How to Make Dryer Balls with Wool Yarn

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Revolutionize Your Laundry:
How to Make Dryer Balls with Wool Yarn

Are you trying to find new ways to be more green, eco-friendly, and sustainable in the laundry room? Look no further!

Read on to find new ways to upgrade your laundry routine, and then how to make your own dryer balls with wool yarn.

It’s an easy change to your daily life.

washboard and tub

Laundry Room Revolution: Make the Change

Why a revolution? There are so many reasons why we need to overthrow and replace the established way we do our laundry. Think nasty chemicals, excessive packaging, and high cost!

Therefore, I specifically want to talk about the benefits of wool dryer balls and how to make them because they can make your life better! Plus, it’s a really easy swap…

Fabric Softeners–The Beginning

First, let’s look at the long-established system we’ve been using to soften the fabrics in our lives: liquid fabric softeners and dryer sheets.

From what I could gather through an Internet search, it appears that a fabric softener for cotton was commercially developed in the early 1900s.

It was introduced to the home market by the 1960s with dryer sheets making an appearance in the 70s. Just think of all the plastic bottles made since then! Yikes! Another issue is all of the chemical scents and dyes. People are becoming more and more sensitive to these things.

crossed out Pink plastic bottle fabric softener for laundry
Just say no to liquid fabric softener!

Overabundance of Fabric Softeners

Currently, it’s difficult to find a home that doesn’t use at least one of these products for fabric softening.

When I was growing up, my mom used Downey liquid fabric softener. Always. Every load. So as an adult, I used it, too. I think one thing that got us all hooked was the smell of just-washed laundry–who doesn’t love that?

Although I tried dryer sheets a couple of times, it never caught on for me; I just never liked them. Certainly, a lot of people do though. One good thing about dryer sheets is there’s much less plastic packaging than for liquid softener.

But, really, neither of these fabric softeners is necessary, and you can eliminate them entirely!!

baking soda with scoop for laundry
1 scoop of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to soften laundry & remove smells

The Switch

Several years ago I started using baking soda in my wash to soften my laundry. It is also great at reducing odors.

I buy the 15 lb bags available at Costco and keep it in my laundry room. Buh-bye, Downey.

Why did I switch?

It was important to me to use something without all the chemicals, dyes, and artificial scents found in the traditional products. There are just too many unnatural things in fabric softeners and dryer sheets.

Honestly, baking soda works great, and I still use it in every load of wash.

But now, I’ve added dryer balls to my repertoire. In the dryer, they serve as a fabric softener and can reduce drying time. Additionally, adding these guys with the wet clothes helps with static cling.

Organic Wool Dryer Balls 3-Pack

Why Dryer Balls?

They are…

  • Non-toxic
  • Eco-friendly
  • Reusable
  • Economical
  • Natural
  • Efficient

Wool dryer balls are a wonderful addition to any home laundry system. They’re so easy to use, and it’s one less thing to add to your shopping list. Plus, they make great gifts!

You can buy some ready-made wool dryer balls, but I’ve had a lot of fun making my own. If you would like to do the same, here’s how:

Finished dryer balls

How to make dryer balls with wool yarn in 3 easy steps

It’s really simple to make them!

All you need is 100% wool yarn, some nylons, and a washer and dryer, of course.

Just follow these steps:

Step 1.  Source Some Yarn

The yarn for the dryer balls must be 100% wool for it to felt properly. I’ve read that wool batting works too, but I haven’t tried it.

Hopefully, you have some around the house already. Otherwise, you’ll have to source it.

Yarn can be pricey!

I bought the wool skeins in the picture below from a thrift store. Later, I also found a large bag of wool skeins at an estate sale for $10–score! Shopping secondhand is a great way to keep the cost down for DIY projects.

Admittedly, though, it’s not easy to find 100% wool yarn secondhand because you have to have the label still on it to know the fiber content. But if you have the patience, it’s a great way to save money and be sustainable.

Another option might be to try your local BuyNothing group.

If you have trouble finding the right kind of yarn, try this –> Wool of the Andes Worsted

100%-Wool-Yarn-Skeins

Step 2.  Make Yarn Balls

Loop the yarn around two fingers a few times, then pull it off and loop in the other direction. Kinda like a bow, in a way.

Then, keep wrapping the yarn around until you get the size of a tennis ball or so. When the ball is the size you want, make sure you really tuck in the end, so it’s not sticking out! Repeat to make more balls. 

I like to do this while watching shows on TV with my husband, so the time needed for this craft is really minimal.

wool dryer balls before felting

Step 3.  Wash & Dry Those Balls

Now, you need some pantyhose or nylons. Before buying new ones, see if you have some old ones in a drawer somewhere! Repurpose those snagged nylons.

Put the yarn balls in the hose one at a time and make a knot in between each one (not too tight). Then, throw this little bundle in your wash at the highest temperature and agitation settings.

Go ahead and throw in some towels or anything else that needs a good cleaning and can withstand the hot water. Might as well be efficient!

To get them thoroughly felted, I ran mine through a hot wash twice.

Finally, put ’em in the dryer!

ready for felting

The Result

Voila! And there you have it.  Throw those puppies in your dryer.

You’ve now improved… no… REVOLUTIONIZED your laundry system, so take that fabric softener and/or dryer sheets off your shopping list.

You are now:

        • saving money

        • saving time

        • saving energy

        • reducing drying time

        • reducing waste

        • reducing static

        • softening gently & naturally

It’s a win-win! Happy dance!

Scented Dryer Balls

Also, if you are so inclined, you can put a drop or two of essential oils on each ball before drying a load of laundry. This is a great way to add a natural scent to your laundry.

What to Do Now

Stay tuned, I’ll be writing more about additional ways I am “greening” my laundry and other aspects of my life. Be sure to subscribe to Persnickety Living, so you don’t miss out!

You can read about my quest to find bulk cleaners here.

And my friend, Kat, at Casually Coastal wrote a great article about 5 more ways you can make easy, eco-friendly changes.

Don’t forget to pin for later!

Pin 3 How to make dryer balls
how to make dryer balls with wool yarn pin image 1
how to make dryer balls with wool yarn

Until next time…

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