Wool Dryer Balls – Make Your Own
Wool dryer balls – they make me super excited!! Yes, I know that’s totally geeky. What exactly are they? They are balls of wool yarn felted together that you throw into your dryer with your wet clothes. You can sprinkle some essential oils on them to help your clothes smell nice and they release no chemicals, last for years, and help both to reduce static and dry time for your laundry. Plus – they are cheap and easy to make yourself.
They pretty much fill up all the checkboxes on the “things that make me happy” list.
- Easy to make
I have a love/hate relationship with dryer sheets. I like the way they reduce static and make my clothes smell fresh and clean, but I really really hate the chemicals they contain. Who wants that all over their skin? Yuck. I use white vinegar as my fabric softener and it does a really great job, but it does only a little to combat static.
I’ve also eyed those little plastic dryer balls in stores and wondered about them…but they have the same problem that tennis balls in the dryer do. You’re heating up plastic to a high temperature – that can usually only mean nasty chemicals are being released all over your clothes.
You ready to make some of your own? Let’s go!
What You’ll Need:
- 100% wool yarn (it can’t be acrylic or it won’t felt)
- old tights/pantyhose leg
- a teeny bit of acrylic yarn (it needs to be non-felting for this part)
Step 1 – Get It Started
Using your index and your pointer finger, begin wrapping yarn around the two fingers. You’ll need to do it around 10 times to get enough thickness.
Step 2 – Keep Going
Remove the yarn from your fingers and wrap it about ten times more around the middle of the little yarn tube you’ve created.
Step 3 – Change Direction
Same thing again – just change direction and keep wrapping the yarn. You should wrap the yarn firmly, but not super tight.
Step 4 – Wrap To Your Heart’s Content
Keep going, only now you’ve got enough of a ball that you can change direction as you go along – adding more yarn in order to keep the ball shape. Once you get wrapping you’ll see what I mean.
Once you’ve got a nice tennis to softball sized ball – cut your yarn and carefully tuck the end under a few layers of yarn. We just want that end to felt in with the rest so it doesn’t unravel before it’s fully felted.
Step 5 – Wash, Rinse, and Repeat
This is the step that takes all the patience. Take your old pantyhose or tights leg and shove your yarn balls in creating a sort of dryer ball sausage. You’ll want to tie acrylic yarn between each one so that your yarn balls are kept together while they felt. Make the “links” of sausage as close together as possible.
Now wash the “sausage” in very hot water as many times as it takes to felt. Mine took about 5 washes. I just kept them in the laundry room and when I needed to throw a load in – I’d throw them in too. You’ll know they’re ready when the yarn no longer comes apart – it sort of bonds to itself.
I LOVE them! My clothes dry faster and static is definitely reduced. I sprinkle a few drops of essential oil on them every so often and keep them in a little lidded box to keep the smell in and the dust out.
Would you try making these?