July 14, 2009
It's been a long time since I used fabric softener in my house. A long time. I'd say maybe two or three years. I guess I really didn't miss it too much. A few days ago, learned that some fabric softeners work by lubricating the fabric, which explains why last time I used it, my clothes felt dirty. Ick.
I recently learned about wool dryer balls. You can see a picture of the pair I made after they had been used a few times and pilled a little. Pilling, though, is not a bad thing and may actually be preferable. Supposedly, these dryer balls soften clothes, help reduce static, and speed up drying time. Now, there are two ways you can get your hands on these gems. One is, of course, to buy them. There are many work-at-home moms out there who sell them, and often with pretty designs on them and in an array of colors! The other is to make them.
I found this tutorial for making your very own dryer balls. You can find it here. I added some essential oil to mine as I wound them, which made them smell nice but didn't add too much to the clothes. That's probably because I put the essential oil on them before I felted them in the washer, and that the oil was too deep in the inside of the ball.
The question is, do these little balls work? Well, I made two dryer balls and used them. What I've found is that they do help to make clothes soft, and they do help with static. The reason I used the word "help" is because my understanding is that I would actually need a few more to get the full effect. But there is definitely an improvement, particularly on cotton clothes. As for speeding up drying time, it looks as if it really does. I tested on a load of cloth diapers, which were mostly dry after about 25 minutes. My final word is that these balls are certainly worth a look if you are thinking about an alternative to PVC dryer balls, liquid softener, or fabric sheets. If you want to make them, they are a fun project that can even be done with your kiddies if they have enough hand-eye coordination. If you want to buy them, you can often buy them in sets (pairs, 4's or even 6's!), or some sites sell them as singles if you want to go that route.
Have fun and I hope this fun project works for you!
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