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Wool Dryer Balls: How To & Review

I learned of Wool Dryer Balls about 4 minutes before I decided I was making them. It all stemmed from trying to find a way to soften my son’s cloth diapers. I was looking for the as seen on tv rubber jobbies and I quickly read about using tennis balls. Momentarily after the tennis ball incident I clicked on a lovely page that I cannot find at the moment that described Wool Dryer Balls and why in the world anyone would use them. Here’s my impromptu run down on why and how:

Dryer Balls Rock because:

-They beat your clothes up, but in a nice way, softening them (nearly as well as the chemicals in fabric softening sheets do).
-As they bounce around the dryer they heat up and disperse the heat while separating clothes thus lessening dryer time.
-Speaking of bouncing- they really are not that loud. In fact they are a nice little tumble in the background.
-They are Hug-A-Treeable, as green as it gets.
-The natural oils found in the wool act as a natural (safe) softener for clothes
-Cloth diaper safe (let’s mention point number 2 again: Lessens dryer time!)
-Cute (Yea I’m grasping here- but I get a certain joy out of seeing them sit perfectly in my basket reminding me they are ready to tumble when I am). Honestly.
-Easy to make

What are these things anyway?

Wool Dryer Balls are balls made of wound wool yarn that have been felted. By using 6-8 balls in your dryer they eliminate the need for any softener (liquid or sheets) plus give you the other benefits listed above.  I used Lion’s Brand Fisherman’s Wool. It was about $10-15 for a skein at Hobby Lobby. I really should have displayed some patience and waited for a 50% coupon to come in the mail. I’ve noticed you can also find this yarn online- that might be worth doing the price comparison on. I also bought a very very small crotchet hook for about $1. You will also need an old nylon and I’ve read that an old light weight sock will work too.


1 Skein of 100% natural wool (no polyester here, folks).
1 crotchet hook
1 old nylon/pantyhose (cut the leg of one to use)

Do it:

Take the yarn and pull it from the skein so you have plenty of yarn to work with (you’ll be doing this repeatedly). Between your pointer finger and thumb wrap a few rounds of 1 inch long ovals. Now you have something to wrap around to create a ball! Begin wrapping the yarn around the long skinny oval loop you made and continue rotating the wool ball as you go so it’s evenly wrapped. Wrap until the ball is about 5 inches in diameter.  Cut the yarn leaving a few inches. Take your crotchet hook and pull the end through the other end of the ball to secure the tail. Repeat until you have 6-8 balls. One 8oz. skein made 6 dryer balls plus I have extra that may or may not be able to make a 7th. After all of the balls are complete and secured, put them into the leg of a nylon one at a time and I just tied the nylon off after each one was inserted- like a sausage link. Throw this wool ball caterpillar into a regular load of wash and toss it into the dryer with the same load. Wash as normal. I did this twice to felt the balls twice. Felting sort of seals the surface of the ball. I’ve read that it can be suggested to take the balls and wrap them again and basically repeat this process. I did not and I like my dryer balls like they are. Oh and plan on noticing a little shrinkage after they are felted.

Wool Dryer Ball Real-Life Review:

Bottom line- LOVE THEM!

But seriously. The only complaint I can muster up is that after several uses there is a bit of piling on the balls. These lint bunnies can be sweater shaved off or just yanked off. Otherwise I am astounded at the dryer time that is cut by using these. I must say that the softness of the clothes is not *as* soft as when I used dryer sheets, but I hate crunchy clothes and these are pretty soft! The noise level of the balls tumbling around is not too bad. I used to have an apartment sized washer and dryer in my kitchen-right between my kitchen and living room and it really didn’t add much noise. A gentle tumble is all I noticed. I’ve been line drying my cloth diapers recently but when i was drying them I think the ball worked great.

What are your thoughts on dryer balls? Do you have any questions?