How would you like to stop buying dryer sheets, while still having great smelling, cling free and super soft laundry? Yes, it is possible and it is even EASY!
Dryer balls are basically balls of wool that you wash and dry in high heat so they turn into felt. The felt balls will bounce around in your dryer along with your laundry and performs the exact same job that a dryer sheet does: softens your laundry and prevents static cling. The more balls you can add to a load of laundry, the better they will do their job. Most people use anywhere from 3 balls up to 8 for huge dryer machines. You can start off small and work up, so if you think 3 isn’t quite doing it for you, just make another ball or two and start using them! They also make great gifts for friends and family: a unique gift that you made by hand and is very useful! Most people I know would rather get a useful, hand made item than a commercially made item because it shows you put the time and effort to think of them and make something special for them with your own hands. I would be willing to bet that the number of people who feel the same would surprise you!
For replacing those great smelling dryer sheets, this part is easy too! Just find an essential oil or oil blend that you really love and drop a few drops onto each ball before they go into the dryer with your laundry. I love using Citrus Bliss on clothes, Lemon and Wild Orange on towels and washcloths, and Lavender and Cedarwood on sheets and blankets. Don’t be afraid to mix up different oils for your laundry to get the scent just right for your tastes, and it is great to use uplifting scents in clothing, clean scents in towels and relaxing scents in blankets!
What You Need:
- Wool(You can use Fisherman’s Wool from WalMart or craft stores, just make sure you are using 100% wool!, One skein, or roll of yarn from the store, will make about 2 balls so get 2 or more skeins)
- Old stockings or pantyhose
Roll the wool into a tight ball, start by wrapping it around your fingers, then across the middle of the wrap to make a “butterfly” kind of look. Continue wrapping it around the middle, and across to both ends until you have something that is starting to resemble a ball. Then start wrapping while you slowly turn the ball, making sure to get a few good wraps in each spot before you turn, and only turn a very little bit. This might take a little practice to get really good at but it doesn’t have to be gorgeous to do a good job and if you have ever made a ball of yarn before, this should be easy for you. When you have a ball the size of a softball or an orange, you are done. Cut a tail of about 3-4″ and push the tail through the middle of the ball. This might be easiest done with a crochet hook or a large needle, but if you don’t have access to either of those, you can weave the tail around the strands of yarn as deep as you can get it.
Then, take your old stockings or pantyhose and put the ball in as far down as it will go. Tie a knot and start the next ball. It will go into the stocking leg and tie another knot. Keep repeating until you are finished with your balls.
Next up is the felting process. Wash the balls, stocking leg and all, in hot hot hot hot water. When they are done, dry them on the hottest cycle you have. Then dry them again. You can keep washing the balls and drying them with your laundry as many times as it takes to get them to stay into a nice, felted ball shape. When they have turned from a ball of yarn into a nice fuzzy felt ball, the process is complete!
You can drop some essential oil onto the balls and throw them into the dryer with your laundry just like you would use a dryer sheet, but don’t throw them away after you use them like a dryer sheet! If you want to change the smell in your dryer balls, just wash them with your laundry and change oil scents when you transfer them from the washer to the dryer with everything else.
Voila! Home made felted dryer balls that will last you or your loved ones for years! Enjoy!