197 Responses to “How to Make Felted Wool Dryer Balls”

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  1. The best Model is
    Jennifer Mackay

  2. Terri

    I was just cutting the seams out of sweaters I felted for another project. Do you think I could start with those strips and run them through the wash again as balls?

  3. Hi there mates, good paragraph and good arguments commented here, I
    am in fact enjoying by these.

  4. jodi

    i’M SUPER excited to start making these. but i’m searching for wool roving. I did find some online (then someone told me that they tried w. wool yarn & they fell apart). is there something specific i should be looking for in the roving?
    I saw one it said it was ideal for wet felting (which i was guessing was what this was considered since it’s washed to felt)???
    it says this “The fibers are a wider diameter than our other rovings, making it the fastest fiber for wet felting. It compacts easily and quickly with soap and water and is our easiest wool to work with. ” does that sound like what you purchased? I’d hate to pay shipping & the cost of the roving & it didn’t work (i don’t have any other projects to use roving for if this fails).
    Thanks so much!!!

  5. Kitchen Six

    I just stumbled on this article while trying to lessen single use stuff in our house. I am entirely amused and enthralled. Love this tutorial and your humor. Thanks for the giggles this morning.

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  7. Thanks for this tutorial! Very helpful and I love your writing and humor. Going to make some dryer babies. :)

  8. shellie

    Hi-I do not use hot water to wash (not even hooked up for hot) do you think I could get the same effect if I boiled them for a bit and then did the dryer process?

    • Lori

      I bet it would. Clever clogs! I’m going to try this method too.

    • Caitlin

      You can get the same effect by washing them by hand in hot water. They won’t felt without some agitation, so you will have to knead them quite a bit, but with some elbow grease they will felt. Just boiling them is unlikely to agitate the fibers enough to to felt them.

      • Jackie

        What if you boil them, then add to a wash, then dry. And repeat the process? My water doesn’t seem to get hot enough. It took 6-8 washes to felt wool yarn dryers balls and how they are falling apart. Also, possible re-felting of older balls? (Hehe)

        • There might be a problem with the wool you used. Some wool does not want to felt as well as other varieties.

          • Roch

            If it is Superwas or an equivalent treatment will prevent it from shrinking/felting. Boiling works well but more labor than in your washer. You can just boil a ppt/s water in your kettle and pour it into the wash-cycle. Works to heat up the water if machine temp not hot enough.

          • I do know that white/natural wool doesn’t felt well (in general.) The dying process roughens the cuticle fibers a bit (like hair colour ladies!,) which makes it catch and felt more easily (or matt and split with hair.) Also, be careful you aren’t trying to felt “superwash” wool. It has been treated to resist felting- so that would be a real battle you’d have to win!

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  11. Maxina

    My husband thinks dryer sheets are like coating your clothes with teflon. So today I’m on a mission to find an alternative or to debunk his theory. But I do not understand this paragraph since some of the statements seem mutually exclusive:

    “The wool soaks up some of the moisture in your laundry as it dries, but then evenly distributes it into the air – helping your dryer stay humid longer, which exponentially reduces static cling. In addition, this “soaking and releasing” action makes your clothes dry faster. And all of these things together mean fewer wrinkles.”

    -> Any dry fabric will soak up moisture from wet clothes in an enclosed space. No?
    -> Not sure how one can evenly distribute moisture in the air when clothes are tumble-dried, and when moisture on average is anyways already evenly distributed mostly due to the tumbling?
    -> As far as the purpose of drying goes, I did not think it is beneficial to keep a drier humid longer since the purpose is to dry the clothes (maybe this has to do with another blogger’s suggestion to use the low-temp setting)?
    -> Why is the reduction of static cling exponential (and not linear, for example), and to begin with, how does keeping clothes moist longer reduce static cling?
    -> If the dryer stays humid longer how can any other action counteract this and make clothes dry faster?
    -> I agree that drying longer and slower means fewer wrinkles, yes.

    Thank you. Just trying to clarify before I embark on a wool-ball-making adventure. :)

    • Sara

      I have used dryer balls for quite some time, I use 6 a little larger than tennis balls. The purpose of the dryer balls is to decrease static cling, soften laundry without softener liquid or sheets and I do put some essential oil drops on my balls (ha,ha). The dryer balls bounce around in the dryer and fluff up and soften your laundry without chemicals. The more you use the better they work and they do cut down on dryer time. I sincerely believe they live up to their reputation. My balls were made by wool roving and the roving does feld much better.
      The water in my machine is not very hot so I put my balls in their panty hose and boiled them for awhile then washed with a load of towels, it only took one time.
      Sorry for the long post, I do not explain things well without a lot of words.

      • SAM

        Wool holds 3x’s the moisture of normal fabric without feeling it. So, yes, any material will soak up ambient moisture (which is how the clothes dry faster), but wool will do more so without relinquishing said moisture to other clothes. Instead, they steam as the drier works, releasing that moisture slowly, hence keeping a beneficial amount of humidity in the drier. They do not release so much as to keep the clothes from drying, but just enough to reach an optimal balance to heat and humidity, keeping your clothes wrinkle and static free. I hope this helps. Can’t wait to make my own!!!

  12. Chris

    Thanks for the instructions on making dryer balls. I used an old pair of socks and a bunch of scraps of wool yarn as the stuffing and then wound them with various bits of wool yarn. I used some super-washed wool in the stuffing but only regular wool for the outside wrapping. I washed and dried them twice in hot water and regular dryer (knotted into some old stockings as you suggested) and they came out great! I’d love to send you a photo but can’t figure out how.

  13. Christa

    I find wool dryer balls very helpful with cutting down on the dog and cat hair that stick to my clothes. They’re great lint removers.

  14. judithG

    Quick question – what about lint??? Do these leave lint on clothing? My hubbie wears black t-shirts and such a lot and we can’t afford to have lint all over them. Plus I tend to be allergic to wool if it touches my skin. . . . .hives. Bad. LOL I look pretty funny when it happens. :-)

  15. Christina

    I use a ball of old aluminum foil. Works great for the static.

  16. Static question: I noticed a few comments mentionning to add a metal safety pin to ball for extra static guard. I’m wondering if I add a pin “inside” the ball while making it, would it work or does the metal need to be exposed to work? I’m worried about it opening and tearing into the clothes :(

  17. Rachel

    What if, like me, you haven’t owned a pair of pantyhose in 2 decades? Is there some other “casing” one could use for the felting process?

    • aly

      I would suggest going to the dollar store, or even the cheapo ones at the grocery store. they can be nylon trouser socks, not necessary full tights. the ones I buy (for bulk dryer ball making) come in a little coin machine trinket looking plastic case

    • Kimmy

      This post / reply is ONLY about Hose. Please see my other post about (a) types of roving, (b) the importance of adding something to the wash and dry cycles to promote agitation, (c) why agitation is important when making dryer balls, (d) front loaders vs. top loaders, (e) total out of pocket costs per dryer ball, (f) for how much you can reasonably anticipate to selling sets or selling each ball individually, and finally, (g) how to cleverly make dryer balls for ZERO out of pocket expenses.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      NYLONS / HOSE:
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Any drug store will carry decent and even brand name full hose or thigh-highs for no more than $3-$4.00 a pair. If you are a clever shopper, you’ll be able to do much better than $3-$4 bucks and one pair.

      A “hot deal” is finding hose for $0.99 a pair or less (either on sale or by just getting lucky–like I did).

      From Walgreens, I bought 3 pairs of thigh-highs for a buck and 8 cents, tax included–one white pair, one nude pair, and one black pair, total of 18 separate stockings.

      ~~~~~~~~
      BONUS!!!
      ~~~~~~~~

      Each came in a neat MINI plastic roundish case with a partial flat pop-top.

      My “luck” wasn’t in finding 3 pairs of hose for a buck; rather, it was those mini plastic bubbles.

      While hose trypically comes packaged in a plastic bubble/egg thingy, the ones I found were (1) in mini versions and (2) FABULOUS!!!

      In other words: I would have purchased these even without the bonus of hose, as the three plastic pop-tops are PERFECT for keeping / organizing small things. One I use solely in the car for my spare change.

      When I’m at a parking meter (ok ok more often it’s a fast food drive through… You’ve got me), I don’t have to dig for coins. Instead, I can quickly grab my coin ball and take it to the meter with me. As well, I no longer have to make at least two trips back to the car for more change–something that should at ALL costs be avoided if you live in a place where the weather is… Let’s say “less than ideal” (to keep it clean), whether you live where it gets really cold or hot or you live in a place that rains more than it doesn’t (and ok, I’ll toss in one less than PC scenario: no matter where you live, perhaps it isn’t safe to keep yourself and your car open and exposed long enough for two additional trips to your open car for more change, making you and your vehicle appealing to those nefarious types, and parking elsewhere is not an option…).

      And, my super rad mini pop top change keeper keeps my car interior free of (more) clutter in places that are quite convenient for dropping spare change into but awful for retrieving–like cup holders!

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      (BONUS USE FOR HOSE)
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Originally, I bought the set of 3 thigh-highs to store garlic, onions, or citrus in a crafty hanging style, knotting between each item. It cleared off a LOT of counter space and looks quite chic as hanging kitchen decor. It solved two problems at once: freeing up my counter while also cleverly adding decoration to a white, “naked” wall in my otherwise modern and chic kitchen.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~
      HOSE, CONT’D
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~

      But back on task: you can get hose on the cheap. Since I got 3 pairs (6 legs of hose) for a buck, and I could fit 3 large balls in each stocking (more if you use full hose and cut the legs off where your lady parts go), I was able to make 18 balls, or 3 sets of 6 (or 6 sets of 3, etc).

