Wool Dryer Balls

It’s a constant march towards removing unnecessary chemicals from the house, whether food additives or chemicals in cleaning products.  But recently I’ve learned about a product that I’m seriously considering, though I’m also a little anxious about.

Wool dryer balls are used in place of fabric softener and dryer sheets, and supposedly as an added bonus they’ll cut your drying time in half.

Wool dryer balls by CleanSypria on Etsy

Wool dryer balls by CleanSypria on Etsy

According to the interwebs, they get knocked around in your dryer and separate your clothes, allowing the air in the dryer to reach all the areas of the clothes more effectively.  This is what cuts down on drying time.  Also, since they’re bouncing around, they kinda beat on your clothes a bit, causing them to feel softer, eliminating the need for fabric softener.  They also somehow reduce static cling, but I haven’t been able to figure that part out.  The more balls you add, the more effective – I’ve read the minimum you should use is 4 but some use as many as 12.  They’re all natural, supposedly color-fast, and they last for years.

I don’t know, yo.  It kinda sounds too good to be true, you know?  Like they’re the laundry-equivalent of Doc Brown’s Magical Cure-All Elixir and Snake Oil.  And the ones I’ve seen for the most part are super colorful – is it really safe to put bright blue, red, and green dryer balls in with my white tank tops or Teddy’s work shirts?  I can’t be wrecking clothes on an experiment.

But seriously, the interwebs love them and swear they’re amazing.  And it would be pretty sweat to cut down on drying time.  First, our dryer cycle is like 30 minutes longer than our washer cycle, so they always get done at different times and this bugs me.  It shouldn’t, but it does.  And second, we don’t pay for water in our apartment, but we do pay for electricity.  So I kinda feel like I can do all the laundry I want, but they we pay to dry it.  (And yeah, so we pay to run the washer, but not the water, so I kinda feel OK about it.)  I’m hoping to run a laundry line this summer for some sunshine-drying-goodness, but some things just need to go in the dryer IMHO.  (Living in Italy, I quickly learned that hang-drying jeans can take days depending on the weather.)  If the time spent in the dryer were reduced, we could save on electricity and just get some much-needed time savings.

But, that color-fast thing is a major concern.

What to do?  Maybe I’ll take the plunge.  Actually, now I’m thinking maybe I should get some to use for prepping my cloth – if some color rubs off on the prefolds, I seriously won’t care that much, and I can’t use fabric softener or dryer sheets with them, because it affects the absorbancy.  Hmmm….. experiment!

The dryer balls pictured are by CleanSypria on Etsy – one of the vendors I’m considering getting them from if I take the plunge.

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