I ditched fabric softener and dryer sheets, loving my wooly balls!
I’m always looking for ways to save money but it’s not always easy. A couple of years ago I stopped using liquid fabric softener in my washing machine, replacing it with vinegar. I do laundry for nine people and we went through the big bottles of fabric softener fast! I have sensitive skin and since the only fabric softener we found that didn’t break me out was a name brand one, the cost to keep us in supply was pretty steep. I wanted to find a more economical replacement that would also help keep my washing machine smelling … fresher.
Hard water can cause odors to build up in washing machines and vinegar does a great job cutting down on those horrific odors. It, in a sense, cleans the washer as you use it. That’s not to say you’ll never need to run a wash just to clean your machine if you switch to vinegar, but I’ve found the need to clean mine is far less than before I started using vinegar. I use white vinegar in each load. It freshens our clothes nicely, counters the hard water and also works to keep our whites a bit brighter. Plus, it’s cheap when buying by the gallon!
We were still using fabric softener sheets in the dryer, however. I’m just as sensitive to scents as I am to detergents (and a host of other chemicals) and, over the last year or so, the dryer sheets have become much stronger in scent. They flat kill my head when we open a new box! What’s more, a few in my family, if they get the chance to do their own laundry, use several sheets at a time because they love the smell it imparts to their clothes. I do not understand that but then, allergies tend to give you certain perspectives that may not be shared by those who don’t have those allergies. Makes sense to me. Still, the price per box of dryer sheets, also name brand, was pretty high.
Years ago I tried using blue spikey hard plastic balls in my dryer to replace the sheets. Here’s an example of the hard plastic balls, though perhaps not the exact ones I used. (It’s been so long I actually don’t remember the company name of the ones I used.) They were loud! It sounded rather like construction going on in my dryer with every single load. They didn’t work to cut down on static like I thought they were supposed to and my kids thought of them as toys, often leading to me having to hunt them down so I could use them. Not fun! When one of them broke in half in the dryer I decided to toss them and go back to sheets.
I saw these wool balls on Amazon and decided to read up on them. I read reviews, mostly, and decided to give them a try. I’m SO glad I did! Here’s a copy of the product description from the store page on Amazon:
Wool dryer balls by Poziteev are made of 100% natural New Zealand wool. When placed in a dryer with wet laundry they move between the folds breaking up clumps of wet clothes so the hot air can circulate and dry the clothes faster. Hypoallergenic and safe for people with wool sensitivities and they will not shed into your laundry. Among your household, bills dryers are main consumers of electricity and we can cut down your dry time by 35-40%. Unlike dryer sheets or liquid fabric softeners, Poziteev wool dry balls last for over 1,500 loads making it an eco-friendly product. XL 9″ circumference size assures of optimal drying results every time you need it. If you want to save time, money and the environment while enjoying soft, static-free clothes our product is the best solution for your needs.
These balls are amazing and work just as described. My dryer used to take another twenty minutes longer than my washing machine. Now it’s done before my washer by a few minutes at least. A very heavy load with winter jeans and big bath sheets takes longer but I’ve only had that happen once. Our clothes are static free, with the only exception I’ve found, so far, to be a pair of thick fuzzy pajama pants belonging to my oldest. We all have thick fuzzy pajama pants but, for some reason, his zap me when I pull them out of the dryer. They did the same with the dryer sheets, though, so it’s not something I wasn’t half way expecting. We do anywhere from six to twelve loads a week, depending on when my kids clean their rooms, so this shorter drying time should cut into our power bill as well! I can’t speak to the claim that they last at least 1500 loads but that’s because I’ve only been using them for a month.
I couldn’t be happier with my wooly balls! If you’re looking for a way to cut expenses a bit, I highly recommend them. Works a treat!