Author Topic: Wool Dryer Balls - Am I doing something wrong?  (Read 5040 times)

BrickByBrick

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Wool Dryer Balls - Am I doing something wrong?
« on: June 10, 2016, 12:34:26 PM »
A while back these appeared on a post in the forums singing their praises - reduced dryer time, no static, lasts forever, no need for dryer sheets.  So I bought the pack and tried it out.  I would reply to that post but I can't find it and the search function on this forum appears to be broken right now? 

https://www.amazon.com/Smart-Sheep-Premium-Reusable-Softener/dp/B00GA9P5P0/ref=lp_9104438011_1_1_a_it?srs=9104438011&ie=UTF8&qid=1465582598&sr=8-1

I bought these hoping they would save me money by reduced dryer times and the thought that I wouldn't have to buy dryer sheets again since they take their place.

In short, no noticeable reduction in dryer time, plenty of static, and worst of all - they seem to shed little strings of wool like crazy that get stuck to all the clothes.  I've tried using them on different settings but tend to get similar results.  Some of the answers on the amazon product page indicated that you will rarely have to "trim" them to reduce the chances of stray wool strings, but I started getting them after the first load.

From my perspective, this little experiment is a failure.  However, the product has literally thousands of positive reviews.  Have any mustachians who use these experienced what I have?  Any thoughts on what I may be doing wrong?  I don't do anything special with them, just toss them in the dryer and normally do a timed dry (timed dry because I try to keep dryer time to a minimum).  Normally at a medium heat setting.

ZiziPB

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Re: Wool Dryer Balls - Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2016, 01:37:51 PM »
I've had mine for a couple of years and they don't shed at all.  If yours shed that means they are not completely felted.  But even if they were not felted initially, they should be completely felted after a couple of cycles (from the moisture and heat present in the dryer).  You could try wetting them directly and putting them in a hot dryer and see if that helps.  If not, then I would venture a guess that they are not 100% wool.

As to the other claims, I don't know...  I've been using dryer balls for as long as I can remember so I have nothing to compare it to.  I had soft plastic ones before I got these.  I like the wool ones better.

GuitarStv

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Re: Wool Dryer Balls - Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2016, 01:39:00 PM »
Well, the first thing you're doing wrong is using a dryer.  :P

JLR

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Re: Wool Dryer Balls - Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2016, 09:00:49 PM »
I was going to ask "what are dryer sheets?" because I hadn't seen them here in Australia before, but I've now looked them up and see that there is one company selling them here. I don't know anyone who uses them. Are they like a fabric softener? I don't use fabric softener in my machine. Do people use fabric softener in their machine and also dryer sheets??

I usually hang my washing on the line outside, or on a rack I can move around when the snow is near. If I do use my dryer I take out all the polyester items and hang them. That might help with your static problems.

I also separate my washing before putting it in the dryer, so light stuff goes in together, jeans in a different load, etc. I find it really helps to reduce dryer time.

Basenji

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Re: Wool Dryer Balls - Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2016, 08:17:13 PM »
Well, the first thing you're doing wrong is using a dryer.  :P
+1

gbbi_977

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Re: Wool Dryer Balls - Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2016, 08:42:21 PM »
I was told that balling up aluminum foil into a little ball and putting it in the dryer has the same static-reducing effect as dryer balls or dryer sheets.

I've been doing that. It seems to work as well as dryer sheets. But maybe my impression of reduced static is caused by some weird frugality-induced dryer placebo effect.

Sibley

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Re: Wool Dryer Balls - Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2016, 08:44:32 PM »
Just line dry. No more static. and cheaper!

Alternatively, figure out what items specifically are causing the static and line dry those.

Though, I will make sure to have a few dryer sheets available when sewing and I'm using fusible interfacing, because they work great to get the glue off the iron. :)

cchrissyy

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Re: Wool Dryer Balls - Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2016, 09:07:04 PM »
sounds like something is wrong with the balls themselves - like, you should complain and return them

I have 3 I've used for years and at no time have they shed or had loose strings.

Syonyk

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Re: Wool Dryer Balls - Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2016, 08:43:36 AM »
My wife uses them and they don't shed that I can tell. Yours might be defective?

And, yes, line dry, but that's not a battle I'm going to have. Power is cheap and it's often very dusty outside.

lbmustache

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Re: Wool Dryer Balls - Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2016, 11:14:18 AM »
Mine do not shed, but they do not reduce static which was mainly my reason for buying them. :( On the plus side, they do reduce drying time significantly for me. Make sure yours are not getting stuck in clothing (sleeves, pants legs).

Goldielocks

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Re: Wool Dryer Balls - Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2016, 12:07:03 PM »
I have only ever used tennis balls, and then only for the heavy items (pillows, comforters) that need "fluffing" to dry faster, and wont' dry out side in a day.  Otherwise nothing added to dryer when I do a load, line dry weather permitting or for my non-casual clothing.

For the other poster, the dryer sheets add scent (if you like) and reduce static in dryers, and are used in place of fabric softener.   I don't like much scent, and rarely have trouble with static, so don't use either.   Hmm,  maybe I don't put items in the dryer anymore that are prone to static (polyester blends?)

mousebandit

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Re: Wool Dryer Balls - Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2016, 11:18:59 AM »
What everyone else said about them either not being fully felted yet or not being 100% wool.  And I have found that by not overdrying my clothes, I have very, very little static issues (without either dryer balls or dryer sheets).  I utilize mostly 100% cotton fabrics and clothing, and use white vinegar in my rinse cycles.  (I think the cotton makes a difference - no polyester - but I don't know if the vinegar makes any difference in static or not.)