When out shopping, do you find yourself minimising the time you spend in aisles with detergents, cleaners and fabric softeners? I do; beyond perceptions about toxins, I dislike the way the chemical smells hit my eyes and nose. I’m not the scientist of our family and have no related expertise, so what I’m offering here is one person’s perspective and interest in shifting away from dryer sheets.
We returned this week from a sunny break in Arizona, where we bought wet-felted wool dryer balls from Caren Gomez of Carenas Creations; Caren sells these as well as gorgeous infinity scarves and other knitwear at Scottsdale’s Artisan Market AZ. Her dryer balls are subtlely coloured, and she markets them as an eco-friendly and resuable means to softening clothes, while reducing dryer time and static cling. If you like the notion of scent in the dryer, Caren encourages buyers to add their preferred essential oil to the ball.
One of my early questions was whether the colours would bleed; we were told they wouldn’t, and Caren was right. Now that we’re home and using the dryer balls, I’m hooked. I’ve also been checking additional sources for dryer balls and found a local supplier, Ulat, that ships internationally.
WHY USE WOOL DRYER BALLS?
They reduce drying time and energy usage; BC Hydro advises that including two dyer balls with your load not only reduces drying time by up to a third, it also separates items.
Vancouver producer Ulat offers that their wool balls do not harbour bacteria, making them attractive for people with sensitive skin (I’d have been pleased to have these in our days of washing cloth diapers), and that they reduce wrinkles and static.
WHAT WILL YOU WANT TO KNOW?
Here’s a sampling of information you can find on Ulat’s site:
- Using two or three balls per load will help balance moisture absorbtion and enhance air circulation
- Performance levels will very depending on the age, make and model of your dryer
- Wool dryer balls work best with natural fibres, and are not suitable for drying synthetic fabrics
- To use the balls, just pop them in the dryer with wet laundry and turn on the dryer
- The balls will pill; that’s to be expected, and you can simply remove them. They wear down and you’ll want a new set after a hundred loads or so.
- Once your laundry is done, keep the balls in a dry, ventilated location rather than storing them in plastic
You can make your own dryer balls, and there are various sites with directions; you might be surprised to learn how readily you can make your own.