I happened upon this easy DIY project and wanted to give it a try. Making your own wool dryer balls saves money, reduces drying time, and softens your clothes. You just toss them in the dryer with your wet clothes and run your machine as usual.
1-2 skeins 100% wool yarn (NOT the washable kind)
several inches regular yarn
- Wrap the yarn around two fingers about 10 times.
- Wrap several more times in the middle of the loop.
- Continue wrapping the yarn until you begin to have a ball. Continue wrapping until the ball is approximately the size of a tennis ball or larger.
- Once the ball is big enough, cut the yarn, leaving a few inches. Push the crochet hook through a few layers, grab the tail, and pull through the ball. Do this a few times, then cut the remaining yarn.
- Repeat steps 1-4 until you have several balls. Note: For a full set, you will need to make 4-6 balls, which will require about 2 skeins yarn.
- Place the balls in the pantyhose, tying with regular yarn tightly in between each ball.
- Wash the “caterpillar” with towels on a hot wash cycle with a cold rinse cycle. Then dry on the hottest setting. Remove the balls from the pantyhose and check for felting (you should not be able to pull the strands apart). You may need to do this step more than once before the wool becomes felted.
I use these dryer balls along with soap nuts as my laundry detergent. Soap nuts are actually a fruit from the family of Sapindus plants that produces saponins, a natural surfactant. You just put 4-5 soap nuts in the cotton bag provided and toss it in the laundry. You can use the soap nuts up to 10 times before using new ones. Personally, I really like using them because they make our clothes smell clean, they’re very cheap, they don’t have any extra chemicals, and they are easy to use. I bought mine from Amazon (the EcoNut brand), but you can get them even cheaper at Mountain Rose Herbs. You can also use them for other cleaning purposes which I will cover in another post.