Wool dryer balls on a counter in a glass jar

How to use wool dryer balls

If you find yourself running multiple cycles for a single load of laundry, incorporating dryer balls might be a beneficial adjustment. These handy tools are not only useful for cutting down on drying times, but they can also help minimize laundry clumps and prevent wrinkles. Read on to explore more about using dryer balls, including their benefits, lifespan and how they work.

What are wool dryer balls?

Wool dryer balls are natural fabric softeners, typically made from tightly woven wool. They can help prevent laundry clumping by tumbling between layers and separating fabric, allowing warm air to circulate better, which can reduce drying time. They are also a reusable alternative to dryer sheets.

Do wool dryer balls work?

Wool dryer balls can help soften clothes, reduce static and decrease drying time by preventing laundry from bunching together. They may be able to last up to 1,000 loads if they are cared for correctly, making them a great alternative to one-time-use dryer sheets.

Using wool dryer balls: a step-by-step guide

To reap the full benefits of wool dryer balls, it’s important to understand how to use them correctly. The following provides a step-by-step approach to using them with your next laundry load.


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Step 1: Determine the number of dryer balls needed

Dryer balls are typically sold in packs of three, which conveniently is the typical number needed for a laundry load. Evenly disperse these three dryer balls among your laundry before starting the dryer cycle. For larger loads, consider adding an extra dryer ball.

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Step 2: Don’t overload the dryer

It’s okay to use dryer balls in both gas and electric dryers. However, avoid overloading the dryer with laundry, as this could impede proper drying and extend drying times. Don’t forget to adhere to the care instructions for your clothing items.

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Step 3: Addressing static build-up

If static build-up becomes an issue, lightly spray wool dryer balls with water before including them in the dryer. This can help reduce static electricity and keep your clothes smoother and softer.

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Step 4: Remove and store

When the drying cycle is complete, remove the dryer balls and store them in a dry place.

Recharge the dryer balls, as needed

First, use a lint roller to clean the dryer balls. Then, wash them (preferably in a mesh bag or a sock with the top tied shut) with hot water on the Gentle Cycle. Do not use  detergent or fabric softener. Finally, dry them on high heat in the dryer or let them air dry.

Person putting laundry into a dryer Person putting laundry into a dryer

Benefits of wool dryer balls

Wool dryer balls offer several benefits for laundry care. They can enhance the circulation of warm air by moving around and separating layers of laundry, thereby possibly helping to reduce drying time. Their tumbling action helps prevent clothes from sticking together, combating wrinkle formation and helping to reduce the need for ironing. 

The friction between the dryer balls and fabric can also help minimize static cling, which may make clothes more comfortable to wear, particularly in dry climates. Additionally, as they rub against your clothes, they can help naturally soften the fabric, potentially reducing the need for chemical fabric softeners and helping preserve the quality of various fabrics.

How long do wool dryer balls last?

Although it depends on the manufacturer, wool dryer balls typically last up to five years or 1,000 loads of laundry. Keep in mind that you can recharge your dryer balls to help them last longer.

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How many wool balls should you use in a dryer?

The number of wool dryer balls you use in the dryer will vary depending on your dryer’s capacity and the size of your laundry load. Typically, you will use three dryer balls in a load.

Can you use dryer sheets with wool dryer balls?

You can use dryer sheets with wool dryer balls if you choose to. While both serve similar functions, their distinct features could make using them together advantageous. Dryer sheets can provide a fragrance, which some people prefer.

Explore Whirlpool® Washers and Dryers

Whirlpool® Washing Machines and Dryers are your laundry day ally. Designed to handle all your family’s laundry needs, select washers come with a Deep Water Wash Option. This feature automatically infuses more water into your load, helping rinse away loose dirt or debris. Whirlpool brand dryers deliver robust drying capabilities and select models are equipped with AccuDry Sensor Drying Technology. This feature helps to prevent overdrying by automatically stopping the cycle once the clothes are dry.

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