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Some reviewers indicated these dryer balls cut down on drying time and soften clothes as they facilitate tossing clothes during the drying cycle. In my experience, drying time may be lessened minimally, but I don't expect a lower electric bill as a result. In addition, I would not say these dryer balls make the clothes significantly soft by themselves. However, I am very happy not to be using fabric softener in my machine and in my clothes. Omitting fabric softener has resulted in clothes coming out smelling and feeling clean (I could always feel the fabric softener still in towels, for example). I have found that white vinegar is a natural rinse agent and fabric softener. Adding about 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser helps ensure the clothes are soft and rinsed well (no more fabric softener residue), with minimal static cling. So yes, I am happy with the combination of the dryer balls, and the vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser. I'm also happy with the money I save not buying fabric softener.
I couldn't wait for these to arrive. I'd been coveting them for months. I had a few bottles of essential oils knocking around in my dresser drawer that were about to pass their prime. It was the perfect time to order my very own wool dryer balls and finish off my almost expired bottles of essential oils.
First impressions: No amount of essential oil was going to mask the distinct odor of sheep; I was heartbroken. I did a little research (ok... maybe more than a little) and learned that the odor was typical and would fade in time. In time? I wasn't about to dry load after load waiting for the scent of fleur de fleece to subside. I took a chance and threw them in the washing machine - best idea ever (wish it was mine)! After three washes with hot water and detergent they were significantly better. I was afraid washing them may ruin them, but it didn't. I made a blend of lemon oil, lavender oil, and a little distilled water in a spray bottle and generously sprayed them before tossing them in the dryer with some towels. Hallelujah! The sheep-stink was gone, but I could barely detect my lavender-lemon blend. I put away the spray bottle and drop by drop I added the oils directly to the wool balls. To be exact, 9 drops lavender and 10 drops lemon per wool ball. I placed them in a large glass jar and let them marinate for a few hours. I'm on my fifth load and my laundry still smells amazing. I haven't even removed the wool balls from the dryer. I just let all six of them hang out waiting for the next load of wet laundry.
My other concern was whether or not my darks would be covered in wool lint; a couple of reviews had me worried. I just dried my first load of darks and I'm thrilled to say there is no wool lint on any of my very-emo-daughter's clothing. I never would have heard the end of that. I think washing the wool balls first prevented them from shedding lint.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with these. They truly do cut down on drying time and I'm not having any static cling issues. If you do have static cling you could attach a safety pin to one of the wool balls or throw in a waded up ball of foil. Just don't over dry your laundry and the static should ease up. I'm anxious to try another blend. Don't you just love fresh scented laundry? Breathe it in... *eyes roll back and lids flutter* ...aahhhhh
Best wishes to anyone who does their family's laundry! You're a Superwoman! Or a Superman! Or a Superperson!
(Update) It has been two weeks and I'm still happy with my sheep wool balls. I've added a couple photos so you can see how they're holding up. The wool balls are discolored from essential oils, but I expected that.
Additionally, in my sincerest attempt to sound humble... what's with the tennis balls? I thought the main idea of wool balls was to cut down drying time and ditch the dryer sheets containing chemicals. Tennis balls are made from rubber and a thin layer of wool (sometimes nylon). That doesn't seem like enough wool to aid in drying. Besides, I wouldn't want hot rubber in my dryer with my laundry. Maybe I'm wrong; perhaps I'm missing something? I'd much rather shell out a few more bucks for 100% wool (solely wool). I just may eat ALL my words before long. It looks like some folks wool balls are unraveling? Drat.
(Update #2 - I know, I'm a nerd) It's been nearly six months and they're still going strong! Occasionally, I toss them in the washing machine to keep our darks lint free. They're keeping their shape and doing their job.
I read reviews before I bought these so I knew to wash them. I ran them through the washer twice with just some towels, and I soaked them in the sink for days. I tried laundry soap, Dawn, baking soda, borax, hot water, lol everything! They really smell like sheep (not a bad smell) when wet. I eventually felt like the smell had lessened. What I've learned is that they smell fine when they're dry - though maybe that only because I washed them? I like to have them. I've had them a few weeks now. My cats like to play with them. I would purchase them again. I feel good about using natural products like this :)
P.s. I have not been paid to write this, I just want to write more reviews this year because I already read other peoples' reviews and I want to contribute something too :)
After nine months of use, I would buy these again or recommend them to friends. With that said, I would caution my friends that I still have static electricity after drying. Maybe it's the atmosphere in my area (Pacific NW, usually high humidity though), the amount of clothes of a typical load (even with a smaller load I still notice it), or my dryer settings (I've tried different drying times and heat settings). No matter what, I still have at least a little static electricity that I don't experience when using a dryer sheet (even when using all six dryer balls).
