I have been using dryer balls for a while now. The benefits of them have really shown through. I was sceptical at first, but now I use nothing else. My quest for a more natural solution started about a year ago when I was looking to bring more natural ingredients and products into my life. I decided to look at the ingredients of the box of dryer sheets and decided I needed a better solution for my family.
- 100% wool yarn ( wool yarn contains only natural fibers that fuse together in hot water, this is what allows them to become solid balls)
- old panty hose ( I bought knee highs at the drugstore for $1)
- witch hazel
- essential oils (I use the combination of peppermint and wild orange)
- To begin, wrap the yarn around your middle and index fingers about 20 times before removing. Gently slide the bundle off and continue by wrapping the yarn around the bundle the opposite direction. Proceed wrapping the yarn around itself until you have a ball about the size of a tennis ball in size. Carefully cut the yarn from the rest of the skain and poke the cut end down into the formed ball with a pair of scissors or a long object. I have found that one skein of yarn will make approximately 3 balls.
- Place each ball in the toe of a knee high panty hose.
- To felt the wool balls you must wash and dry them on the hottest setting . I never use hot water in my wash so I found that soaking them in a bowl in the sink with boiling water for 10-15 minutes shrinks them adequately.
- I wring them out once the water becomes cool enough and toss them into the dryer with the next load I have going in. This process may take a few tries to get the results you are looking for.
- After the balls are completely dry you can remove them from the pantyhose. Be careful, they do tend to stick in the weave of the sock so pull them out gently. Now they are ready to use.
Some people add straight essential oils to their dryer balls every few loads. I like to dilute the oils a little bit with some witch hazel and distilled water. I still find that the scent is enough and I like the benefits of the witch hazel as well. It is known to reduce skin irritations and sensitivities, and it also protects against skin damage and infections. Here is the recipe for the dryer ball spray I make.
Dryer ball spray recipe:
In a 2 oz. glass spray bottle add( use glass only, the essential oils will melt a plastic container over time)
- 1 tablespoon witch hazel
- 10 drops peppermint essential oils
- 10 drops wild orange essential oils
- distilled water to fill
You can use a different essential oil combination, but I like this one for the fresh uplifting scent that can leave me relaxed and energized at the same time. The amount you spray onto each ball is up to you, but I tend to do about 4 squirts every other load or so. You will see the benefits right away.
The benefits of using dryer balls are almost immediate. They help prevent laundry from clumping together by tumbling between the layers and separating fabrics. This allows the warm dryer air to circulate better, reducing dry times. Also, the action of the balls against the fabric can help fight wrinkles and soften clothes.
I am happy with the way my clothes feel and smell after switching to the dryer balls. Knowing that the spray only has 3 ingredients that are not harmful to my family gives me reasons to continue using the dryer balls for a long time to come.