in turn helps to reduce static on clothes. Yay, science!

Bonus tip: we recommend using wool dryer balls instead of plastic ones! Firstly, because of the materials (plastic vs natural source). Second, wool dryer balls are much, much quieter in the dryer than plastic dryer balls.Finally, you can add fragrance to wool dryer balls!



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* Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation