a light blue dryer ball sitting on a grey bedsheet with the words Dryer Balls on the left

Are you looking for a dependable and sustainable way to improve your clothes dryer’s efficiency and drying time? Dryer balls are among the best products for this application. They have loads of benefits over conventional fabric softeners and one-time-use dryer sheets.

Today’s article will focus on dryer balls and their effectiveness in saving electricity when running a tumble dryer. So without further ado, let’s delve into the basics of dryer balls!

What Are Dryer Balls Anyway (Do They Really Save Energy)?

Dryer balls are woolen (or rubber) ovoid objects useful in tumble dryers to prevent the wrinkling and clumping of clothes during drying.

Dryer balls are an ideal alternative to singular-use dryer sheets and effectively shorten clothes drying time by about 25 percent. Dryer balls also save energy by retaining heat from the dryer.

Dryer Balls Working Principle

Dryer balls act as separators between clothes to prevent clamping together, which can significantly increase the drying time (and consume more electricity).

Their presence also improves air circulation in a moist environment, which is key to efficient drying as it prevents clothes from creasing.

Additionally, dryer balls are long-lasting (can use up to 1,000 loads), although it’s best to replace them after some time.

How to Use Dryer Balls

Dryer balls work by revolving around the tumble dryer, so you must have a relatively small load to create sufficient rotating space.

Tossing wool dryer balls in an open metallic dryer with a few clothes
Using dryer balls is easy and only requires a few steps!

Here are some handy steps for using dry balls:

  1. If you have a massive load of laundry to dry, separate it into small portions (A large load will overwork the dryer!)
  2. Put the clothes into the dryer, followed by a few dryer balls, preferably three, for a small to medium clothes load. The more clothes you have, the more dryer balls you require.
  3. The dryer balls have no scent but if you want to add some fragrance to your clothes, dampen the balls with your favorite essential oil before use.
  4. Also, consider spraying the dryer balls with water before use, as it will help reduce static electricity in the dryer.

The Two Main Types of Dryer Balls

When buying dryer balls, you can choose from two main types.

Plastic/Rubber Dryer Balls

Two blue rubber dryer balls against a gray sheet
Rubber and plastic dryer balls feature spikes for excellent efficiency.

The rubber or plastic variety of dryer ball guarantee durability. Unlike wool dryer balls (which we’ll discuss briefly), these barely shed their fibers.

Rubber dryer balls also feature spikes, improving their work efficiency by opening up clothes to create more interaction with hot air.

Wool Dryer Balls

These dry balls are environmentally friendly and also biodegradable. Wool dryer balls also ensure fast clothes drying as their structure allows them to absorb some moisture from clothes.

In that regard, wool dryer balls are better than plastic balls.

Two wool dryer balls on a folded white towel against some brown foliage
Wool dryer balls are even greener than plastic and rubber ones.

Again, wool should be your to-go balls if you’re looking for a quiet additive to improve your dryer. They make little to no noise (their noise output is significantly lower than with plastic dryer balls).

6 Reasons Why Dryer Balls Are Better Than Dryer Sheets

The primary alternative to dryer balls is dryer sheets. Here are 6 reasons why you should opt for dryer balls.

1. They Have Minimal Waste

As we’ve said, most dryer sheets are single-use, unlike dryer balls which you can use repeatedly. Dryer balls save you a lot of money and are also environmentally friendly (especially the woolen dry ball types).

You can simply bury the balls in a compost heat, and they’ll rot shortly after as they’re biodegradable.

2. Dryer Balls Will Save Money and Electricity

Unlike dryer sheets, dryer balls provide long-term value. Again, using dryer balls will increase your clothes’ lifetime through the following means:

● They don’t feature chemicals (common in fabric softeners) that wear out clothes, so the material remains intact after drying.

● They also reduce the drying time (the period you expose your clothes to heat), which keeps them in good shape.

Dryer balls are among the best ways to keep your electricity use under check as they significantly lower clothes drying time (by approximately 25 percent). This saves you more money than if you used dryer sheets.

3. They Make Clothes Wrinkle-Resistant

Dryer balls ensure that clothes dry separately, which is imperative in preventing crumbling together and resultant wrinkling.

A bright closet showing clothes without wrinkles
Your clothes will resist wrinkles better when drying with dryer balls.

Dryer sheets are also effective in avoiding crumping but are not as good as dryer balls.

4. Reduced Clothes Drying Time

Imagine drying your clothes as one huge mass without any air getting in between them.

The clothes can take longer to dry as they don’t effectively interact with the hot air as they should. Dryer balls act as drying hasteners by keeping the clothes apart.

Again, dryer sheets can reduce drying time. But dryer balls are more effective primarily because of their round shape, which creates more space between the clothes than dryer sheets.

5. Natural Fabric Softeners

Dryer balls effectively play the role of fabric softener. They will rotate against the fabric as they toss around, which is imperative in softening clothes.

So, in the long run, using dryer balls saves you the hectic spending on single-use fabric softeners.

6. Dryer Balls Have No Allergens

Dryer balls are an effective alternative to dryer sheets and fabric softeners as they have no toxic chemicals. If you’re allergic to dryer sheets, try dryer balls instead!

Dryer Balls FAQs

How Do I Keep My Dryer Balls in Great Shape?

The best storage practice for dryer balls is to keep each separately in a clean sock. It will also help if you tie one end of the sock to prevent dust.

After drying clothes, thoroughly clean the balls in a hot water cycle and fully dry them before storage.

How Long Should You Keep Dryer Balls?

Maytag advises that the ideal time to draw optimal efficiency from your dryer balls is between eight and 12 months.

Nonetheless, you can keep yours for longer if you rarely use them or they’re still in top shape after this duration.

How Do I Remove Dirt from Dryer Balls?

Use a fabric shaver or lint remover if your dryer balls have accumulated dirt.

When dirt accumulates so much that cleaning the dryer balls disintegrates them, you need to replace them.

Again, change your dryer balls if they’re flaccid, as they may not effectively separate clothes as they should.

Dryer Balls vs. Dryer Sheets: Which One Is Best?

Dryer balls have the following advantages over dryer sheets:

● They are more eco-friendly, recyclable, and long-lasting.

● Dryer balls are an ideal choice for individuals allergic to fabric softeners.

● They are biodegradable and hence easy to dispose of after extensive use.

A hand throws a dryer sheet into an open dryer with clothes
Dryer sheets do lend clothes more softness but could also exacerbate allergies.

On the flip side, dryer sheets are better than dryer balls in giving clothes a softer effect. Still, you can also improve the texture of your clothes with dryer balls by damping them with water before use.

The bottom line is that dryer balls are a better alternative to dryer sheets as they have more upsides.

Final Thoughts

Dryer balls will, on any day, trounce dryer sheets in improving the efficiency of your drying machine, as we’ve seen above. We’ve also proven that dryer balls can significantly save energy by reducing drying time.

Nonetheless, you must know when to discard your dryer balls, as excessive use renders them inefficient.

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