Dryer Balls

by Ashley Weeks Cart

Growing up, our mother caused quite the ruckus when doing laundry, as she would throw tennis balls into the dryer with our clothes to cut down on drying time. While effective, those balls sure were noisy. When I began cloth diapering at home, it was suggested to me by a fellow crunchy mama to invest in some felt dryer balls to cut down on drying time. They’re softer and thus quieter than tennis balls, and they are naturally antibacterial, and when doused with a bit of essential oil, a near perfect substitute for disposable dryer sheets. Natural, energy-efficient, and sweet smelling.

100% wool yarn
Wool roving
Panty hose
Washing machine

1. Use the 100% wool yarn to create a yarn ball. Be sure to tuck the end of the yarn under one of the layers when the ball is the size you desire. (Remember, items shrink during the felting process, so be sure to make the ball larger than you want the final product. Mine are the size of tennis balls in their final form.)

2. You can use the wool yarn ball as is to create the dryer ball, however, I like to add a thin layer of multi-colored bits of wool roving on top of the yarn ball.

3. Cut a leg off of a pair of panty hose and stuff the balls into the toe of the leg, Tie of the panty hose between each individual ball.

4. Throw the panty hose filled with yarn balls into a hot wash cycle in the washing machine, and then throw in the dryer.

5. Remove the balls from the nylons. If they are not felted as tightly as you’d like, throw back in the machines for one more round.

6. Once done, they’ll be pretty balls of felted delight that will cut down on dryer time and act as natural dryer sheets. Drop a dollop of essential oil on ‘em if you’d like sweet smelling laundry.

Photos: Courtesy of Ashley Weeks Cart