Thursday, February 7, 2013

Wool Dryer Balls

As you know, I am always on the hunt for a way to accomplish household tasks and save money at the same time.  Previously I posted about a home made fabric softener that used inexpensive hair conditioner and white vinegar.  Then I just started using the white vinegar straight in the softener dispenser in the washer.  It worked great and I didn't need the conditioner which mostly added scent.  Now I am going one step further.  I made wool dryer balls.

They sell online for $20 or more for 6 balls.  Basically you throw them into the dryer with your wet clothes, they bounce around and soften the clothes.   Look up Woolzies and see what they are.

Here is my version with the process for making them.

The first thing I did was to check my yarn stash for some 100% wool yarn.  I found this.  Who knows how old it could be.  The label shows it's very old.  It was still in good shape though so I wound it into a ball about two inches in diameter.  I got two balls from this skein.  I found another and wound two more balls.  Then I found a tweed skein and wound two more.  I'm not sure about the color fastness of this yarn so I won't be using them with white clothes for now. 

Here are the six balls of wool yarn. 
 P.S.  I made the basket a few years ago.

Next I secured the yarn ends by pulling the end through the ball and put them one by one in the leg of a panty hose.  I tied the stocking between each ball.  Then I put them into the washing machine to felt.  Felting is the term to shrink the wool fibers with moisture and heat.  How many of us have put a wool sweater in the washing machine by mistake and shrunk it several sizes and matted the knitting.  You want to do that in this project.  After washing,  then put them into the dryer and completely dry.

When dry, untie the panty hose and take out the felted balls.  They should be matted balls and unable to unravel.  Don't use super wash wool because it won't felt.  As I said before, I probably won't test these out with white clothes because I'm not sure about fading.  That is probably why the purchased balls are white.  I will see how they work and let you know.  If you want a scent, put a few drops of essential oil on the dryer ball and the scent will be released in the dryer.

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