Our family has been slowly making the switch to an all natural household, and laundry was next on our list. As almost everyone else I know, we used Bounce dryer sheets everytime we toss a load of wet clothes in the dryer. I knew they weren’t the best for you, but out of habit, we kept using them. That is until I learned just how bad they are, and that there are easy, affordable alternatives like wool dryer balls.
Before we hop into the wool dryer balls review let’s take a moment to learn about those fragrant dryer sheets we’ve all been using. As I’m sure you already know, our skin is our biggest organ and it absorbs whatever we put on it. It absorbs the lotions, sunscreens, perfumes, and yes, the chemicals added to our clothes from the washing and drying process, eek!
The Nitty Gritty on Those Fragrant Dryer Sheets
Unlike food, there are no laws governing manufacturers to list all of the specific ingredients found in household products like dryer sheets. Many harmful chemicals are neatly tucked behind the guise of something like “biodegradable cationic softeners”. These softeners make your clothes soft and static free, but one study found 25 volatile chemicals including carcinogens, acetaldehyde, and benzene which are known to cause cancer and disrupt hormones, no thank you!
Wool Dryer Balls
Wool dryer balls are your easy to find, all natural alternative. They look kind of like fuzzy tennis balls and generally come in packs of 4 – 6 for around $20. You place the balls in your dryer with your wet clothes and they bounce around separating the clothes while drying. They are said to reduce static, cut down on drying time, and you are able to add clean fragrances by using essential oils.
For this review, I tested using 0 – 4 balls at one time with similar sized loads of laundry. I also added various amounts of essential oils to see what worked best.
Did they reduce static?
Yes, I found that using a minimum of 2 wool dryer balls would greatly reduce the static of the clothes when compared to not using any dryer balls.
Did they reduce drying time?
Although many people report reduced drying time I did not find a significant difference in all of my tests. All of the drying times were within 2 minutes of each other which probably had more to do with the slightly different load of laundry, than the different amount of dryer balls.
Did they work well with essential oils?
Yes and no. The amount of essential oils you use with the dryer balls greatly depends on the oil itself and your personal preference. I found a sweet spot with using 5 drops of essential oil on 2 of the dryer balls and rubbing them together.
When I would empty the dryer the clothes smelled really nice, but the fragrance does not last as long as chemical-laden dryer sheets. I also found that I would use up my essential oils quite quickly. For me, the amount of fragrance I would get out of the laundry wasn’t worthwhile for the amount of essential oils I would use up. I would rather diffuse different essential oil blends to have a nice smelling house, than use up my oils so my clothes smelled nice while I folded them.
Shop Wool Dryer Balls
Overall I definitely think it is a good choice to make the switch to wool dryer balls from fragrant dryer sheets. Although there isn’t a significantly reduced dryer time and there is a minimal laundry scent, I think it’s worthwhile to reduce the amount of chemicals your family is exposed to. You still get nice clean dry laundry without the static and the chemicals, win win!