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How Dryer Balls Save Money—and the Planet

Dryer balls are the key to soft clothes and minimal waste. They also save you money. Here's how to use them.

dryer balls guide
Written by
Riley Baker
Attention: We have a new eco item obsession. This simple swap results in a wardrobe that's soft, fresh, and free of unwanted wrinkles and cling. Plus, they make for cute little clean-clothes accomplices—
particularly when patterned
. That's right, we're talking about dryer balls.
These wooly rounds are a mainstay in our
laundry rooms
, earning their place while minimizing the waste that comes with their rivals, the soon-to-be-obsolete dryer sheet.
Here, everything you need to know about dryer balls.

What Do Dryer Balls Do?

dryer balls sustainability
Wool dryer balls replace dryer sheets and fabric softeners. Once tossed in the dryer, the balls bounce around with each turn, keeping clothing separated and soft—and absorbing moisture.
The simple addition serves to reduce your
energy footprint
(and save you money) by speeding up the drying process by up to 40% depending on load size. The 100% wool balls increase air circulation, encouraging clothes to keep their shape and discouraging inconvenient static cling.

How Long Do Dryer Balls Last?

dryer balls
An average American family washes
300 loads of laundry
per year. Wool dryer balls are reusable for up to 1,000 loads of laundry, or well over three years of use, making this sustainable relationship a long-term one.
As with a favorite
, when the time comes to part with your favored drying assistants, the signs will be clear: they will basically begin to fall apart.

What's the Difference Between Dryer Balls and Dryer Sheets?

Where dryer balls are impressively effective and reusable, dryer sheets (usually made from chemical-coated
) are disposable.
A box of eco-friendly dryer sheets runs for $20 and is good for 60 loads, costing you around $.33 a sheet. Three reliable dryer balls (we'll get into that count in a moment), on the other hand,
cost around $15
and are good for 1,000 loads, saving you major money over time at $.02 per set.
As a bonus, wool is built of keratin and is naturally
. Once your dryer balls have done their duty, simply add them to your

Reusable Wool Dryer Balls

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How to Use Wool Dryer Balls

how to use wool dryer balls
When using wool dryer balls, three is the magic number—the group works together for a balanced and efficient drying cycle. Toss a trio into your dryer along with your load of laundry and let them do their thing.
Expect expediently dried clothing that is touchable and ready to wear. And if you find yourself in want of a natural scent? Tap a drop of your preferred essential oil into your woolen ball for a fragrant finish.