I get around the static electricity issue by using aluminum foil wrapped into a couple of balls. I use the very cheap aluminum foil since it doesn't have the non-stick coating as I'm guessing it might impact the clothes. When I do that, my static electricity issues are gone.
I read reviews about some people using white dryer balls with dark clothes and dark dryer balls with white clothes and the dryer balls noticeably leaving some of the wool fibers on the clothes. I actually bought both white and dark dryer balls to avoid this, so I can't speak to it being an issue or not. Lastly, I have not used any method for scenting the dryer balls, so I also can't speak to how they perform when scented.
I feel good knowing my clothes aren't being coated with anything from the dryer sheets and I also feel good that I'm helping my dryer perform as well as possible since my understanding is that dryer sheets can harm the dryer over time.
I used these for several different loads of laundry this weekend. I did not notice a substantial difference in the drying time but I did not use fabric softener and the clothing seemed to be as fluffy as if I had used softener. I did realize how much I love the smell of fabric softener on our clothing when I removed the clothing from the dryer and there was no "clean smell". The clothing was definitely clean but odorless. This would be great for those that want to omit the use of fabric softener due to allergies or for cost savings! They were well packaged, are definitely sturdy and well made. I will continue to use but may not be able to give up fabric softener completely due to personal preference.
So I'm tired of chemicals, we all seem to be having more skin issues then I remember from being a kid, even the dogs are having skin hot spots more. So I'm attempting to clean up our food and environment one step at a time. My mom never used fabric softener or dryer sheets growing up, we used static guard on bad static and just let the scent of the laundry soft be our "fresh scent". So I figured a compromise with the wife (whose parents used all the scents they could in everything) would be dryer balls. I grabbed these to try. All 6 balls currently live in my dryer so no matter what size load I do they're all there. The wrinkles aren't to bad. I haven't gotten any essential oils yet to use with them but no wet wool smell from the clothes. And no wool pieces falling off onto dark clothing yet. The static cling is pronounced with certain fabrics, I'm hoping a bit of essential oil will help, if not I have a few other ideas to try before I decide if it's worth it to keep using or if I can't handle the static. For now I'll call this a success. I wash 2x weekly (Mondays and Fridays), do about 2-4 loads, and started using these after we received them 1/24/20 (current;y 2/12/20). The balls themselves are picking up some lint from darker clothing but seems to still be in good condition.
These are good but not as life changing as I expected. I read a few glowing reviews and got carried away. Positives were that they are definitely more environmentally friendly than the one-use dryer sheets I used previously. They also seemed to leave the clothes unwrinkled, although I couldn't tell a huge difference from the dryer sheets I usually use. They did not have a strong sheep smell or leave any sheep smell on the clothes (although they also did not leave a pleasant added scent on the clothes like some dryer sheets do.) An unlooked for benefit was that they occupied my kids, who had a great time throwing them around like balls. So far, the balls still look good after about five dryer cycles.
Cons were that they did not appear to reduce drying time as some reviewers stated they did. I have an older dryer which I usually have to run two cycles to dry, so I was very excited about this prospect. They also have an annoying tendency to get caught up on the clothes and then fall out and roll away when you are unloading.
Overall, I will probably buy again because they are better for the environment, and I can't stand how the traditional dryer sheets stick to my clothes and then end up all over the living room floor.
I jumped on the bandwagon and bought these on a lightening deal. I’m trying to ween myself off of using dryer sheets loaded with chemicals, but it’s hard. I’ve used them for a few loads of laundry but I’m still not entirely convinced they dry my clothes faster. When I first took them out of the package, they smelled horrible. Like a farm.... which I guess is a good sign because they are wool. I was worried the smell would transfer to my clothing but it didn’t. After one cycle the smell disappeared. I hope to try using essential oils in the near future to make the laundry smell better. They are also VERY loud in the dryer. As the clothing dried the sound was reduced, but I was shocked at how much noise they made. I’m going to continue to use these as I think they are a great alternative to chemicals.