Felted wool dryer balls are an easy to make, non-toxic alternative to fabric softener and dryer sheets. Throw 4-6 of these in the dryer with your laundry and you will never go back to dryer sheets again. In today’s blog post I am going to show you how to make wool dryer balls.
Why Make Wool Dryer Balls?
Increasing levels of toxins are being found in humans. Even babies in utero aren’t protected, in fact “hundreds of toxic chemicals, including pesticides, fire retardants and PCBs, can be found in the umbilical cord blood of newborns, according to studies by the Environmental Working Group.” source So, what’s the big deal about these chemicals that are everywhere? Not only are they linked to, the rise (and early onset) in neurological diseases, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, but also, the rise in childhood disease like certain cancers, allergies and asthma.
We are exposed to a plethora of toxins every day, and while we can’t remove every toxin from our life, we can take measures to lessen our exposure as well as enhance our bodies ability to detoxify. In the book, The Brain Wash, the author, Michelle Cook, offers up a list of 31 ways to lessen exposure to toxins. One of the recommendations is to avoid commercial cleaning products, especially fabric softeners and dryer sheets. Read my article 7 Toxic Reasons to Ditch Dryer Sheets to learn more.
If you are ready to ditch toxic fabric softeners and dryer sheets then follow this easy tutorial for how to make wool dryer balls below.
How To Make Wool Dryer Balls – Step One
To make a set of 6 dryer balls, you will need 3 skeins of 100% pure wool yarn. Each skein should be 210 yards. It is very important the wool is NOT WASHABLE. We are going to wash the dryer balls to “felt” the wool, this will not happen if the wool is “washable”. You will also want a large-eyed steel yarn needle. Color of wool is not important as wool does not bleed.
How to Make Wool Dryer Balls – Step Two
To start the dryer ball, you are going to wrap the wool around two fingers ten times.
How To Make Wool Dryer Balls – Step Three
Remove the yarn from your two fingers and then wrap the center ten times.
How To Make Wool Dryer Balls – Step Four
Next you are just going to wrap the wool around and around until you form a small ball. Don’t worry if your ball is mishapen or sloppy, it will come together. I promise.
How To Make Wool Dryer Balls – Step Five
As you can see we are now at the size of about a ping-pong ball. Keep going, winding around, being sure to wind tightly.
How To Make Wool Dryer Balls – Step Six
You can stop winding when your ball is about the size of a tennis ball.
How to Make Wool Dryer Balls – Step Seven
Cut the wool from the skein and thread your needle with the tail. Weave it under and over a few threads on your ball and then stick it in at an angle and pull it through the ball. There should be a short tail that can be clipped off.
How To Make Wool Dryer Balls – Step Eight
To “felt” the dryer balls, they need to be washed and dried, 3-4 times, inside a pair of tights, nylons or even socks. I found socks worked best as you can tie them off without any extra yarn needed. Once they are “felted” they are ready to be used (and no longer need to be washed). For a medium load of laundry you will use 6 dryer balls. Just simply toss them in the dryer with your clothes and that’s it.
The first set of dryer balls I made ended up coming out of my washer resembling a small llama. I washed them in nylons that I had tied off at the end. Apparently, I didn’t tie them off tight enough, as the balls came loose in the washer and unwound and rewound all around the agitator. Yikes! Made for a good laugh.
Be sure to read my article: 7 Toxic Reasons to Ditch Dryer Sheets