How to Make Wool Dryer Balls
My family and I are on this journey of becoming more self sufficient and being much more waste-less. We have been using cloth bowl covers instead of plastic wrap, buying grocery store items that are not stored in plastic, and reusing and upcycling as much as possible.
Recently, I had discovered these little laundry wool dryer balls on the internet and I just had to make them myself. I had been so focused on reducing our waste in the kitchen that I didn’t even realize the laundry room. These dryer balls eliminate those chemically laced dryer sheets you throw in your dryer to reduce static. The purchase is gone and so is the garbage of the numerous sheets and the box they come in.
What was even more perfect was I had every bit of the materials needed to make these wool dryer balls. An acquaintance, who spins wool, gave me a box full of dark brown wool to play with after I had mentioned how much I wanted to learn how to spin. Well, that was about two years ago and I still hadn’t gotten around to learning that skill. So the box just sat in my craft closet until now. Also, I had numerous amounts of leftover yarn from previous projects to make the very center of these balls. Again, they just sat in my closet collecting dust. What a win-win on using up materials to make into something worth using.
How to make your own dryer balls.
You are going to make these dryer balls from the center out. First, find and wind up old craft yarn that you have laying around the house. It doesn’t matter the color or what type it is. I used an array of cotton and polyester blends. This yarn just helps give a base for the wool and gives a nice hard core when completed. Wind enough yarn to measure about 6 inches in circumference.
Pull out your carded wool. Lay out strips about 6-8 inches long and then put your yarn ball in the center. Wrap the wool tightly around the yarn. Roll the ball tightly in your hands to adhere the wool fibers together otherwise the wool falls off. Do this again about 4-5 more times making sure the fibers are going in the opposite direction from the last set of wool. The wool ball at this point should be about 13 inches in circumference.
Now place the wool dryer ball in an old set of panty hose. I don’t wear any so I used an old pair from the kids closet that they no longer fit into. Again, I didn’t spend any money here either. Make sure the ball is placed in the toe area of the panty hose. Using a faucet, soak the wool ball. Once the ball is soaked pour a good amount of dish soap over the entire ball in the pantyhose. Message the soap and a little bit of water into a foamy, sudsy soap mess over the entire ball. Message and squeeze the soap into ball for about a minute and then rinse the soap off. Squeeze the ball until all the soap is gone. Remove the ball from the panty hose. The circumference of the ball should be around 10 inches.
Now for the final part, place it into your dryer. Turn dryer on high or regular heat for about 2 cycles. This process does take a little bit of time for the ball to completely dry. Well, at least it did in my electric dryer. The wool dyer ball will shrink drastically in the dryer and become very dense.