By contributing writer Jasmine
Many years ago I learned to make my own laundry detergent and was thrilled to be able to avoid harsh chemicals and save a pretty penny. However, until recently, I continued to purchase dryer sheets because my husband cannot stand his clothes to have static electricity.
I was thrilled to learn how to make wool dryer balls–a very simple alternative to dryer sheets that is not only cost effective, it is also reusable and non-toxic. Throw a few felted wool dryer balls into the dryer to reduce static electricity, decrease wrinkles in clothing, and speed up drying time.
How to Make Wool Dryer Balls
- 100% wool yarn (each skein makes at least 2 dryer balls)
- (optional) 100% wool roving – Roving is fiber that has not yet been spun into yarn. It can be purchased at crafting or yarn stores.
- panty hose or nylon stocking
1. Wrap yarn into a ball the size of orange. Tuck the tail of the yarn into the ball of yarn so that it does not unravel easily.
2. (Optional step) Cover the yarn ball with roving, smoothing it around the ball. Experiment with the roving to create designs on the yarn ball.
3. Place yarn ball into the panty hose and tie closed with a scrap piece of yarn. Several balls of yarn can be placed in the panty hose, just make sure to tie off each section before adding another ball of yarn.
4. Wash the balls of yarn (in the panty hose) in hot water. It is best to wash with several other things in the washer, such as blue jeans or towels. The more friction in the water, the better.
5. Once the balls of yarn have been washed, remove from the panty hose and place in the dryer. It may take a couple of dryings before the yarn balls are completely dry and felted.
6. Once the yarn balls are felted, place them in the dryer each time you dry clothes.
Thanks for posting this and thank you to Jasmine for sharing the great idea! I have all kinds of wool scraps that are no good for spinning, but perfect for felting. Now I have the perfect project – and the kids will love it too.
I especially like the fact that it will speed up the dry time. Just a note of caution: if you use a dyed roving, be sure all the dye is fully rinsed out of the wool; I’ve spun plenty of rovings to find the dye residue on my fingers.
Jasmine @ Ponder the Path says
Thanks for the tip Cyndy! Always good to check the color fastness first ; )
Donna Boyd says
I’ve been wondering… I have some woven wool fabric. Could, or has anybody ever used any to make the balls? Like cut it into small strips maybe… I tried unraveling it, but that just didn’t work at all.