Natural Wool Dryer Balls

My journey into becoming an eco conscious home is continuing day by day, and the drive to achieve this is being strengthened by my current reading list, titles like 'Losing Eden' by Lucy Jones and 'Braiding Sweetgrass' by Robin Wall Kimmerer - are only immersing me further into the beautiful relationship we can have with the world when we truly become a part of nature, respecting it and ensuring we care for it in an appropriate way.

Last week whilst I was not feeling too great I decided to make some wool dryer balls, it was a lovely and easy activity for my little one to partake in and for me to sit and do too.

Why wool dryer balls?

I decided to. make some wool dryer balls for and couple of reasons, firstly after using my homemade washing powder and fabric softener our clothes no longer have a scent - they just smell like laundered fabric. I love clothes to have a light fresh scent and wool dryer balls are a great way to do this. You can add around 5-10 of drops of essential oils of tour choice to the balls and pop them in the dryer, I choose lavender and chamomile. The oils gently scent the clothes, infusing with the fibres whilst they are warm. The second and most important reason is wool dryer balls have shown to reduce drying times which is great as it saves energy and allows me more time for laundry, with three children it sometimes feels like it barely stops. Win win.

How to make them

You will need a few simple things to make these balls:

  • Un-dyed sheep wool, mine is from here

  • A bowl of hot (but not boiling soapy water)

  • A tea towel

Lay your towel on a table and place your bowl of hot soapy water on it. Take a strip of wool, rolling into a tight ball before dipping it into the soapy water, lightly squeeze the wool and then begin to roll it in the palm of your hands gently increasing the pressure as you feel the ball getting smaller and smaller. Do this until you cannot get the ball any smaller then place it in a tumble dryer until dry.

Once dry wet the ball again, rolling and rolling before drying in the dryer and repeating this process one or two more times until the dryer ball is as dense as possible and feels firm when squeezed.

Using your dryer balls

I use two in a full load and have noticed that my drying time has cut by about 20 mins on a 1hr 53min cycle, I am going to make a couple more and see if this helps further.

When you come to use them simply add some drops of essential oil directly to the ball and place in the dryer drum. when finished, store in an airtight container until the next use.

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