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How to Make Homemade Woolen Dryer Balls, eliminate dryer sheets for good!

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another frugal and worthy project from our home to yours. Today I have another project that is a little different for us to offer, but I think you will like it...


How to make, Homemade Woolen Dryer Balls, from re-purposed wool sweaters.
Homemade Woolen Dryer Balls from re-purposed sweaters. 
Recently while home, I used some of my time to complete a simple handcrafted project. These simple projects are relaxing while creating something helpful for our home. While these Woolen Dryer Balls will not win any beauty contests, they are excellent in softening your clothes during the drying cycle, without the use of fabric softener sheets.

For those clothes that also produce excess static, you can easily reduce static with a couple of foil balls along with the Woolen Dryer Balls. Another trick I use for those items that filled with static electricity when pulled from the dryer is to air dry them. Most blended fabrics come out of the washer fairly wrinkle free and air dry quite well.

How to make woolen dryer balls, from a re-purposed sweater.
Keep this basket on your dryer for soft and static free laundry!

 The aluminum foil balls are just that, balls of aluminum foil. So easy, take a square of foil and crush it your hands and then "roll" into a ball. Try to not leave any sharp corners sticking out, but the first time you use them, they will become smooth. In time they will begin to break apart, at that point simply toss the well-used foil balls into the recycling and make a few more.  

If you would like to use a bit of freshener in the dryer cycle, consider spritzing the woolen dryer balls with a bit of the Citrus and Vinegar Spray Cleaner. 

I have found that 3-5 Woolen Dryer Balls are perfect for a full load of laundry. Because laundry is tossed in circles during the drying cycle, the Woolen Dryer Balls and the Foil Balls will become "lost" in a load of clothes. It is best to have enough for more than one load of laundry. As you fold the first load, you will come across the balls trapped in the clothes. The balls don't wear out and they don't leave behind any chemicals.  


I had priced wool yarn for this project and did not want to spend $8 for each skein. At that price I thought I would wait and see if I could find some wool yarn while out thrifting. As luck would have it, I found none. But what I did find was a 100% woolen sweater for a small sum and decided to give that a try. To began I felted the sweater, which involves washing it in the hottest setting on your washer, and during the drying cycle once again use the hottest setting. It should come out a few sizes smaller, which is what you are looking for. 

However felted wool yarn is what you have once the balls are made from a skein and washed in hot (very!) water. With the felted sweater, I had felted yarn, the only difference is that is was already knitted into a sweater. 

How to make woolen dryer balls, from a re-purposed sweater.

Cut the sweater into wide strips, they don't have to be perfect as this is a utility project and not intended to be beautiful. This sweater scrap also had a banded edge, this came off as one strip. 

Start with a banded edge piece (if you have one) and begin winding into a ball. Tack with needle and thread as needed, to help keep the ball shape. 

How to make woolen dryer balls, from a re-purposed sweater.

As the balls are being formed, whip stitch over each raw or cut edge to stabilize and strengthen the ball. I tend to "over sew" in a case like this. It is better to "over sew" than to have to mend later and I don't want them coming apart in the dryer. These are about the size of an orange. 

I found from using the Woolen Dryer Balls, that a larger grapefruit size was especially handy for larger or heavier clothes like blue jeans. 

Between the aluminum balls for static and the felted balls for softening, we have it covered!

With that, you are ready for laundry day!

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8 comments

  1. thats very cool, I will try that!

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  2. This is a neat tip--I never heard of it before, but will have to try it out.

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  3. I would have never. Never. Thought about doing this but it makes perfect sense. I can't stand those dryer sheets--can't even stand to touch them, much less the smell. Ugh. I have already tried the foil balls and viola, no static in my trouser socks.

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    1. I like keeping the laundry supplies simple, and this works very well.

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  4. thank you, thank you for this. i've been wanting to try making some of these, but have to ration my internet time (if i let myself, i'd easily be on here all day) so haven't taken the time to hoover the internet for instructions (and i don't do pinterest or facebook, etc.). --suz in ohio

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your visit! I haven't used fabric softener sheets in years!

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