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Saturday, August 15, 2020

How to Make Homemade Woolen Dryer Balls, eliminate dryer sheets for good!

Do you want to eliminate commercial dryer sheets? The ones full of chemicals and paraffin? We did too. I made the switch and we have never looked back! You can eliminate artificial fragrance and the waxy residue from your laundry. Your clothes are just as soft when you take them from the dryer...From the DIY Homemade Household side of the blog!

How to make, Homemade Woolen Dryer Balls, from re-purposed wool sweaters.
Homemade Woolen Dryer Balls from re-purposed sweaters. 

Rustic yet worth their weight in gold. 

While these Homemade Woolen Dryer Balls will not win any beauty contests, they are excellent in softening your clothes during the drying cycle, without the use of dryer softener sheets. They also work quite well in eliminating static cling in most natural fabrics. However...

For those clothes that produce excess static, you can easily reduce the static with a couple of aluminum foil balls! Just toss in a couple of foil balls into the dryer along with your Homemade Woolen Dryer Balls. I have used aluminum foil balls from time to time, especially when I was still working away from home and my work clothes were a blended material. For the small amount of static that now gathers in my new set of work clothes (cotton denim for the win!) I just snap-shake the piece of clothing when I fold or place on a hanger. 

Looking for chemical free laundry solutions?

The aluminum foil balls are just that, small balls of compressed aluminum foil. To make, simply take a square of foil and crush it in your hands, and then "rolling" into a ball, making sure there are no sharp edges or corners of foil to snag your clothes. After many uses, they will begin to break apart. Simply toss the well-used foil balls into the recycling and make a few more.  

I have found that 2- 3 Woolen Dryer Balls are perfect for a full load of laundry. But more won't hurt. Because laundry is tossed in circles during the drying cycle, the woolen dryer balls and the foil balls will become "lost" in a load of clothes. It is best to have enough Homemade Woolen Dryer Balls for more than one load of laundry. And you don't want to get caught shorthanded on laundry day! As you fold the clothes from the dryer, you will come across the balls caught up in the clothes. 

The balls don't really wear out and they don't leave behind any chemicals. I have been using this set of Homemade Woolen Dryer Balls for over 5 years now...

Easy to make, How to make Homemade Woolen Dryer Balls.

I had priced wool yarn for this project and did not want to spend $8 for each skein. At that price, I thought I would wait and see if I could find some wool yarn while out thrifting. As luck would have it, I found none. But what I did find was a 100% wool sweater for a small sum and decided to give making my own woolen dryer balls a try. And so I did! These Homemade Woolen Dryer Balls came together quickly with strips of woolen sweater fabric, that I felted in hot water and a hot dryer. Full instructions provided! 

 Supplies needed for this recipe:

  • wool sweater(s)

You will also need the following:
  • needle and thread
  • scissors

Now we are ready to begin!

To began felt the wool sweater, a simple process involving washing and drying on the hottest settings that your washer and dryer have/allow. When felted, the wool shrinks and tightens up. The sweater will be visually much smaller than when you began! 

From there you simply cut the sweaters into one inch strips.

When making woolen dryer balls from yarn, you roll the yarn into balls and then felt the balls. With the felted sweater, I already had felted yarn, the only difference is that this yarn was knitted into a sweater. Which I then cut into strips. Those strips were used to make up the balls...

How to make Homemade Woolen Dryer Balls.

To make Homemade Felted Woolen Dryer Balls: 

Cut the felted sweater into wide strips, they don't have to be perfect as this is a utility project and not intended to be beautiful. This felted sweater also had a banded edge, this came off as one strip. You may use this for the center or beginning of the ball if desired.

Start with a banded edge piece (if you have one) and begin winding into a ball. Tack with needle and thread as needed, to help keep the ball shape. 

Turn wool sweaters into Dryer Balls for softening your clothes!

As the balls are being formed, whip stitch over each raw or cut edge to stabilize and strengthen the ball. I tend to "over sew" in a case like this. It is better to "over sew" than to have to mend later and I don't want them coming apart in the dryer. These are about the size of an orange. 

I also made some dryer balls the size of a grapefruit. I found the larger size dryer balls were especially handy for larger and/or heavier clothes like blue jeans. 

Between the aluminum balls for static and the felted balls for softening, we have it covered!

With that, you are ready to tackle the laundry!


After a few times of playing "find the dryer ball", I got creative and sewed a smaller ball to each of the larger balls. This created a shape much less likely to roll away, and personally, I like them even more now! They are not pretty, but they sure do work well!


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Would you like to comment?

  1. I like using these with essential oils. Thanks so much for linking up with me at #AThemedLinkup 39 for Cleaning and Organizing, open until January 17.

    1. I have used my woolen balls for many years now, and they just keep doing a great job! Thanks for hosting!

  2. Replies
    1. They last a long time and never stop making soft clothes in the dryer. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Visiting again to say thanks so much for linking up at #IMadeItMondayLinkParty 3. Shared.

    1. Dee thank you for hosting, your posts are always a wonderful place to visit!


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