      Likely, will keep my sets at 6 so my family and friends can use all 6 for larger loads. But you go on and gift or sell as you see fit!!

      • Kimmy

        And… I apologize in advance for my exceptionally excessive superfluous verbosity above.

        (Did you get it?? Ok, the nerdist grammarian/linguist in me thought that was hilarious. Kind of like how a physicist would have a laugh riot over this joke: Why is carbon the party animal of the universe? Answer: Because it can hang with everything!)

  18. happened upon your post on the balls. i like your style! also, the photograph of the ghost poncho is so so beautiful. i wonder if you would mind if i were to print it and put in my home. also, we could trade photographs, maybe…

  19. Megan

    Just made them and threw them in the wash! Thanks Crunchy Betty!

  20. Carol

    The 3 dryer balls I made today are currently in the rinse cycle. They felted quite nicely. I made mine in 3 layers. The center of the balls came from wool sheared off sheep and never processed. Then I wrapped that tightly with wool that I did not like enough to make anything with. The last layer was wool roving that I did not have a purpose for. Your directions were clear and easy to follow. I also used an old stocking with knots between each of the balls as you suggested. Thanks for your help.

  21. I just made the dryer balls, I’m having a problem getting them out of the panty hose as the wool went through the nylon. As I pull the nylon off then the dryer ball gets all fuzzy. What did I do wrong? Can you make the nylon too tight on the wool?

  22. I just made my first dryer ball, I have a lot of roving around because I have been spinning yard for weaving, much easier then I though after looking at quite a few wet felting videos

  23. Great tutorial! Thank you! I’m sharing on Pinterest!

  24. I dig your style. I have had many vey long days. rock on sister. I have questions about ZOTE

  25. not sure if my message came thru.?

  26. Victoria

    I was wondering if I could use a golf ball in the center?? I have a huge bin of them, and thought the weight might help. What do you think?

  27. The first 2 times I made these, they turned out great. Now, they turn into discs instead of balls, I have to check them in the washer and reshape them. Also getting them out of the panty hose is a pain, but sometimes they don’t felt into the panty hose. I can’t figure out what makes the difference

  28. Sarah

    I want to make sure I order enough wool roving. How much did you order?
    I can’t wait to try it!
    Thank you!

  29. janice

    I’ve been wanting to make these so thank you for the “how to”. I currently use foil scrunched into tennis ball size which works well also and gets rid of the static.

Trackbacks

  1. […] with felting dryer balls and learning how to spin yarn (I just got a drop spindle from Maine woods yarn and fiber), my other […]

  2. […] directions I found the most helpful from Crunchy Betty. This site also tells you how to use them once […]

  3. […] I did find this post from Crunchy Betty to be quite helpful in the actual making of the balls, and got to work as soon […]

  4. […] I’d mix it with a few other wool sources to recreate these small pincushions. I followed this tutorial and simply made the balls smaller. The insides of the pincusions were old wool socks from when we […]

  5. […] Dryer sheets seems to be a uniquely North American laundry must. As a kid, when we visited Canada on vacation, my mother would purchase boxes of them to bring back with us to Europe and there she used them in various ways, placing them in drawers and closets. I never got into the habit of using them myself, but I know that a lot of people do use them for their anti static properties. Just this month I discovered the Wool Dryer Ball, which you use like you would a dryer sheet, but rather than using them for their smell and anti static qualities, the Wool Dryer Ball cuts the drying time, some say in half. This is a big claim, but somehow I don’t doubt it (I have yet to try them myself). Wool Balls apparently also soften your clothes, and remove static, so they would also be a great replacement for fabric softener. You can buy them in boxes like tennis balls, or you can make your own! Here is another great post on how to make your own Wool Dryer Balls, from Crunchy Betty. […]

  6. […] I had no idea what they were talking about, but trusty Google provided this reference, then this one for good measure, and I was off and […]

  7. […] Skip the dryer sheets — Instead, make your own dryer balls to eliminate static cling. […]

  8. […] it as humidity as the load dries, reducing static and keeping your laundry from wrinkling. Crunchy Betty provides step by step instructions for making felted dryer balls. The dryer balls require old […]

  9. […] For static reduction, I’ve been using felted wool dryer balls that I made myself using the instructions found here on Crunchy Betty’s blog. They were fun to make and work really well when I use about 6-8 of them in a load. If you miss the […]

  10. […] Wool Dryer Balls – Dryer balls make sure that the air circulates round your clothes while they are in the dryer so that they will dry in no time at all and help prevent any static build up too. […]



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