When I created this blog, it was so I could help people weed through the growing number of zero-waste products that were on the market. What items are worth buying and which aren’t? For the most part, I have had great success going zero-waste. I love shampoo bars, organizing my closet help me reduce the amount of clothes I was buying and I even figured out how to reduce my waste when it came to oral care, which was by far, one of the areas I was most worried about.
There haven’t been many fails on this blog but boy-oh-boy do Dryer Balls make that list.
First, I tackled the DIY dryer balls. I love a good DIY and I had a gift certificate to Michaels. Win-win. That’s sort of where the winning stopped, though.
I used this tutorial and it just wasn’t very efficient or eco-friendly. I found that the wool balls soaked up so much water in the wash that when I put them in the dryer with my laundry, even at the hottest setting, it prevent all my clothes from drying. After I had dried the same load of clothes twice with the wet dryer balls and they were still wet, I pulled out the dryer balls completely and just dried my load normally. I then ran the dryer two more times with just the dryer balls. Though they were dry, they were not felted. I had to repeat the cycle twice more before the wool balls were felted enough were the strings didn’t separate. Even then, though, one of the dryer balls unraveled completely within 2 months of using. That means just to get the wool balls to the “dryer ball stage” I had to run them through the washer a total of three times and the dryer a total of 6. That is a lot of water and a lot of energy going into this DIY.
The second problem with the dryer balls, is that they knocked the door of our dryer open. We have a front loading dryer and the dryer balls would bounce off the door just enough to bump the door open a little and shut the dryer off. It was so frustrating! It took us a little bit of time to figure out what was going on. We thought that the dryer balls were just preventing our clothes from drying, especially at first when they were still wet.
For experiment sake, I ended up purchasing these dryer balls from Package Free Shop to compare. They are so cute with their little stars that I REALLY wanted them to work. They arrived responsible packaged, as Package Free Shop is excellent at that. They were DEFINITELY more felted then my DIY.
Alas, these were a no-go as well, though. They popped our dryer door open as well. I can’t comment on whether they actually work to dry clothes or minimize the drying time because I never got through an entire dryer cycle without them opening the door.
So this is a zero-waste pass for our household. If you want to give them a try, I would recommend buying them as opposed to making them, and I almost never say that! This is simply one of those products that isn’t worth the time, energy and resourcses it would take to DIY.
For now, I hang dry what I can and reuse the same dryer sheets as many times as I can. If anyone has any alternatives, let me know in the comments or on my Instagram post about this! Click on the photo to the right.
To end on a high note, for laundry detergent, I’ve been using the Meliora unscented laundry powder I buy in bulk from Cleenland and I LOVE that! You win some, you lose some. 🙂
2 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Dryer Balls”
Sounds to me like you just have a wonky dryer, lol. I made my own dryer balls when we lived in Boston and rather than running special cycles, I just threw them in whenever I was doing laundry. It still took some time for them to be done, but that way I wasn’t running the appliances JUST to make the balls. I lost those in one of our moves but ended up getting some pre-made ones from a subscription service I was using, and I’ve never had them pop open my front-load dryer. I think they help with dry time a bit but it’s honestly hard to say.
We have a HE dryer, I’m not sure if that has anything to do with it. I tried just throwing them in when I was doing my laundry but it was like dropping a water bomb in with my clothes- my clothes just weren’t drying when the wet dryer ball was in with them. It’s very strange because I have heard awesome review about them and the star ones are just so darn cute! I was definitely bummed they didn’t work for me