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Tips, Tricks & Myths

Tips, Tricks & Myths

If you are curious about the art and science surrounding laundry and wool dryer balls we have some handy tips and useful facts for you.

First off let’s start with the basics:

Our wool dryer balls are made of 100% felted wool to the core. They are happy living in your dryer, tumbling amongst your clothes as they work to lift and separate the fabric, increasing airflow and reducing drying time. By absorbing moisture, they create a humid drying environment, to help reduce static enabling you to eliminate toxic dryer sheets and fabric softeners. 

The difference between wool dryer balls colours is that they come from different sheep! 

There is also no difference in effectiveness of the colours and we suggest deciding on the colour based on your own aesthetic. We don’t add any dyes to our wool dryer balls, meaning there is no chance of bleeding during a drying cycle.

Wool dryer balls can last for 1000+ loads. Based on our experience they tend to go missing, (either stolen by a dog/cat or eloping with a lost sock), before they have a chance to wear out. It might be time to get a new set if you find your wool balls have shrunk. This is caused by the heat in the dryer felting them slowly over time.

You can but it’s not going to do much. Wool dryer balls are sold in sets of 3 for a reason. They need to work together to create chaos in your dryer. For large dryers and heavier loads, we suggest using 6 or more dryer balls.

Over time, wool dryer balls may pill and pick up loose threads. This shows they are working hard for you. If necessary, remove any hitch hiking loose threads or fluff as needed, then toss back into your dryer. 

If the wool balls get dirty you can wash them with your next load. If they come out a bit squished, they can be reshaped by hand while still damp. If washed in hot water, additional shrinkage may occur.

Wool dryer balls are biodegradable, so once they’ve run their course. You can bury them in a garden or a flower pot. While they decompose, they add nutrients to the soil and help to retain soil moisture. You can also hang them outside in a tree and watch the birds collect the wool to build their nests.

Looking to add your own scent to your laundry?

Put a few drops of your favourite essential oil or perfume on your wool dryer balls before adding them to a load. If you are worried about the oil staining your clothes, rub the wool balls together so the oil gets absorbed. As the dryer heats up, the scent will start to evaporate leaving you with a lightly scented fresh load. The scent usually lasts 2-3 loads, so no need to top up every no need to top up every time 

Just like its traditional (and less soft) cousin, wool dryer balls can be used to fluff up down jackets, duvets and pillows

• They make great pet toys, your dog or cat will thank you. We even made them for Orangutans at The Toronto Zoo. 

• Learn to juggle and join the Circus.

• Feeling crafty? Use them to make a snowman.

• They make safe and soft balls for indoor bowling or bocce.

It is important to understand the factors that create static cling. Static buildup is usually caused by one or more of the following:

1. Fabric type – synthetics like nylon and polyester are more likely to generate static cling in the dryer from the friction as they tumble back and forth.

2. Over drying – leaving the clothes in too long. I try to take the clothes out just before they are dry and find if I hang shirts and pants the wrinkles fall out and they often do not need little or no ironing.  Dryers with a moisture meter that can shut down automatically are ideal for this strategy.

3. Dry air – usually a problem in the winter when there is less humidity.

1. Reduce your drying time by 5-10 minutes.

When items are completely dry and no moisture remains, this invites static electricity into the mix. Allow clothes to dry only until they’re slightly damp – tumbling around for excessive amounts of time in the dry heat increases static and increases your energy costs. Some dryers allow you to set the level of drying using a sensor to tell how dry the clothes are. Try setting it to less dry vs. normal. You should find most of your clothes are dry enough to fold. Plus hanging shirts and pants for the last stage of their drying helps wrinkles fall out and can reduce the need for ironing.

2. Dry Synthetic fabrics separately

Synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester fleece are usually the main culprits of static cling. When dried separately, garments made from synthetic fabrics aren’t given the opportunity to charge up all your other clothing. Don’t have time for two loads? Set a reminder for yourself to pull out synthetic items halfway through your cycle. These fabrics usually dry faster and will most likely be done at this point. If not, you can hang dry them to prevent unnecessary static.

Wool Dryer Balls are a safe alternative to chemical dryer sheets. Dryer sheets work by coating the fabric fibers with toxic chemicals that build up over time. Dryer balls, on the other hand, reduce static cling by absorbing moisture from clothing in the dryer, maintaining a more humid environment and, therefore, cutting down on static build up. However they will not eliminate static cling completely, especially when clothing is over-dried in a dryer without a moisture sensor.

We've also heard of natural remedies that apparently work. I haven't tried them – so use at your own risk. If you do try any, please let me know how you make out?

Tin Foil: Adding a ball of tin foil in the dryer just doesn’t sound like a smart idea…but apparently it works. Perhaps by grounding the static electricity generated by the clothes.

Safety Pins: Seriously! I found this idea on the internet. Apparently it really works! All they did was pin two safety pins on two different items in the dryer and everything came out static free. Maybe it works the same way as the tin foil?

Vinegar: another internet piece of internet wisdom. Just pour about 1/4 c. of white vinegar into the fabric softener dispenser on your washing machine during the rinse cycle. Apparently, you won’t smell the vinegar after the clothes are dry.

Before we even receive our wool it goes through a thorough washing process. On top of this our felting process includes a wash in hot water with a pH balanced fabric wash (Forever New) to help during the felting process and remove any residual lanolin from the wool. That being said, make sure you listen to your instincts, if you think the balls are causing irritation stop use.