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Cost
$ $ $ $ $
Difficulty
• • • • •
Time
1h00

Why pay $6-7 bucks apiece for these handy guys? Recycle a sweater for a win-win!
I have really sensitive skin so, I've wanted these for a while but the cost is INSANE! ($6-7 each for large ones!) Even if you make your own out of skeins of wool it’s too much.

But, by using old sweaters from the thrift store I made these 8 oz balls for (Drum roll please) $1 each.

*Update: I've been using these for several weeks now and overall they have held together very well. I did have to tack down a few edges on two that started to unravel but now they are find. As an alternative, you may want to unravel the sweater instead of cutting it, but this still works and is easier.
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Why use wool balls in your dryer?

• They decrease drying time, saving you money on utility bills. (Especially helpful in the winter months!)

• Commercial fabric softeners and dryer sheets are filled with harmful chemicals and perfumes that coat your clothing, eventually ending up on your skin. These chemicals can be especially harsh on sensitive skin. There are no chemicals in wool dryer balls!

• Commercial dryer sheets can be costly, and are thrown away after use. Wool dryer balls can be re-used for years, saving you hundreds of dollars.

• Commercial fabric softeners shouldn't be used on cloth diapers. Wool dryer balls are perfect for keeping your cloth diapers soft and chemical-free.

• Wool dryer balls won’t affect the absorbency of your towels, kitchen cloths, or cloth diapers – commercial softeners will.

• 100% wool dryer balls increase fluffiness and reduce static as dryer loads tumble.

• Dryer balls help to soften clothes naturally.

• Dryer balls are made from a renewable resource.

Thoughts:

No old pantyhose? Walmart has really cheap knee highs. One pair could do 4 balls. Or check a thrift store. You can use socks but they tend to stick to the balls.

Hate ironing? Wet the balls a bit and throw them in the dryer for 5 minutes with your clothes.

Allergic to wool? Have someone else cut and roll them up. I am sensitive to wool but once these became “felted” I've had no reaction to them at all. They just feel soft and fluffy!

Oh, yeah, my cats love them. (Le Sigh!)

Posted by Ravens Trove from Wenatchee, Washington, United States • Published See Ravens Trove's 30 projects »
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  • How to make a home accessory. $1 Wool Dryer Balls Using Salvaged Sweaters! - Step 1
    Step 1

    Choose your weapons:
    I had some experimenting to do with these so I bought 3 different sweaters from the men’s department at the local Salvation Army.

    1-100% wool Dry clean only or hand wash cold. Very thick weave and being a machine washable wool is to be avoided. (Epic fail!)

    2-100% wool and lamb’s wool blend. It was thicker, harder to felt but softer. (Better)

    3-100% wool. Dry clean only. It was very thin weave. (Green Sweater-Best)

  • How to make a home accessory. $1 Wool Dryer Balls Using Salvaged Sweaters! - Step 2
    Step 2

    Cut off all salvageable buttons and/or zippers. Cut off and discard thick seams where it sweater was sewn together.

    Take what is left and cut it into about 1” strips. (I learned that you need thinner strips by NOT cutting these as thin as I should have.)

  • How to make a home accessory. $1 Wool Dryer Balls Using Salvaged Sweaters! - Step 3
    Step 3

    Wrap the strips up tight into a ball much like when you wind up a skein of yarn. Tuck in the ends as you go. These should be softball sized.

  • How to make a home accessory. $1 Wool Dryer Balls Using Salvaged Sweaters! - Step 4
    Step 4

    Tie them up in your old destroyed hose.

    Tie them in tight as the balls shrink.

    Tie TWO knots so that you can separate the balls before washing. (They get really tangled otherwise.)

    Cut the balls apart and make sure the knots are tight.

  • How to make a home accessory. $1 Wool Dryer Balls Using Salvaged Sweaters! - Step 5
    Step 5

    Wash in HOT water with cold rinse. Dry in dryer on high. I made 6 balls so it was getting kind of noisy in there but all that banging about makes them felt better!

    Repeat Wash and dry. With sweaters, the edges are a bit harder to get “felt” properly. So wash and dry them twice before removing them from hose.

    (This picture actually shows the "Fail". This is what happens when you use any wool that can be washed by hand.)

  • How to make a home accessory. $1 Wool Dryer Balls Using Salvaged Sweaters! - Step 6
    Step 6

    Remove from hose and inspect for lose edges. If you have a loose edge, don’t pick at it! Wrap it up and wash it again. ;)

    You’re done! I put 3 in per load so I always have 3 ready for the next load

    Total cost: About $6 for 6 softball sized balls.

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Comments

zoë
zoë · 156 projects
you can even put a few drops of essential oil to make your laundry smell good, like tea tree oil, or eucalyptus or lavender oil. fabulous easy and smart.
Ravens Trove
Ravens Trove · Wenatchee, Washington, US · 35 projects
I have heard that but I left it out as I'm afraid it might eventually spot my clothes. Have you tried it?? I'd love to hear from a voice of experience.
Reply
Ichigo M.
Ichigo M. · 13 projects
This is a great idea! It saves money, and it reuses random things.
Ravens Trove
Ravens Trove · Wenatchee, Washington, US · 35 projects
Seems like we have that in common. Love to salvage! (Thanks)
Reply