Looking for a way to reduce waste in your laundry room? These sustainable DIY Wool Dryer Balls are not only a fast, beginner-friendly craft, but they also replace your disposable dryer sheets. Say goodbye to that staticky piece of garbage, and toss these zero-waste dryer balls in with your laundry to get soft, cuddly clothes every single time. You can even add essential oils to them to give your laundry whatever natural scent you choose! To make these sustainable DIY Wool Dryer Balls for your home (or as a great hostess gift!) read this blog post!
To help start my transition to a greener home, I’ve committed to going room by room throughout my home to see what products I can swap out easily to live a more sustainable lifestyle. So when my daughter’s dermatologist suggested we stop using dryer sheets in our laundry to help with her eczema, it seemed like the perfect place to start.
It’s sad to say, but I never realized just how wasteful disposable dryer sheets are until we stopped using them. Not only have we saved on the cost of repeatedly buying dryer sheets, but we’ve also saved ourselves from the harsh chemicals used on the sheets themselves. Our clothes have come out much softer, our daughter’s eczema has shown improvement, and I love that I can add my own custom scent simply by using a few drops of my favorite essential oils directly on the ball.
It is essential to use 100% “non-washable” wool. Non-washable wool will “felt” or mat together in the dryer. This creates a firm ball shape that won’t unravel later on. Synthetic materials or washable wool won’t be able to do that.
Step 1: Start by wrapping the yarn around two of your fingers about 7 or 8 times.
Step 2: Pull the wrapped yarn off your fingers and start wrapping in the other direction. It should look similar to a bow. Wrap 7 or 8 times.
Step 3: Now you can start wrapping around the bundle in a circle. Soon, you’ll end up with a little ball. Keep wrapping in this manner until you get a yarn ball the size you want.
I chose to wrap mine to about the size of a tennis ball. I was able to get 3 balls out of 1 skein of yarn, with 1 ball being *slightly* smaller than the other 2.
Step 4: Cut your yarn leaving a slight tail. Use your crochet hook to pull the yarn through your ball and weave in the ends, tucking the yarn tail so it doesn’t unravel. (You don’t need to use a crochet hook for this step, but it really helps.)
Step 5: Cut off a leg of your pantyhose and insert the yarn ball. Tie a knot at the top and repeat until all of your wool balls are secured.
Step 6: Wash your dryer balls in the machine on the hottest cycle with your detergent. Then, dry on the highest setting of your dryer. The heat is what helps the felting process. I just did this with a load of my towels so I wasn’t wasting the energy on just the balls. Repeat this step as many times as needed until they come out solid and can’t be unraveled. All dryers and yarns differ, so some may felt up with just 1 washing and others may require 3-4.
Once they’re done, cut them out of the pantyhose and throw them in the dryer with your next load!
Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils directly to the balls to help freshen up your laundry. Another bonus is that these dryer balls can help lower your dry time. I usually just leave 6-8 balls in my dryer at all times, depending on the size of my load.
Store them in a laundry bag, a pretty dish, or directly in the dryer and you’re set!
Want to see more sustainable DIY’s like this one? Use fabric scraps to sew your own cloth napkins. If you’re looking for a way to reduce harsh chemicals in your cleaning routine, check out this tutorial to make your own all-natural yoga mat cleaning spray.
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