Too Good Not to Share
Dryer balls — there — I said it. I was a dryer sheets girl for more than a couple of decades before I discovered dryer balls. They are available in different materials from rubber to plastic to wool. The only ones I’ve ever bought are wool (most often from a maker/vendor at a craft show), but I’ve used rubber dryer balls at my parents’ house.
I was hugely skeptical that they would reduce static cling, which was always my motivation for using dryer sheets. What a surprise to have almost no issues with static cling since switching to dryer balls about four years ago. There were a couple of other surprises as well — not the least of which is how much more “flowy” our clothes are now that they are no longer filled with the waxy build-up that used to make them “soft” and “fluffy.” There is a reason, you know, why we’ve always been told not to use dryer sheets in a load of towels — the waxy-ness takes away their absorbancy. “More flowy/less fluffy” was most noticeable when I folded my husband’s undershirts; after a few times through the laundry cycle with dryer balls rather than dryer sheets, the shirts felt different in my hands and made a smaller stack once they were folded. It was rather incredible to think that for so many years we’d been wearing waxy gunk-filled clothing against our skin. Gross.
The most impressive difference since my switch to using dryer balls is the drastic reduction in drying time. I haven’t timed it, specifically; but it is markedly faster now, so I’d guess that a load of clothes gets through the dryer about one-third faster than with dryer sheets. One company that advertises rubber dryer balls claims up to a 50% reduction in drying time. Whatever it is, you will notice it.
In my experience, there shouldn’t be much difference in the various types of dryer balls as far as their performance. Check your local farmers market, department store, or favorite online retailer. You can’t go too far wrong. You should be able to get a set of three rubber balls for under $10. I’ve paid $5 each (I always use three at a time) from maker/vendors. It’s money well spent to put fewer chemicals in your clothes, to add less garbage to the landfill, and to lower your electric usage.