How to Make Dryer Balls with Wool Yarn

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something (at no additional cost to you). If you decide to use these links, thank you--it will help support the costs of this blog and my tea addiction. I only link to things I use/trust. Please check out my Disclosure Policy for more details.

Are you trying to find ways to be more green and sustainable? Look no further! Read on to find out how to make dryer balls with wool yarn. It’s an easy change to your daily life.

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.

It Became the Norm

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

When I was growing up, my mom used Downey 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 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.

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

Now, I’ve just added dryer balls to my repertoire.

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 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:

1.  The first thing you need to do is get some wool yarn.

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

I bought the wool skeins in the picture below from a thrift store. It’s a great way to keep the cost down for this DIY project. Yarn can be pricey!

I must admit, though, it’s not easy to find these guys 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.


I have gotten enough thrifted yarn to make 3 small balls and 1 big one (not pictured). I’d like to have 6 or so on hand, so I’m keeping an eye out for more yarn when I’m thrifting.

Update: I also found a large bag of wool skeins at an estate sale for $10–score!

If I have trouble finding more secondhand, I’m going to buy this –>
Wool of the Andes Worsted

2.  Next, you have to 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. 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 Netflix with my husband, so the time needed for this craft is really minimal.

wool dryer balls before felting

3.  Now, you need 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. 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!

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.

Stay tuned, I’ll be writing more about additional ways I am “greening” my laundry and other aspects of my life.

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

Be sure to subscribe to Persnickety Living, so you don’t miss out!

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!

how to make dryer balls with wool yarn
how to make dryer balls with wool yarn pin image 1

Until next time…


2 thoughts on “How to Make Dryer Balls with Wool Yarn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.