The Science of Dryer Balls: Everything you need to know - in 10 minutes

dryer balls

With so many choices of dryer balls on the market, it is hard to decide which ones to buy, how to make sure you are getting the best for your hard-earned money and how to use them in the right way.

Don’t have 10 minutes to read? Click here to watch a short video explaining the science of dryer balls.

All about dryer balls

What are wool dryer balls?

  1. What are wool dryer balls?

  2. How to use wool dryer balls?

  3. How long do wool dryer balls last?

  4. Do these wool balls really work?

  5. Reduce static with wool dryer balls

  6. Wool dryer balls and essential oils

  7. Dryer balls vs your dryer

  8. Dryer balls vs dryer sheets

  9. Dryer balls vs fabric softener

  10. Dryer balls vs tennis balls.

  11. Refresh your dryer balls.

  12. Other uses for dryer balls.

  13. Take action!

1. What are dryer balls?

Dryer balls are simply balls of wool. They’re made by rolling wool until it forms into a nice tight ball.  The created ball is then felted (highlight and link) with sharp needles, which further tightens the overall material. This process is true of both homemade dryer balls and the BEST dryer balls on the market (well, we think so!).

Not all dryer balls are the same. Top quality dryer balls consist of wool material throughout the entire structure of the ball.  Others are created using “fillers” (some other material on the inside of the ball); this technique allows manufacturers to cut costs.  Sometimes this can, in turn, lead to less financial burden on the consumer, however this is at the expense of product quality and usefulness.  Companies with product integrity often highlight that their balls are created using 100% wool- a sign that you can expect your product to deliver on what it’s supposed to do for your clothes.

True 100% wool dryer balls possess added benefits for our planet and those who purchase them:

  • Eco-friendly and biodegradable

  • Non toxic

  • Cruelty free (animal groups would definitely argue with this one- I wouldn’t put it)

  • Nature friendly product

  • Hypoallergenic

2. How to use dryer balls? 

The answer is short and simple:  Toss your balls into the dryer with your clothes!  Use 1, 4, or 8! The more you throw into the dryer, the shorter your cycle.


3. How long dryer balls last? 

As mentioned above, the quality of the dryer ball affects what you can expect from it.  True 100% wool dryer balls (link) can last up to 1,000 loads. That’s impressive!


4. Do dryer balls really work in reducing drying time? 

Yes!  The wool dryer balls you toss into your dryer are tossed around.  This results in them finding their way between your clothes- effectively separating your clothes from one another and allowing for more of each clothing article they touch to receive the dryer’s heat.  


5. Reduce static with dryer balls

Wool dryer balls help to minimize static cling by reducing the amount of time that clothing or bedding material rubs against each other while turning within the drying cycle.  Another benefit of the balls being tossed around!

Static cling is also reduced when they absorb, hold, and decrease the level of humidity within the dryer.


6. Wool dryer balls and essential oils

Although not necessary, many wool dryer ball lovers enjoy infusing their wool dryer balls with a little bit of essential oil for aromatherapy purposes.  

Want to try this?  It’s really simple!  Dab just a few small drops of pure high quality essential oil of your choosing onto the surface of the wool dryer balls.   My personal favorites are lavender and tea tree. Let them air dry for about an hour and toss them in with your laundry. Reapply your desired scent every 5-10 loads.

7. Are dryer balls bad for your dryer?

There’s a myth floating around and giving dryer balls a bad name!  Some have suggested that dryer balls cause unnecessary and added stress to your dryer machine (from all of the hard work of bouncing around that they do).

This rumor has shown to be false.

Dryer balls are soft, light and designed specifically to bounce around safely in your dryer.  


8. Dryer balls vs dryer sheets

There’s truly no comparison here.  

While pure wool dryer balls are eco-friendly and made up of 100% natural material, dryer sheets are known to contain an astounding amount of toxic chemicals that are released into the air and can be absorbed by the human body.

Want more information on the health problems linked to the toxic chemicals in most mainstream dryer sheets?  Follow this link:

9. Wool dryer balls vs fabric softener

The purpose of the fabric softener is: (1) to protect the clothes from rubbing into each other during the drying process, (2) to freshen the fabric with beautiful smells (3) prevents wrinkling.


However, those toxic fabric softeners are made out of chemicals and oils that eventually will stain your clothes. They also can build up in your washing machine dispenser.

In addition to all the toxicity that they create, fabric softeners are not recommended in a variety of fabrics like:

  • Microfiber cloths because they can damage the fabric’s ability to trap dust

  • Towels, because fabric softeners reduce the towel’s ability to absorb water

  • Children’s clothing, because the softeners will lessen the flame resistance of the clothing especially sleepwear.

  • Athletic sportswear, because it lessens the chance of you feeling cooler after a workout.

So if you are not looking forward to separating all of these types of clothing while washing / drying and still want to protect your clothes from rubbing against each other, change to wool dryer balls. Still want a little scent? Add essential oils to the dryer balls and, voila! Worry about wrinkles? Wrinkles are caused by over drying but these anti-wrinkle dryer balls will help you with that too.

10. Dryer balls vs tennis balls.

Looking to save money?  Just don’t when it comes to substituting with tennis ball!  In addition to the clear sanitary reasons, using tennis balls has many of the same drawbacks as dryer sheets.  They’re made out of materials that can become unstable or toxic when heated and used outside of their intended purposes, if that isn’t enough to convince you, consider the green dye that is likely to transfer to your clothes!


11. Refresh dryer balls.

Cleaning the dryer balls is a process that needs to be done once in a while to keep them in optimal condition.  This process is very quick and simple:

  1. Place each wool dryer ball in a thin sock or pantyhose. 

  2. Tie down the open end of the sock.

  3. Wash your wool dryer balls in a hot cycle. Once the cycle is complete, remove them from the socks and toss the dryer balls in the dryer (without added laundry). 

12. Fun wool dryer balls hacks for animal lovers

Maybe you’ve already thought about using your wool dryer balls in other fun ways!  Our customers have shared that they’ve used our non-toxic and eco-friendly wool balls as…

  1. Dog and cat toys (since they’re nontoxic unlike many mainstream toys made specifically for pets).

  2. On-the spot pet hair remover:  Throw your hair-filled clothing into the dryer with wool dryer balls BEFORE washing them.  The balls will attract the hair!

Take action!

We hope that this quick article was informative and helpful!  Moreover, we hope it convinced you to choose 100% eco-friendly wool dryer balls for your drying (and hacking!) household needs.  Our environmentally friendly home products are always good for the planet and, of course, our customers! Want to learn more about why our company’s products were named among the most environmentally friendly for the home in 2019?  Keep following us by clicking here.