This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #
One thing I love to use when doing laundry is wool dryer balls. I’ve switched over to them from using dryer sheets. You just throw them in with the wet clothes, and they help dry things faster and stop wrinkles. Here’s how to easily make your own.
- 8 oz skein fisherman’s wool yarn
- 1 old pair of pantyhose
- pair of scissors
I find using 3 wool balls gets the best results in the dryer. Make sure you use 100% wool yarn. Do not get washable or super wash wool. It will not felt, which is what you need the yarn to do to form solid balls. I like to use fisherman’s wool. It comes in large 8 oz skeins. I can get 4 large balls out of one skein with a bit leftover yarn.
Wrapping the balls doesn’t take much time. I’m able to wrap three balls this size in one 40 minute television episode.
I start by wrapping a few strands around my fingers. Then I pull those off and form a figure 8 and fold the loops together and keep wrapping more yarn around them.
Slowly turn the ball of yarn around and around as you keep wrapping the ball so that it stays even. I keep wrapping until my balls are each about 10 inches in diameter. Once they are wrapped, tuck the yarn end I to the ball.
As the balls felt in the washer and dryer, they will shrink a bit. These particular balls shrunk down to about 8 inches in diameter.
After the balls of yarn are the size you want, take an old pair of pantyhose and cut off one leg. Insert each ball into that leg. Pull the pantyhose tight as you insert a ball, and then tie a knot right above it so that the ball is tightly in the pantyhose. Do this for the other balls.
Wash the balls in the hottest setting with some laundry detergent. The agitation along with the hot water and soap are what felts the balls. Do this for 2-3 washings.
Throw the pantyhose with the balls into the dryer on the hottest setting. This will finish the felting of your balls.
When they are thoroughly dry, remove the balls from the pantyhose. Usually I have to cut them out as the wool yarn has felted itself a bit to the pantyhose.
Now you’re ready to use the dryer balls. When it’s time to dry clothes just add the balls to the dryer. They soften clothes, decrease drying time, increase fluffiness, and help remove wrinkles.
How do they work?
They simply bounce around in the dryer separating the clothes, allowing more hot air to circulate. As they tumble, the wool balls fluff your laundry, reduce wrinkles, and basically beat the laundry to make it softer. They also pull moisture out of your clothes so you don’t have to run the dryer as long. In fact, the more dryer balls you have in a load, the shorter the drying time.
You can make wool balls as toys for your kids and animals. Here’s how to dye wool yarn before making the balls!