Sunday, August 3, 2014

Drier balls

So, I had read about using drier balls instead of drier sheets. I don't really do a lot with fiber, but a quick trade got me some wool.

My first batch I admittedly wrapped a little too loose. They work, but will likely fall apart sooner. My next batch had them much tighter and therefore harder. Roll it just like you would a regular ball of yarn, only tight. Tuck in the end. The ball should be about the size of a tangerine. (I wouldn't make it bigger than a baseball).

When you have a number of balls, you will want to put them in an old nylon stocking, knotting it tightly between balls.

If you have ever had a favorite wool sweater go through the wash, you know you need 2 things to make wool shrink--water and heat.  Take your balls and soak them in water before you put them in the drier.

Because no matter how tightly you roll them, your balls are still going to be full of air.  This means, yup--they are going to float.  I used one of my bowls that fit into the pitcher to hold them under the water.

Next, pop your balls in the drier.  Now, I usually hang dry, unless it is raining for an extended time.   However, something to consider is it will likely take more than one cycle to dry. (this most recent batch took 3 times through, but I over soaked them.)

When they come out (and feel dry) you will need to cut them out of the nylon.

This is what they look like when they emerge. -->

The final product.  Now, I made several.  I made them different colors both because that is the yarn I had, but also to differentiate scents--put a few drops of essential oil on the ball prior to tossing in the drier. (This is not enough oil to cause an issue in your drier). I usually use cedarwood oil, but have also used lavender. I also make several because the kids tend to take them with their loads to their rooms, not to be returned for a decade or so.

Now for the amazing news.  On an average clothing load, these balls have managed to cut off about 20 minutes of drying time.  Think about that. 3 loads would be an HOUR saved--and we all know that the drier is one of the highest users of our electricity (right up there with electric water heater and stove!)

Totally worth the time!


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