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How to make felted wool dryer balls

Dryer sheets and fabric softners, especially the scented ones, are packed with chemicals that are toxic to people after sustained exposure. In fact, even their emissions release carcinogens according to this article by CBS. Once you make these dryer balls for yourself, you may want to make them for your closest neighbors too. 😉

WHAT ARE THEY AND HOW DO THEY WORK?

The idea is simple. Toss 4-10 balls into your dryer when you dry your clothes. They bounce around and fluff your clothes. As they do, they reduce static and soften your clothes just as a dryer sheet would. When I have dried down jackets before, the instructions said to add 3 tennis balls to the dryer to help them loft. It’s the same idea but with all natural wool (because who knows what chemicals would end up on your clothes from heated tennis balls!)

BENEFITS OF FELTED WOOL DRYER BALLS

  • Not full of harmful chemicals
  • Reduce static and increase softness
  • Won’t reduce absorbency of towels like other fabric softeners
  • Essential oils can be added to the balls before each load for a nice fragrance
  • Can be used over and over saving money on commercial fabric softeners/dryer sheets
  • Reduces drying time, saving on energy bills

Sometimes life is busy and DYI seems overwhelming. If you find that’s the case, you can also buy these Felted Wool Dryer Balls .

THINGS YOU WILL NEED

3 skeins of 100% wool roving yarn like this (You can use other types of 100% wool yarn or even an old sweater that you have unraveled, but roving yarn felts quickly and easily.)

crochet hook

pantyhose (used works just fine)

string

scissors

INSTRUCTIONS

Begin by winding the yarn around two of your fingers about 10 times.

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Remove the yarn bundle from your fingers. Switch directions and begin wrapping the bundle.

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Continue wrapping in all directions to form a ball.

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When your ball is bigger than a tennis ball, take your crochet needle, slide it through the yarn ball, hook the end of the yarn and pull it through. Cut off the extra yarn.

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Make about 5 balls. When you are done, cut one leg off a pair of pantyhose and stuff them into the leg. Use your string to tie a knot in between each ball. DON’T use yarn or it will felt to the pantyhose!

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Toss the “caterpillar” of yarn balls into the wash with some towels and wash on hot. Remove the towels and caterpillar from the washer and throw them into the dryer on hot.

Check to see if the yarn balls have felted. If you can scrape your finger across a string of yarn and it doesn’t come off, it has felted properly. If not, wash and dry again. It could take a few cycles for your yarn balls to felt.

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Once they are done, you can add 3-5 drops of essential oil to them when you toss them in the dryer with a load of clothes.

Sometimes life is busy and DYI seems overwhelming. If you find that’s the case, you can also buy these Felted Wool Dryer Balls .

TIPs

  • I have one designated blue-green ball that is my essential oil ball. Since my teenage daughter has different taste in scents than I do, I can easily remove my “stinky” ball and add her preferred EO to another ball. My current preference is sweet orange. It doesn’t leave our laundry smelling like orange, just fresh.
  • I have found that these balls combined with vinegar fabric softener in the washer load works well to keep our laundry soft and static-free.

 

 

What ways have you found to soften your laundry and remove static? Share below!


1 Comment

  1. Daniel

    September 5, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    How cool. I’m going to be making these with the kids.

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