WHAT ARE DRYER BALLS?
For all those unfamiliar with what they are, here is a brief description: Little blue balls that are covered in spiky little nubs. They do come in slightly different shapes and sizes, and you can find them in a variety of colors, but blue is the most common one available. They are basically little plastic balls that are about three inches in diameter, and covered with spikes. They are not coated with anything, and nothing is released as you dry your clothes. It is the physical action of the balls tumbling in your dryer that does all of the work. You can use dryer balls to soften clothes, reduce wrinkles, remove lint and cut drying times. They are meant to be used as a replacement for dryer sheets and liquid softeners, and will do the same job without coating your laundry in chemicals. This makes them great for anyone with sensitive skin, or those out there washing baby clothes, but they are also perfect for everyone else because they will save you time and money while they allow you to forget about the annoying task of adding softener to your washing machine or dryer.
HOW TO USE THEM:
Using dryer balls is actually easier than working with a traditional product, and once you have them in place, you can basically forget about them altogether. Follow the simple steps below to use a set of balls to soften your laundry:
- The first thing to do would be to purchase a set of dryer balls. They will always come in a set of two, and you do need at least that many to get good results. Using more can be beneficial for larger loads, or over-sized stuff like sheets and blankets, but a single set will be perfect for most people. The set will cost you about as much as one or two boxes or bottles of the stuff you are using now, but it will last for years instead of weeks.
- Take the set out of the packaging prior to placing in the dryer. You can insert wet clothes and then toss the balls on top, or you can throw the set in there, and then just leave them there. It does’t really matter which is on the top or bottom because once the drum starts tumbling, the clothes and balls will intermix all the same. For this reason, you can just leave them there at all times, and there is no real reason to remove them between loads. You may find that one sneaks out with a set of sheets, and in that case, you would just put it back in when you do your next load.
- After both balls and your wet clothes are in there, shut the door and start the dryer. Because these balls will improve air flow, you will need less time than normal to get your laundry dry. Reduce timing by 10-20% and then increase or decrease as needed depending upon your load type and machine performance.
- Regular replacement is not needed. One set can last a lifetime, and should be useful for many years at the least. You do not need to re-charge or re-fill anything, and the balls will not wear with time. Be careful with lower quantity versions as they will not work as well in the first place, and are far more prone to splitting in half with minimal use. If you opt for a lower quality set, replacement may be more frequent than what we would consider normal.
HOW DO THEY WORK?
As your dryer spins, these balls will tumble around as they mix with your clothes. The balls will be slightly soft when cold, but as they heat, they become even softer. When passing by clothes, they fluff the material and remove loose lint. The action of them rolling around also separates laundry and eliminates clumping. This process increases air flow, and also exposes more surface area to the hot air. The massaging softens fabrics as it eliminates annoying lint, and the fact that everything dries quicker will save you time and money. Traditional softeners only coat clothes to make them smell perfumy and seem softer, but they also decrease absorbency, increase irritation and force you to expose your skin to unneeded chemicals. Dryer balls do just as good a job at making fabric soft, but you do not have to worry about using toxic substances, or running out.
WHAT DOES MORE DO?
When you use more, you can further improve air flow in order to fluff fabrics and dry laundry quicker. A single set will be perfect for most people, and you would not need to increase quantity under normal circumstances. Having more on hand can help if you always dry large loads, or if you frequently wash large items like sheets. More balls means more separation, clump prevention and massaging action, so it can improve performance in many instances, but it is not at all required.
DO THEY ACTUALLY WORK?
Absolutely! We have worked with them for many years now, and they have proven to work well. You will get the same level of softness, but at a much lower cost, and with a way safer product. Ability to work will vary with the exact set you buy though. There are certainly cheap ones out there that will be less effective, and similarly, you can also spend too much on a fancy set that doesn’t really perform any better. You can tell the cheaper ones by how hard and stiff they are, and how they have a tendency to fall apart with minimal use. Flexibility is key to adequate function, so if you have a stiffer pair of balls it will be more similar to just making your own wool dryer balls, or simply tossing in tennis balls. They will be slightly better than those because there will be some massaging and lint reduction due to the spikes, but when they are softer this action is much more significant. You can usually get good results from the more expensive options, but why pay more when you are not really gaining anything in the way of quality or performance?
WHAT ABOUT NOISE?
You might think that plastic balls tumbling in your dryer would be loud and annoying, but this is not actually true. You will only hear them for a minute or two, and then the noise will dissipate As soon as the balls are mixed in with your clothing, any noise will be highly muffled, and barely noticeable. You will only hear the occasional dull thud as your clothes are drying, and it will not create the racket you may be imagining. Most people will not even notice they are in there, and fear of loud noise should not be a deterrent to the purchase of a set.
I heard they dent the dryer, leave blue marks, and melt under high heat.
Oh yeah? I heard the sky is pink and house cats sometimes sprout wings. Dryer balls are not hard or heavy enough to dent any type of metal, and will never cause denting or other imperfections inside your dryer. They should soften as they heat up, but they will never melt or lose color. You will never see any blue marks created by their use, and you don’t have to worry about liquid plastic coating your clothing. Other folks may worry about chemical gasses and other impossibilities, but none of this actually happens. There will be nothing released from the balls, and they are totally safe for any dryer.
Dryer balls offer a cheap and easy way to soften clothes,and reduce the effort it takes to wash a load. They are fragrance free, and contain no harsh chemicals. Your clothes will have fewer wrinkles and lint as you pull them from the dryer, and each load will take less time to get dry. Because they do not wear out or require maintenance, you can basically plop them in there and never think about softening laundry again. They will remain inside, and they will continue to do their job for many years to come. Ideal for cheap and lazy folks, but also perfect for people with sensitive skin, or those that are looking out for the environment. They can not be beat as a low cost and effective way to get the job done, and you get the added bonus of reducing toxic exposure at the same time. Now that you know how to use them, there is no excuse for not doing that laundry, and if you were still on the fence in regards to an initial purchase, we hope you are convinced of how great they are.