How is it possible that after 50 some odd (cough!) years, I have never heard of dryer balls! That's right. Dryer balls.
I first heard about them oh, about one month ago. Someone had posted an ISO on facebook. Curious minds want to know, right? So of course I messaged the person right away to find out what they were talking about.
It turns out that they are these delightful balls, about the size of a baseball, or maybe a grapefruit, and light as a feather. Typically they are made of wool. The purpose is to use the dryer balls in place of dryer sheets or fabric softener.
According to the author of The Brain Wash, the seven most common chemicals found in dryer sheets are:
1. Alpha-Terpineol Causes central nervous system disorders. Can also cause loss of muscular coordination, central nervous system depression, and headachea.
2. Benzyl Alcohol Causes central nervous system disorders, headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, central nervous system depression, and, in severe cases, death.
3. Camphor is on the US EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Central nervous system stimulant, causes dizziness, confusion, nausea, twitching muscles, and convulsions.
4. Chloroform is on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Neurotoxic and carcinogenic.
5. Ethyl Acetate is on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Narcotic. May cause headaches and narcosis (stupor).
6. Linalool Causes central nervous system disorders. Narcotic. In studies of animals, it caused ataxic gait (loss of muscular coordination), reduced spontaneous motor activity, and depression.
7. Pentane Causes headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, and loss of consciousness. Repeated inhalation of vapours causes central nervous system depression.
That's enough to make you want to quit using dryer sheets right there! Apparently, dryer balls also soften your clothes, remove static cling, reduce wrinkles, and are reported to reduce your drying time by 25 - 30% ! You heard me right. They save you money. Fascinating.
I thought to myself, I would love to have some dryer balls to try. And then I promptly forgot about them.
Well, Spirit is always listening. One week later, I am browsing through a lovely market in Willow Point, an area of Campbell River, when what should I come across but a booth selling, among other things, - dryer balls.
Woo hoo! I just had to have some. Now, initially they seemed to be quite expensive. 3 for $25. Ouch. But think about it. No fabric softener to buy. No dryer sheets to buy. And they reduce your dryer's energy consumption by a minimum of 25%. Let's not forget the health benefits. What is the price of one's health running for these days anyways?
So I ponied up, gave the lady my $25, and enjoyed the tiny thrill of picking out my very own dryer balls from the basket full of beauties she had on her table.
Now, I know you are on the edge of your seats with this question on your lips, "Yes Nina, but do they actually work?"
Truthfully, I am surpised and impressed. No static cling. The clothes come out of the dryer really soft. Softer than from any fabric softener or dryer sheet I have ever used. Practically wrinkle free. I am not a big fan of ironing so I love that benefit as well.
The standard drying time on my dryer is 40 minutes. So I switched to a timed dry setting of 30 minutes. My clothes came out completely dry. In fact, I probably could have gotten away with even less time on the dry setting.
So, imagine if I used two sets of dryer balls. I could save as much as 50% of my dryer's typical energy consumption. I like the sound of that.
My mom misses having a scent from the fabric softener or dryer sheets. Personally, I don't miss that at all. A solution would be to add essential oils to the dryer balls. Just be sure to use quality pure essential oils, put a few drops on the dryer ball, and allow a couple of hours for the oil to dry, so that your clothes do not become stained.
There are several places you can buy dryer balls. Start your search at your local health food store. A search on youtube brings up several video choices for making your own dryer balls, if you are so inclined. It appears to be a fairly simple task, although time consuming.
A third option would be to do as I did; purchase your dryer balls from Gay Ruff of Ruff Creations in Campbell River. Why? All the net proceeds Gay makes from her crafts, she donates to childrens charities. It's a win win win. Good for you. Good for the planet. And good for the children. It doesn't get much better than that. Gay does not have a website however, you could friend request her on facebook. Search for Gay Ruff, Campbell River. Or you can call her at 250.923.8431.
Before you take on the joyous task of laundry again, invest in a set of dryer balls. You won't regret it.
I am definitely a convert. I use my dryer balls all the time now. They get two socks up from me!