Crunchy Mom Blog
Wool dryer balls are a great alternative to fabric softner. They are also ideal for using with cloth diapers. Wool has anti-bacterial properties and is ideal for babies and people with sensitivities or allergies. Wool dryer balls absorb moisture and distribute heat evenly, which will help your clothes dry faster, reducing dry time and conserving energy. I personally have never liked using fabric softner and once we had our baby I learned fabric softner leaves a film behind that will reduce the absorbency of cloth diapers. So if it's leaving a film behind on diapers, it's leaving it everywhere else too. That means our bath towels wouldn't be as absorbent either. But everyone wants a soft, fluffy bath towel to dry off with- that's where wool dryer balls come in! So now we have the cost savings and the fluff. What else? Well, no chemicals, no carcinogens, no synthetic scents. Sounds good to me.
There's a couple different ways to make wool dryer balls. You can use 100% wool yarn or wool roving. I even made a ball with a roving core and yarn exterior. Either way you chose, the cost is low and the balls will last years. You can even add DoTerra essential oils to the balls if you'd like a natural scent.
100% wool yarn or roving
Pantyhose (upcycle a pair with runs in them)
Wool Yarn Directions:
1. Take the end of the yarn and wrap it around two fingers several times.
2. Remove it from your fingers and then wrap it around the middle so it looks like a bow. This will start your ball.
3. Keep wrapping the yarn tightly around, working toward making a ball shape. This part is very tedious and I kept dropping my ball. Once your ball is about the size of a tennis ball, cut the yarn and tuck it in the ball. I just used my fingers, but you could use a crochet hook too.
4. Repeat this until you have 4 balls. I was able to make two balls out of one skein of yarn.
5. Now time for the pantyhose. Place one ball at the bottom of the pantyhose and tie a knot right above it securing the in place. Continue securing each ball in place.
6. Wash the secured balls in the washer in the hottest setting. Followed by drying the balls thoroughly on the hottest setting too. This is how you get a solid ball, by felting. Felting will make the yarn fuse together.
7. Once the balls are completely dry, remove them from the pantyhose and voila!
Wool Roving is another option to use to make dryer balls. It is big time saver, it just doesn't look as detailed as using wool yarn. Cost is about the same unless you buy dyed wool roving, then it's dramatically more.
Wool Roving Directions:
1. Start at the end of your roving and make a small loop or clump.
2. Start winding the roving as tight as you can around your starter loop, making it into a ball. I made mine a little larger than a tennis ball (1.5 oz) so it would shrink down to tennis ball size after felting.
Don't worry if your ball isn't very tight, it will still felt into a solid ball.
3. Time for the pantyhose again. Place one ball at the bottom of the pantyhose and tie a knot right above it securing the in place. Continue securing each ball in place.
4. Wash the secured balls in the washer in the hottest setting. Followed by drying the balls thoroughly on the hottest setting too.
5. Once the balls are completely dry, remove them from the pantyhose and voila!
Okay, this one was experiental, but I think it was a good happy medium. All I did was make a wool roving core ball (tennis ball size) then tightly wrapped wool yarn around it covering the roving. I was afraid the roving would shrink too much and the yard would unravel once I pulled it out of the dryer. But I felt it and it feels solid. Tomorrows load of laundry will be the true test.
Adding DoTerra essential oils:
You may add 2-3 drops of DoTerra essential oils to each ball for a natural refreshing scent. Scent should last for a few loads.
Lavender is one of my favorites to add.
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